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windows dual boot on a mac

Posted on 2009-12-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hi. I was given a mac that had a dual boot with windows on it, but the windows does not show up. Is there some sort of start up menu or something I can look for? I know mac, but not that well. Also, checked the hard drive and it shows it's half the size which means the windows partition is still there...just not accessible via boot up.
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Question by:jmahlmann
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134183
Reboot and hold the option key down. you'll see the hard drives pop up, and then you can select the Windows hard drive to bbot into.
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134188
Option is the same as alt on a PC keyboard.
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by:jmahlmann
ID: 26134207
That's the problem. It doesn't show up any more. The user said it just disappeared.
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134220
Is this a laptop or a desktop? Is the keyboard wired, or wireless? What are the bootcamp settings in system preferences?
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by:jmahlmann
ID: 26134307
laptop, where would I find bootcamp in system prefernces?
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134315
Sorry, it's probably your applications.
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by:jmahlmann
ID: 26134340
the applications??
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134351
In Applications in Finder. If all else fails go to spotlight and search for bootccamp. Are you a mac user yourself?
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by:jmahlmann
ID: 26134386
no. pc. I did that and it keeps prompting me to setup bootcamp.
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by:RGEIS2000
ID: 26134422
You're positive that windows was installed on this PC, that other partition could be anything.
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Author Comment

by:jmahlmann
ID: 26134446
Well I can't be positive of anything since an end user handed this to me and I didn't origianlly set it up and the person who did is no longer here. The only thing I can find is a backup drive. In the disk utility I ran a verifiy and it's showing me there is something wrong with the file system. It can not repair it.
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Expert Comment

by:roylong
ID: 26134532
when you run bootcamp, does it prompt you to set it up or to remove the bootcamp partition?

If you are prompted to set it up then it looks like something is screwed with your bootcamp partition.

You might try to install refit which is an alternate boot manager for macintosh - quite easy to set up and see if it finds your windows partition. Easily reversible too.
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by:jhyiesla
ID: 26135075
If you're getting prompted to install bootcamp, it's also possible that the user accidentally deleted the partition. If the Windows partition is still there, then when booting with the Option key held down, you should see a Windows and a Mac boot icon. Also, on the Mac desktop there should be a disk drive icon that is probably labeled something like "untitled" or perhaps Windows or bootcamp if the user renamed it.  If you don't see this, then the partition is gone. There may also be one labeled Macintosh HD...do NOT mess with that one as it's the Mac's partition.
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by:caity
ID: 26137951
Can you go to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility and open it and tell me what you see in the left hand column?

You should see your main hard drive and underneath it indented slightly the partitions it holds. If windows is actually installed one of those two hard drives should be formated as ntfs. You can see this at the bottom of the window once you have clicked on one of the partitions.
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Author Comment

by:jmahlmann
ID: 26140770
Yes I tried all that. Looks like they deleted it! Though it's odd that the drive is only showing that half it's hd size is avaible like the partition is still there.
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 26140799
Do you have the option in the bootcamp assistant to delete the BC partition?  If so, then do that.  Could be that it's in a corrupt state.  If not, try and create a new one and see if it drops it in the "free" space.
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by:caity
ID: 26140834
In Disk Utility if you click on the hard drive and then press the info button (second from the left on the top) what does it say about the Partition Map Scheme? And what does it say about the total capacity?
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by:caity
ID: 26140871
I think your hybrid GPT/MBR is messed up. Windows needs MBR partition scheme to boot, Mac OS needs GPT but plays nice and installs a hybrid. You can't fix this from Disk Utility when you're booted into OS.

The only tool I know of to resync it is GPTSYNC - http://packages.debian.org/sid/gptsync - but you'd have to boot into linux to run it. Maybe with you could try a live USB or Ubuntu netbook remix.

This could have happened if you were playing with the partitions from within Windows I believe.
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by:caity
ID: 26140902
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by:jmahlmann
ID: 26145487
It says it's disk partition #2. Capacity 54.9 gig though the disk space is actually double that.
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by:caity
ID: 26145542
jmahlmann could you open terminal and type the following commands and paste the output for me?

1) diskutil list

and then for each for the partitions, using the value in the IDENTIFIER column type

2) diskutil info disk0

and replace the disk0 part with each of the partitions you found in the diskutil list command. there should be three of them I think. disk0 which is your main disk and then one for mac and one for windows.

thanks!
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Author Comment

by:jmahlmann
ID: 26145620
LOL. I'm not a MAC person...this terminal is like the MS DOS window...kool. Okay...this is what I got:

0: guid partition scheme *111.8gig disk0
1: EFI 200.0Mi disk01
2: Apple_HFS MACOS 54.9gig disk02
3: Apple_HFS Time Machine Backups 56.5gig disk03

Info disk0 says it's a sata with 111.8gig drive, not bootable
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Expert Comment

by:caity
ID: 26145628
Sorry jmahlmann your windows is gone...

Mac has taken the windows partition and turned it into a time machine backup of your OS install.
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by:caity
ID: 26145644
Partition 3 would have been where windows was I'm assuming but it has been reformatted as HFS+ which means your NTFS windows partition is definitely gone and you won't be able to get it back.
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Author Comment

by:jmahlmann
ID: 26145680
Wow...how did that happen? Can you pulll anything off the time machine backup?? It's not mine...it's a clients laptop. I would like to give them some sort of explanation.

Thanks for all your help!
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caity earned 2000 total points
ID: 26145703
Probably OS detected the NTFS drive and asked at some point would you like to use this drive as a time machine backup? and if the person using it clicked "Yes" that's all it would have taken.

The time machine backup is only for the OS install. It's so you can restore your system to a point where everything was still working in case you mess things up.

I'm really sorry. You could reformat the Time Machine partition and reinstall windows to get it dual boot again but any information that was saved on the windows partition from before is long gone.
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Author Comment

by:jmahlmann
ID: 26145723
k. thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:caity
ID: 26145739
You're welcome. Wish it had turned out better and we could have saved your windows.
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