OSX No Longers Sees My NTFS Windows Formated Boot Drive

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by daveporter, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    Hello all,

    I posted this problem in the Windows on Mac forum and did not get much response. Therefore, I thought I would give this forum a try. If I have broken any rules by posting the same message to more then one forum please let me know and I will be more careful in choosing which forum to post to in the future. Thanks!

    I have three hard disk drives installed in my Mac Pro. One is formated for Mac use and holds OSX. I used Boot Camp to designate the second driver totally for use in Windows. I had the WindowsXP Pro install disk formate this drive for NTFS during the Windows install. I had OSX format the third drive for FAT32 so that I could have all my work files stored on this disk and then have both OSX and WindowsXP utilize the files since both operating systems can see a FAT32 formated drive.

    When I first installed WindowsXP I did not have the third drive; just the disk formated for OSX and NTFS. After the Windows install everything was fine; OSX saw the NTFS disk and recognised it as such. Then, after I added the third drive today and had OSX formate it for FAT32, OSX no longer recognises the NTFS disk and reports that the drive is unregonizable each time OSX restarts and askes if I want to initialize it, ignore it or erase it. I hit ignore and OSX boots and the drive no longer mounts.

    If I go to System Preferences and select the Startup Disk applet it no longer sees the Windows startup item; only the OSX and Network startup items are listed now.

    At this point, when I reboot and hold down the Option Key, both OSX and Windows still show and I can start either OS without any problem.

    I believe that I may have caused the Mac to no longer recognise the NTFS formated Windows drive. I used PerfectDisk to defragment and optimize the placement of the files on the NTFS drive (as I always do on regular PC machines and servers after a new install) just before the Mac first reported that it no longer recognised the NTFS driver for the first time.

    Does anyone know if Boot Camp places some type of file on the Windows drive that it uses to recognise NTFS and Fat32 formated drives? If so, does anyone know if this file must stay where it was originally placed by OSX for it to see the drive?

    I have not defragemented the new third Fat32 drive since I am concerned that it may cause OSX to loose the ability to see it. If the Fat32 and NTFS drives can not be defragmented on a Mac without a loosing the ability to see them this is going to be a problem on a workstation where many files are deleted and added and moved each day because the drives will have to be defragmented at some point or performance will suffer greatly.

    Does anyone know what might be going on here? Any insight into what is happening and possible resolutions would be greatly appreciated!


  2. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    Hmm... I've also had some problems with my Mac Pro recognizing multiple partitions across multiple drives.

    I've also found that bootcamp can be a little finicky. It creates a 200mb EFI partition on the target drive, even if you plan on using the whole drive for Windows only. Sometimes when using bootcamp, even after installing windows on a fresh drive, it would not boot up, failing to see it.

    The way I've gotten around this is to install each drive individually so when I'm installing windows, I just have one drive attached, etc. This way, each drive bay is its own entity, without having anything from OS X across the drives.

    I'm not familiar with Perfectdisk so I can't say whether or not it was the cause of the drive going offline in OS X, but I can say that I've defragged my Windows drive using the disk defragmenter with Windows XP with no problems.

    As for the FAT32 share drive, you probably already know that it can not be larger than 32gb, or there will be problems. I made a 32gb partition on my scratch drive as a transfer point (named it Blaine after that hellish train in Stephen King's dark tower stories, but I digress :p) in OS X. So far both OSes can view the drive ok.

    I'm not telling you to re-install everything, as I know how painful that can be (I've had little to no sleep these past few days trying to set up my MAc Pro drives), but if you do, you might want to try installing each OS seperately on a clean drive. For Windows, boot off the CD and erase all partitions on the target HDD so there's no bootcamp meddling. AFAIK, the bootcamp partition is mostly meant to control data where drives contain both Windows and OS X, but I could be wrong. I've gone without that partition on my drive devoted totally to Windows and so far have been ok.

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