Partitioning a Mac drive for Bootcamp

Hello Experts,

I'm losing my mind and I hope you can help.

I've just bought a MacBook Pro and I'm struggling to set it up how I want.

I want an 80GB OSX Partition, a 50GB Windows/Bootcamp Partition, and the rest as a data partition.

So I shrunk the OSX Partition to 130GB leaving the rest as free space, then installed Windows. However it seemed to expand the Bootcamp partition to use the remaining 420GB. No good.

So then I made the OSX partition 130GB, created a data partition, but then Bootcamp refused to even install.

Finally I made one big OSX partition and installed Bootcamp/Windows onto a 50GB partition using the install tool. All great, then I used Disk Utility to shrink the OSX partition and create the data partition (not touching the Bootcamp installer). This also screwed everything up and Windows no longer boots.

I'm at a loss how to achieve something seemingly simple without using third party (i.e. costing money) tools to try and achieve this.

I hoped perhaps someone had some ideas? I'm not against using Terminal as I'm fairly familiar with Linux commands etc but didn't want to get that down and dirty without asking some opinions first.

Many thanks.
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BrainPickerAsked:
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Eoin OSullivanConsultantCommented:
You were nearly there with your FIRST attempt ... but you've discovered a well known flaw in Bootcamp

Basically Bootcamp is an excellent tool but a one-trick-pony and built by apple to do one thing .. install Windows on a secondary partition on the Hard Drive and modify the boot sequence. .. If you have more than 2 partitions Bootcamp does not work as it assumes that Windows is on the second partition and as soon as there are 3 partitions the Windows partition's slot in the boot sequence is altered and it no longer works.  This is actually because OSX uses a partition for the boot management (EFI) and a recovery partition (stores an OSX backup installer) which means that OSX and Windows uses up 4 partitions on a standard mac.
Open terminal and run
 diskutil list

Open in new window

to see your list of partitions

The trick is to start the BootCamp process .. create the 50Gb Windows Bootcamp partition .. but you then cancel the BootCamp install process (BEFORE the Windows installation begins) you re-open Disk Utility and shrink back the OSX partition leaving a shared partition between OSX at the start and Windows at the end of the HD.

There are very detailed instructions on this site the first response is the most straightforward - http://tinyurl.com/opaz49g
also on the Apple Site - https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3293948
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BrainPickerAuthor Commented:
Thank you, this makes a lot of sense and the links provided are making some excellent reading.
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