Triple booting MacBook Pro Help, can't access certain partition.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Alaxch, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Alaxch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #1
    Hello everyone,

    So I followed this guide on how to triple boot a Macbook Pro:
    http://lifehacker.com/5531037/how-t...-with-windows-and-linux-no-boot-camp-required

    I have a 15 inch mid 2010 Macbook Pro (the first generation i5 processors). Before I came across that guide, I have had already used Bootcamp to create a Windows 7 partition. Then I installed reFIT and used that guide to install Fedora 19. Now my proccesses didn't go exactly as the guide went, I ended up with some "unallocated/free space" after partition through Mac's Disk Utility, and used that to install Fedora 19(Fedora installation for some reason would not recognize the partition I had specifically made for the install)

    I can still access my Mac partition, and I am accessing my Fedora partition, but I cannot get into my Windows 7 partition now. Everytime I hold Option, and boot into reFIT, I get this screen (see attached image):

    I can still select Windows 7 partition if I go all the way to the right off the screen, at the bottom it will say that Windows 7 is selected. Once I select Windows, I get the "No Bootable Device -- insert boot disk and press any key" error message.

    I went back into my Mac partition, went under Disk Utility and my NTFS partition I used for Windows is still there.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Alaxch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
  3. Quackers, Nov 11, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013

    Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #3
    In my view that guide is potentially disastrous.

    It is likely that your Mac came with an EFI partition, a Mac OSX partition and a recovery partition. So, 3 partitions on the hard drive.

    As soon as you create a Bootcamp partition (or a partition with a MS-DOS partition type, in Disk Utility) a hybrid mbr is created. This hybrid mbr is a different partitioning scheme than GPT, which is what your Mac originally came with. That's ok, because the 2 schemes can sort of run side by side.

    The problem arises (once you have 4 partitions) when you either re-size an existing partition, or create a fifth partition.
    This is because the mbr partitioning scheme can only handle 4 primary partitions.
    So, even though you may have 5 or more actual partitions (which is fine for the GPT side of things), only 4 of those can be addressed/recorded by the mbr side of things. Any other partitions will not appear in the mbr and as such will be considered free space by any non-GPT-aware partitioning tools (i.e. Windows, for instance).

    This is potentially a big problem.

    It may be that your Windows partition has been dropped as one of the 4 that the mbr can handle and is therefore no longer bootable.

    My suggestion would be to backup everything you can, by whatever means, and wipe the disc and start again with fresh installs, bearing the above information in mind.

    Alternatively there are several posts on here by member murphychris on this type of subject. There are ways of getting back into Windows (often) so it may be worth searching for some of his posts if you're desperate to get back into Windows.
     
  4. Alaxch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #4

    Now that you bring it up, I have heard of the 4 partition "limit" on a hard drive, at the time of installing Linux I had completely forgotten about that.

    I think that is what I'll end up doing soon (wiping the disc), but thank you for pointing me in the right direction, I will look more into murphychris' posts.
     
  5. d4m1r macrumors regular

    d4m1r

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    If I remember correctly, the problem is you can also have 3 primary (bootable) NTFS partions....But if you want to triple boot OS X, Windows, and linux you will get a problem because that is actually 4 (OS X is 2 because of its recovery partition).

    I have been running what you want perfectly for months using refit.
     
  6. Alaxch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    #6
    Did you previously install Windows 7 through bootcamp? How have you been able to access all three partitions with no problem?
     
  7. Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    Maybe d4m1r used EFI installations for all OSes. That way GPT is left alone and you can have as many partitions as you want.
    The problems arise when Boot Camp is used (or disk utility) to create a FAT partition. This is when the hybrid mbr is created.
     
  8. usuario macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Central VA
    #8
    How do you install Windows in EFI mode?
     
  9. Quackers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #9
    64 bit later versions of Windows can be installed in EFI mode but it is somewhat hardware specific as to how successful the installation will be.
    When you boot the Windows USB/DVD on an EFI system with a GUID partition table you will get the EFI boot option. though I'm not sure if that option is available if the Windows USB/DVD is created by Boot Camp utility.
     

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