Troubleshooting hard drive partition issues?!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by djrobsd, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    I attempted to install Boot Camp and it messed up my partition table to the point where there are no bootable volumes on my imac except the superdrive. I think I made a mistake when I installed boot camp, I had an external hard drive plugged in at the time, and didn't think to unplug it, but I never selected that drive anywhere, I just read on another forum that sometimes having an external drive plugged in can confuse Boot Camp and Windows XP when you're installing it. I partitioned my internal hard drive using the Boot Camp Assistant and clicked on the default "use 32 gig windows partition option" It appeared to successfully repartition and then reboot to XP Pro install, but that's when everything went south. XP installed, but when it rebooted, it just booted back on the XP disc and tried to go back through install all over again.

    When I boot from the Leopard install DVD, it says "there are no available volumes to install Leopard to".

    When I open up Disk Utility, it shows my hard drive, but the volumes are not showing. It won't let me create any partitions or do anything with the disk, so I'm assuming the partitions are still there, perhaps the partition table is corrupted.

    Unfortunately, the disk first aid does not do anything, all options are greyed out in Disk First Aid, so I can't repair it with that. What other steps can I take to try and fix this issue?

    Are there some good 3rd party tools out there that can try to fix or rebuild a corrupted partition table? I really need help guys, please!! I can't even use my Mac, I'm writing this from my GOD AWFUL PC!!!! :(
  2. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  3. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't find anything in their marketing materials or on their web site that says this tool helps with partition issues. My issue is not with directories or files, but rather the partition table is corrupt or missing.
  4. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    If you have backed up with time machine recently, just erase the entire disk and re-install leopard. Then use the migration assistant and then after you have everything up and running again try to use bootcamp again, make sure you format everything correctly. I would recommend printing out the guide that they tell you to print out in boot camp assistant. Its like 20 pages but it really helps with troubleshooting and provides more detail on the process.
  5. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    No time machine (yet)

    Time Machine was one of the 5000 things on my to-do list to setup for my new Mac. Now I realize it is probably the first thing I should have done, especially given that 1TB external drives are in the $100 dollar range now. Lesson learned there.

    Nevertheless, there has to be some tools out there for recovering a partition, I just need to find one that works.
  6. djrobsd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    The end result - lost my partition, was able to recover files. I had to download Ultimate Boot CD, and then on that CD there was a utility called PhotoRec which reads the raw hard drive and recovers the files. The best part is that Ultimate Boot CD is FREE as is PhotoRec.

    However, it does recover your files as:

    recxxxxxxxxx.jpg, .mp3, etc... And sometimes you have to copy one chunk into the other, so it's not the ultimate solution, but it does work... and get your precious pictures and other data back!

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