Messed up Lion partitions while in windows 7

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by OneLastTIme, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. OneLastTIme macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    I've done a quite stupid thing this evening.
    Recently I intalled Windows 7 using Boot Camp assistant on my 24' iMac. Everything was great until I had the idea that I need to shrink/partition my C:/ drive.
    I opened the disk management tool in windows 7, shrinked C:/ but then when I was trying to create the new partition from the newly created unallocated space I had an error (unfortunately I can't remember what it was saying). I clicked cancel button, but the when I went back to the disk management tools, the partitions G:/ and H:/ were converted to "Simple volume", the type was "Dynamic" and the file system was "Raw". Before, these were the partitions where my Lion and Lion recovery were ...
    Obviously, when restarting, I didn't get the option to boot into Lion not into the recovery partition, the only choice I get is Windows ...

    Does someone know if it would be possible to restore Lion ?
    If yes, is it possible to do so without losing Windows ?
    Thanks ...
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Maybe take a look at GParted Live CD, as it can help restoring partition tables.
    If the documentation is not enough or too much, there will be dozens of guides on how to use it available via www search.
  3. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    Yes it is possible to restore Lion.
    Yes it is possible to do so without losing Windows.

    It's unlikely to be possible with any GUI based utility. I don't know of one that will look at the MBR and the GPT, knowing what you did, and determine which one, or portions of both, are correct or not. Even a person may not be able to to do it. But there's a fair chance it's possible.

    By the way, I hope you have backups. If you don't, there's almost no amount of excessive self-flagellation as punishment for this. It's way worse than the things you've listed to get into this mess in the first place.

    Question: Do you have a 2nd computer with firewire and a FW800 cable to connect both computers together?
  4. OneLastTIme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    simsaladimbamba, I had a look at it but the problem is that I do not understand exactly what I did to try to fix the issue ... (did I mess up the partition table of the HD, did I empty the partitions ? ..)

    murphychris, yes I do have backups but I don't have a second computer.
    Just me and my Windows 7 on my iMac.
    I can get a hold of another PC though if it's the only way to do it (need to ask someone to lend it to me ... ).
  5. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    I'll be more specific. It needs to be another Mac, or it's easier to have you download a Linux LiveCD, burn a disc, and boot from that. You'll need optical media for this: CD, DVD, or RW media is fine.
  6. OneLastTIme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    Would you mind being a little more detailed ?
    Your answer left me scratching the back of my head :)

  7. murphychris, Apr 22, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

    murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    It's a materials list, not a how to list. The how to list is involved either way and I want to know, first, which set of materials you have available.

    Option 1: An 2nd Mac, and a Firewire 800 cable. The idea is to connect one Mac to the other, with your Mac in Firewire target disk mode. There are utilities on the other Mac that can be used to figure out the state your computer's drive is in.

    Option 2: Blank optical media, to burn a Linux Live CD which will have the tools on it to figure out the state your computer's drive is in.

    Option 3: Vastly easier, but more tedious and lengthy: Boot off a Lion DVD, use Disk Utility to repartition the disk with 1 partition only. Reinstall Lion. Restore your data from backups. i.e. start from scratch both Lion and Windows; and then either:

    Option 3a: Run Boot Camp Assistant to resize the Mac HD, and reinstall Windows and restore data from backups; OR

    Option 3b: Don't use Boot Camp Assistant, instead use Virtual Box or Parallels. Dual booting is kindof a PITA and messy. Games is pretty much the only good reason I can think of why someone needs to use Boot Camp.
  8. OneLastTIme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2012
    Thanks, much clearer now.

    For option 1 I do not have the cable right now but I can go and buy one tomorrow.
    Option 3 seems quite clear and simple but as you imagine I would rather try everything else before going with this one.

    I will try option 2. Don't really know what LiveCD is but I'll go read some user guides and manuals, I hope it will help.

    Thanks again :)
  9. murphychris macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2012
    None of this is automatic. You're unlikely to find any guides for something like this. It's a deep, dark rabbit hole.

    I suggest this LiveCD ISO because I've tested it already and it has tools on it that might come in handy if it's even possible to avoid Option 3.

    Fedora 17 Beta LiveCD x86_64

    Wireless will not work, but if you connect with an ethernet cable, you'll have internet access while booted from this LiveCD, which will come in handy because you'll have some copy-paste work to do between the Terminal and Firefox.

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