MAC os drive - activated with windows - now broken?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by interslice, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. interslice macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    I have a Mac osX Drive which my gf kindly tried to activate for me with windows ... now windows is telling me i have a full size fresh partition onmy drive ... when it has not been formatted!

    How do i revert back to my old mac partition - should i
    a) delete the partition on windows that says it's a full capacity free space partition basic
    b) Try to get mac to repartition the drive again!

    I fear i have lost it all for good - and so easily! :(
    surely someone knows what happens to a Mac partition when it's made active via the windows computer manager!

    is my whole disc drive gone for good?

    Thanks for any good souls who will help me :) :apple:
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    So, to put your words in ones I can understand more clearly:

    You have a Mac (which Mac) with Windows on it.
    Windows was installed via Boot Camp, and now, due to some kind of activating (do you mean registering or what?) you can now not start the Mac and go into Mac OS X.

    Have you tried holding down the Option/Alt key during startup to give you the choice which OS you want to boot into?

    Mac OS X uses HFS+ as a file system which can't be natively read or written to by Windows, except with Boot Camp 3.0 (coming with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard) Windows is able to read the Mac OS X partition.

    By alluding to the fresh partition, do you mean that this Mac OS X partition was formatted with the help of Computer Management > Disk Management?

    Or am I completely wrong and didn't understand anything right?
  3. interslice thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    i'm so sorry ... i'm not good at explaining

    I have a Mac OSx 10.4
    Maxtor 300GG hard disk External

    My gf has the Windows XP NetBook

    My Gf stole my Maxtor hard drive - put it on a wondows PC - then went into the Computer Management > Disk Management utility in windows.

    Then clicked make partition ACTIVE - at first it was black and the the others were blue. So she thought if the Maxtor HD partition was made active then it would work.

    The partition is now active in windows - with 300GB free space!

    in my MAC - the Maxtor HD does not mount at all
    "The disc you inserted was not readable by this computer"

    can I go back to the windows PC and remove the partition that was made active! or will that delete all my old data?

    if so is there any tool that can fix this problem ... :confused:

    ok i think i got it all this time - sorry for being slow :eek:
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    She already wiped the data (what she did re-wrote the partition table data).

    All you can do, is put it back into the MP, get the OS back on it, and restore the data, assuming you have backups. If not, its gone.
  5. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    If your girlfriend only re-wrote the partition table, made a "quick format-2 (instead of the thorough one which takes hours) and hasn't written to it yet, then the data is still there.

    For Mac OS X there is a software called Data Rescue, which scans a hard drive and recovers "lost" data.

    It might work, but the software costs 99$.

    PS: Next time your girlfriend uses a hard disk of yours, make sure she doesn't do it again. And know, that Mac OS X uses another file system (HFS+) than Windows (NTFS, FAT 32), which Windows can't read or write to. No Activation in Disk Management will help there.
    Mac Drive on the other hand is able to read and write to HFS+ formatted volumes in Windows.

    Or you use a MSDOS (FAT 32) formatted HDD, which can be both read and written to by Mac OS X and Windows, but the maximum file size is 4GB/file.
  6. interslice thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    I was fearing the worst ....

    I don't think that any type of format was made ...

    just that the partition that was already there - windows assumed was not activated - and therefore black colour.

    format option was never clicked!

    so - the partition has been activated by windows - and i think therefore some kind of data tables have been changed.

    i think i'll try the software you recommend ... and i'm sure i already downloaded Macdrive - but didn't install it on the windows PC.

    I just hoped there was some kind of data table partition magic re writing software or so ! i know windows didn't format the disc ... only activated it! to make the partition active windows must have only written some data table files?
  7. interslice thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    I FIXED my broken partition table easily!

    Thanks guys - but in the end ... no worries :)
    I'm coming back to let others know what to do and spread a bit of knowledge.

    First of all can i thank you for your time - i much appreciate it :)

    What i didn't appreciate was the extra personal advice for how to treat my gf!:confused:

    lol thanks my ability to handle people is not anything i wanted advice on!
    just purely - and of course - how do i fix my COMPUTER :apple:

    If my gf is broken i will get a new less expensive one - ;) - no need to tell her what to do - but thanks for reminding me i should tell her to "not do it again"

    However i'm getting her to install MacDrive - and then i'm going to boot her out of my house! ho ho

    My Solution:
    free ware - open source - "testdisc and photorec"

    I once used photorec before - worked like a charm to recover lost data

    This time however I used the other side of the free program called testdisc - I had it all along but never knew what it was for!

    it's used to repair broken partitions like mine! i just loaded the program in Terminal - went through the instructions - chose to write a new table for HFS which of course is the MAC format for data - and before i knew it - there it was - my disc - sitting on my desktop again :)

    I hope this thread is useful for anyone with a broken or damaged Mac OSx HFS partition - note i won't be back to check any updates. :p
  8. TheOriginalPol macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    Interslice, I just wanted to thank you for this. I had the exact same problem, (My HFS partition wouldn't boot because Windows made its NTFS partition active when it installed) so I tried to make it Active via the built in partition manager. It was my impression that for a simple task like making a volume active it was not OS specific, and you could do it from any partition manager. But apparently not, as from that point on even my Chameleon bootloader recognized my Mac partition as an empty NTFS.

    For technical reference: *IT APPEARED THAT WINDOWS HAD ACTUALLY REWRITTEN MY PARTITION TABLE, ASSUMING THAT MY MAC PARTITION WAS NTFS.* (I have MacDrive installed, in order to give Win7 native HFS+ support.)

    I wouldn't have known what to do at all if I hadn't have found your post. I downloaded TestDisc and stumbled through the program until I had rewritten my tables, and voila, it worked!

    Thanks again, you are a gentleman and a scholar.
  9. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I must say I'm surprised this worked given the Mac's use of GPT, many Windows based partition tools simply assume the hybrid MBR is real and can royally foul things up.

    There is a tool call GPT fdisk which works extremely well to fix this kind of stuff and understands both GPT and MBR tables and can sync them.

  10. interslice thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    Glad i could help! :)
    Thats why i'm here - when MACs:apple: go wrong!
    i tried to make it as easy to find as possible ...
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    There are two real lessons here:

    #1 - DON'T let your girlfriend mess with your computer stuff. She may be your gf, and you may be in love with her, but tell her to LEAVE YOUR STUFF ALONE. You see what has happened when she fools with it.

    #2 - DON'T hook up a Mac-formatted drive with important files on it to a Windows PC. If you want to "share" a drive between Macs and PC's, get a _separate_ drive dedicated for just that purpose. But DON'T put anything you truly value on it. You see what has happened when the wrong "button" is pressed in Windows. If you have important Mac files, keep them on a MAC-ONLY drive.

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