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I get the error:

cannot complete the partitioning because some files cannot be moved.
  • I have more than enough space (250GB harddrive, 150GB free)
  • I have tried doing a full defrag with iDefrag
  • I don't want to reformat my drive
  • I have tried partitioning in safe mode
  • I have repaired all Disk Permissions using Disk Utility

Any suggestions?


  • I am installing Windows 7 64-bit
  • I am trying to create a 32GB partition
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I face this problem quite frequently while installing Bootcamp on clients' computers, and we finally figured out the solution.

This error occurs when there are damaged files on the partition, preventing it from being able to resize. Boot off of your OS X installation disk, and repair the hard drive. This will fix any bad sectors, allowing you to successfully resize the partition and install boot camp. Note that this is different from repairing permissions, which you say you've already done.

Boot off of your OS X disk. On the "Install Mac OS X" screen, click on the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen, and choose disk utility.

OS X repair disk

Select your Machintosh HD, then click on "Repair Disk". The disk verification utility will run and correct any errors it finds.

OS X repair disk

When it is complete, quit the Disk Utility, then quit the Mac OS X installer. Reboot to the startup disk, then try the bootcamp installation again. It should now successfully repartition your hard drive.

quit installer

If this doesn't work, try booting into single-user mode and using fsck. Press Command+s as the machine starts up. This will boot into single-user mode, which is just a command prompt logged in as root. Use fsck to repair the hard drive. This is essentially what the disk utility does, but sometimes works when the disk repair does not. Use the command fsck -fy to repair the disk.

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I'm assuming you tried iDefrag by booting into it, not running it inside OS X. If the latter, it's really not very different than Boot Camp in what it can do to solve your problem — try booting into it and performing the defrag that way.

Also, what size Windows partition are you trying to make, relative to your (150GB) free space?

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Correct, I ran iDefrag by booting into it. I am trying to create a 50GB Windows 7 partition. – Sheehan Alam Nov 15 '10 at 17:22
I am trying to create a 32GB Windows partition. – Sheehan Alam Nov 15 '10 at 17:25

I had the exact same problem a few days ago. Reinstalling (no format) OSX did the trick for me. Takes about an hour on my 13" but after that I was able to install windows 7 on bootcamp.

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if you reinstall OSX, do you lose any data/settings? Will you have to reconfigure your apps, keychains etc? – Sheehan Alam Nov 15 '10 at 20:40
No, everything stays the same you dont have to reconfigure anything. Atleast I didnt have to. Was the first time I reinstalled OSX though. – xeet Nov 16 '10 at 14:35

Ok, Try the "small surgery":)

Make a note of the size of the partition you were trying to create and the name of the respective HDD. Next, perform a backup of said HDD, in case anything goes wrong. After the backup is complete, insert the Mac OS X installation disc and boot from it by holding down the "C" button during the boot sequence. When the welcome message appears, open "Disk Utility" from the menu bar, then select the appropriate HDD in the sidebar. Select the "Partition" tab, then click the "+" button to create another partition, or alternatively, select the number of partitions (one more than the current number) from the "Volume Scheme" drop-down menu. Now, select the new partition and specify a size that's around 5 GB more than the size of the partition you were originally trying to create. Complete the process by clicking "Apply". Once complete, delete the newly-created partition and resize your original partition back to its original size, then click "Apply". Reboot your computer back into Mac OS X, then try creating the partition via Boot Camp again.

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