Updated to SL, got rid of linux partition, and now windows partition wont boot.

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Bud Gunna, May 5, 2010.

  1. Bud Gunna macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #1
    So after I went though all the heartache of making my intel macbook pro a triple boot system (OSX, ubuntu, XP), I find that to upgrade to SL I need to jump through a whole bunch of hoops... or ditch my linux partitions (SL needs 200MB of free space between partitions for some reason, and I did not want the pay for defrag software to resize my mac partition).

    Bye Bye Ubuntu. I got ride of the Linux swap and partition, taking the free space into my mac partition.

    I upgraded to SL and now my windows partition will not boot. When I change the startup boot in mac preferences, and restart. It says there is nothing there to boot from (...insert boot CD...).

    I had refit installed to manage the 3 partitions and I got rid of it after I got rid of linux, but the windows partition did not show up on the bootcamp boot loader (hold down option when I turn on my computer). I reinstalled refit and rebooted only to find that my linux and windows boots do not work, then both get stuck saying GRUB..... Yes, linux was still there, but that is because when I had the triple boot, I put in some code that doubled the linux icons in refit and never took the time to fix it. From refit, both the linux and windows loaded grub and boot from there.

    But now they just say Grub....

    I have repaired the partition permissions and verified and repaired everything in OSX disk utility. Still no good.

    Boot camp only lets me kill the partition entirely.

    What is the best way to clone up the PC partition incase I need to kill it and reinstall a clone, I got some software that no longer have discs and I dont want to lose.

    So, my question is. How do I regain the ability to boot my windows partition, either using refit, or bootcamp loader (preferably).

    Here is what refit partition inspector says:


    *** Report for internal hard disk ***

    Current GPT partition table:
    # Start LBA End LBA Type
    1 40 409639 EFI System (FAT)
    2 409640 421675047 Mac OS X HFS+
    3 421937192 488397127 Basic Data

    Current MBR partition table:
    # A Start LBA End LBA Type
    1 1 409639 ee EFI Protective
    2 409640 421675047 af Mac OS X HFS+
    3 * 421937192 488397127 0c FAT32 (LBA)

    MBR contents:
    Boot Code: GRUB

    Partition at LBA 40:
    Boot Code: None (Non-system disk message)
    File System: FAT32
    Listed in GPT as partition 1, type EFI System (FAT)

    Partition at LBA 409640:
    Boot Code: None
    File System: HFS Extended (HFS+)
    Listed in GPT as partition 2, type Mac OS X HFS+
    Listed in MBR as partition 2, type af Mac OS X HFS+

    Partition at LBA 421937192:
    Boot Code: Windows NTLDR
    File System: FAT32
    Listed in GPT as partition 3, type Basic Data
    Listed in MBR as partition 3, type 0c FAT32 (LBA), active


    Hopefully it is a quick fix.
     
  2. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #2
    You can create a backup with Winclone http://twocanoes.com/winclone/ if you have enough extra disk space, I'd also make a bitwise backup with dd using Terminal or Disk Utility just in case.

    Probably the easiest fix would be to make the backups, revert to one partition with Boot Camp Assistant, create a new partition with Boot Camp Assistant and restore your Winclone image to that.

    B
     
  3. Bud Gunna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #3
    I was afraid of that. I have been eyeing winclone, but it does not like that it is formated FAT32 and I have to put it on another hard drive that is formatted HFS, which I do not have enough space on any external hard drives right now (could put it on my computer HD though).

    So, say I torch the windows partition after backing it up with winclone, (disk utility says that it cannot make a image because it is too big??? maybe I am doing it wrong) what would stop the new partition from exhibiting the same lack of boot problem, and how would I get the disk image back onto the partition and be able to boot from it.

    That does sound like a pretty simple way of doing it as long as winclone works like it should.

    What exactly is the problem that is keeping it from booting in the first place?
     
  4. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #4
    Hmm. I didn't notice the FAT32 issue. Winclone may not be a good tool then.

    The boot process is a bit funky, so many things can break it. First thing of course is that XP does not support EFI, so it has to boot from a "fake" MBR partition scheme and boot record. That then looks for the active partition and loads the partition's boot record and then that loads (for XP) NTLDR and BOOT.INI take over.

    Any one of those things being FUBAR will render it unbootable. Is it your MBR emulation? Did the MBR get toasted or the partition boot record? Is NTLDR or BOOT.INI missing or damaged?

    EDIT: if you can boot the system off of your XP install disc you might be able to use the Recovery Console to run FIXBOOT and FIXMBR as described here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

    Take the warnings to heart you could lose everything on both Mac and Windows partitions so make sure you have a backup, or two.

    B
     
  5. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #5
    I would NOT run FIXMBR as it will almost assuredly damage the GUID partition table (GPT). FIXBOOT may work but definitely have a FULL backup of that drive before you run it as I don't know what the consequences will be.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Just to say it again (third time for me in this thread). Make sure you have a backup of both Windows and OS X before you go messing with partitions. I personally typically use CCC and Winclone, but if you have the disk space and want to be absolutely certain you can get back here use Disk Utility or dd to make a bitwise copy.

    I wonder if something like iPartition or Paragon Partition Manager has a GPT friendly MBR repair tool.... (or GParted for that matter)...

    B
     
  7. Bud Gunna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Location:
    California
    #7
    I tried winclone and this is what the error message in the log said:

    hdiutil: create failed - Input/output error
    return value of hdiutil create -puppetstrings -srcdevice "/dev/disk0s3" "/Users/Dita/Desktop/PC clone.winclone/Windows" 1>&2 is 256

    hdiutil create -puppetstrings -srcdevice "/dev/disk0s3" "/Users/Dita/Desktop/PC clone.winclone/Windows" 1>&2 did not complete successfully
    cleaning up: Mounting Disk
    Volume PC on /dev/disk0s3 mounted
    Wed May 12 23:28:01 PDT 2010

    So winclone probably will not work.

    As for backups, I got time machine going every once in a while, but I'm going to make a CCC clone of OSX partition.

    If Winclone will not work then how do I back the PC partition up? Then I guess I will run FIXBOOT and hope that my computer does not burst into flames.

    Or maybe I should just torch the PC partition and start new with windows 7 (64bit?).
     
  8. silencer88 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    #8
    I'm certain that you can run FIXMBR and FIXBOOT from recovery console without any OSX-side problems.

    I say this because a GUID partition table cannot be edited by these tools, as referenced here under the heading Legacy MBR (LBA 0)

    Although I'm no expert at reading the output from refit partition inspector, the main thing that stands out to me are these lines

    MBR contents:
    Boot Code: GRUB


    which seem to indicate that GRUB is still the first thing loaded on the windows side (when it really shouldn't be there anymore). So I think a new MBR should do the trick. Worst case as I see it: Windows still doesn't boot.
     

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