The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by clj7, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. clj7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    North Wales
    #1
    I just bought Windows 7 for my Macbook for 110 quid today. And I want to run it parallel on my Macbook. But every time I'm trying to create a Partition for the Windows OS, after about an hour a message comes up saying:

    'The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved.

    Back up the disk and use Disk Utility to format it as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume. Restore your information to the disk and try using Boot Camp Assistant again.'


    I have at least 38GB worth of free space left on my Hardrive, and it won't even let me make a partition of 5 to 7 GB. 20GB is the partition I'd like to create, but it seems impossible.

    I don't have a Time Machine to back everything up. I've got an 500GB external Hardrive, but I wouldn't want to risk formating the Hard Drive anyway.

    And I've read a lot that I should defrag the Hard Drive, but will that REALLY work? Cause I've got plenty of space. And I don't want to buy an expensive program to do the job if it's not going to work.

    What should I do? Thank you
     
  2. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #2
    Yes, defragging the disk will work. The problem is theres not enough continuous space to partition the drive. It doesn't matter if you have 38GB free or 300GB free. If there's not enough continuous space, it won't work. Defragging compacts all files together, so you have a large continuous space.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    If you have some particularly large files, then I'd look to see if moving them off your main hard drive could be a quick fix. Other then that, getting idefrag is probably your only other option (or any other defragging software).
     
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #4
    The best time to partition a drive is when it's completely empty, i.e. brand-new.

    Partitioning a drive is a bit like dividing up space on a bookshelf; if there are books on either end of a shelf that belong together, pushing them together before you divide the shelf makes the division cleaner, and allows you two separate areas of space.

    The disk drive is similar; it wants to keep all the data that belongs to your OS X partition together in one part of the drive, and leave a blank section at the other "end" of the drive for you to install Windows. The problem is that you have OS X data on that "end" of the drive that can't be moved, and drives don't like partitions taken "out of the middle," so to speak.

    Typically the data that can't be moved is either system data or data that is currently in use. Defragging likely won't work, because it won't move that data that can't be moved. You could consider doing a complete drive backup (NOT Time Machine), wipe the drive, re-partition, and then restore your backup onto the new OS X partition. Do this at your own risk; I'm not responsible for your data.

    Good luck!
     
  5. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    I think de Defrag will work, as I expect Disk Utiity wants one large chunk of unwritten drive space to create the FAT32 partition.

    Good luck!
     
  6. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #6
    How much disk space is used on your internal drive, and how much free space is on your external drive?

    If internalUsed is less than externalFree, then Carbon Copy Cloner should be able to backup your entire internal HD to an external disk image file residing on your external HD. Once that's done, and you've verified that all your data is correct on the external dmg, you can boot from DVD and run Disk Utility to erase your internal HD.

    You should also be able to use Disk Utility to restore from the external dmg back to the internal HD. It's the Restore tab when you select a volume in the left-hand list.

    Disk Utility itself can also create disk images from volumes. So you might be able to do this without Carbon Copy Cloner.

    All the above is provided WITH NO WARRANTY and USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you want accountability for mistakes, you'll probably have to pay someone to do it. Which is another way of saying that if you aren't sure what you're doing, and are unwilling to take responsibility for errors, then don't do it yourself.

    If you're not doing full backups, you might want to spend another 100 quid or so and buy a larger external HD.
     
  7. clj7 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Location:
    North Wales
    #7
    thank you for all the replies and support, sorry I haven't answered back to any - I don't have an internet connection in my home at the moment.

    I've tried defragmenting the HD using Drive Genius 2, but it seems that you have to run the program off another Hard Drive to deframentg a Hard Drive. the program tells me to-

    'Drive Genius is running from this volume. Please start Drive Genius from another volume if you'd like to defragment this volume'

    Would it work if I plugged an External Hard Drive in and used that as the volume?

    And the other option you've all told me I can do is to back everything up to an External Hard Drive and reformat the Hard Drive. I'm sure this will work, but I have no idea how to back everything. Do you just basically copy and paste the entire Hard Drive onto an External Hard Drive or what?

    Thank you for your time
     
  8. Cinematographer macrumors 6502a

    Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    far away
    #8
    Yes, but you have to install a system (e.g. Snow Leopard) and the programm (Drive Genius 2, which I don't know) on that external drive, choose this external in system preferences as start volume and restart.

    That works, yes. But the system will not be bootable that way. So you had to reinstall the system on the internal drive afterwards and all the programms as well. It's not a bad idea to do that from time to time. I do it once a year. Everything will feel snappier.

    The alternative is to use Carbon Copy Cloner as mentioned above. It can make bootable copies of a system partition. :)
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I've used iDefrag w/o any problems. It includes a utility to create a bootable cd that you will need to use since as you say you cannot defrag the volume you booted up on. The other alternative is to use an external drive if you have one lying around
     
  10. rev316 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004

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