Paragon HFS+ ate my boot partitions...help needed

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aidanpendragon, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. aidanpendragon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #1
    My 2011 Mac Mini recently started acting up. I posted bountiful details of the problems in this thread in the MM section, but the short story is that the Mac wouldn't recognize either my OS X or my Bootcamp partitions as bootable startup volumes. If I booted from my external backup OS X HDD, though, I could see that all the data was intact & copyable.

    I first thought disk failure, but stumbled on some isolated reports of the Paragon HFS+ and NTFS drivers causing exactly these kinds of problems. I had just installed the Paragon drivers (free with a Seagate HDD, gee thanks!) right before the Mini started acting up, so I'm strongly suspicious that's the real culprit. I think the HFS+ driver in particular messes with the Master Boot Record, or some other part of the partition needed to show the volumes as bootable.

    Does anyone have any ideas how to use Terminal or something else for an easy fix to undo these issues? Folks in this thread seemed to have had some success in similar cases, but not necessarily with Paragon. If I install the NFTS driver on my backup drive (shudder), I might be able to delete the HFS+ driver from the Bootcamp partition, but not sure that alone would fix the problem, and might screw up the backup.

    (Worst comes to worst, I can wipe & repartition the drive and restore from somewhat dated OS X and Winclone backups, but that's Plan B given the time and hassle. Not my main machine, so no worries about data loss...just a pain.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #2
    Maybe those drivers are out of date and you are better served with new updates or paid version. Also what did Paragon say? Never had trouble with retail version over years of use.

    Clone Windows before making changes or uninstall - from inside Windows, using Programs c.p.
     
  3. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #3
    The smattering of stories I've read say that Paragon denies any issue when contacted. In any case, they won't be able to help me fix the problem. I can't boot into Windows to uninstall. If I boot from my OS X backup, I can see the files on the Bootcamp partition, but not delete them.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    You should be able to boot to your Windows installer disk, and do a Windows repair. That should get your Windows going again.
    BUT, you won't fix OS X until you are able to reinstall OS X. AND the MBR partition will let you boot with an OS X system on an MBR partition, but you can't reinstall OS X on an intel Mac unless the partition is correct first. I THINK that Disk Warrior can do this, but not sure. If not, that will mean backing up your drive to an external, then erasing - you will have to erase the WHOLE drive, Set up the OS X correctly with Disk Utility, then reinstall OS X, then run Boot Camp get a windows partition, then reinstall Windows, then restore all from your backups. Windows can complicate backup issues, as you can now see.
    Winclone would be a great help for much of this.
     
  5. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #5
    So after much fooling around, I decided just to reformat the drive. But it's not letting me: I'm getting an error message in Disk Utility that my OS X internal partition can't be unmounted. Whether I boot from my external HDD and using Disk Utility off that, or boot from my OS X Recovery flash drive, either way it won't let me unmount the OS X partition and erase/reformat the drive. I welcome anyone's suggestions at this point.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Boot to an older OS X system, if you have it, so you can use Disk Utility to revert to a single partition. The El Capitan Disk Utility, for example, doesn't easily let you remove partitions, but older OS X Disk Utility will easily do that.
    Basically, that is selecting your drive (in Disk Utility while booted to ANOTHER system), then select the Partition tab, and choose "1 Partition" from the Partition Layout drop down. Be sure also to change to GUID format from the Options button.

    If you still can't repartition the drive, then consider just replacing the hard drive.
     
  7. aidanpendragon, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016

    aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #7
    Thanks for the tip. I am running Mountain Lion (the lowest that came with/boots on a 2011 Mini, I think). Sadly, "Partition failed with the error: couldn't unmount the disk."

    Is there anything that can be done in Terminal to try to force-unmount and reformat the HD? I'd prefer at all possible to avoid dropping $200+ on a new SSD plus the install/removal cost.

    UPDATE: I was able to force-unmount the OS X partition just by dragging it into the Trash (ahh, Macs!). But now when I try to partition or erase, I'm getting the "Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed" message. Guess I'll try some Terminal commands, and after that it's check the SATA cable....
     
  8. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    #8
    I wanted to belatedly close the loop and post my solution here: it turned out that it was in fact Paragon HFS+ that hosed my OS X partition. I opened up the Mini, removed the SSD, and with a SATA-to-USB adapter hooked it to my El Capitan Mac and used Disk Utility to reformat the drive. I hooked it back up to the Mini using the old/existing SATA cable and it worked like a charm...and has been working like a charm for the past 14 months.

    So, caveat emptor to all, I'd avoid the Paragon HFS+ and NTFS drivers like the plague!
     

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