My setup: I have a MacBook Pro 5,5 with a Mac OS X Snow Leopard partition and a Linux partition. I use rEFIt to boot into Linux. I didn't use Boot Camp when I originally installed Linux; instead, I manually created the partition (with either Disk Utility in OS X or Gparted on a Linux live CD--I don't recall which one) and then installed Linux on it from a live CD.
The problem: My OS X partition is corrupt, and I need to reinstall Snow Leopard. Since I installed rEFIt from within OS X, I'm concerned that wiping the OS X partition will prevent me from booting into my Linux partition. How can I do this without losing access to my Linux partition? Is it possible to install Snow Leopard on the partition I reserved for it, or will it automatically overwrite the entire drive? And if I do the fresh OS X install and then install rEFIt again, will it automatically recognize my Linux partition?
Thanks for any tips!
Specs: MacBook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009); Snow Leopard 10.6.7/64-bit Sabayon Linux, 2.6.36 kernel
EDIT/UPDATE: Thanks, but the situation has taken a more complicated turn:
I tried to reinstall Snow Leopard from the DVD, but it refused to install onto my Mac partition, claiming: "The disk cannot be used to start up your computer." Disk Utility wouldn't let me resize the partition or create a new one, and it doesn't see my Linux partition. It only displays the two partitions "Macintosh HD" and Linux Swap.
I can, however, see all the partitions from Linux. This is the partition table as shown in Gparted:
And the output of "fdisk -l" is:
WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted. Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x00000000 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 1 409639 204819+ ee GPT /dev/sda2 409640 349590464 174590412+ af HFS / HFS+ /dev/sda3 483122745 488392064 2634660 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sda4 * 349590465 483122744 66766140 83 Linux Partition table entries are not in disk order
I wonder if this is because I originally partitioned my disk with Gparted instead of OS X's Disk Utility (at this point, I don't recall whether I used Gparted or Disk Utility). In any case, it doesn't seem safe to do any reformatting with Disk Utility now, as I'm afraid it will wipe sda2 ("Macintosh HD") as well as sda4 (my Linux partition).
So... I'm hoping to find a solution that doesn't involve wiping my entire hard disk. Would it be safe/possible to use Gparted to erase sda2 ("Macintosh HD") and then use the Snow Leopard DVD to install OS X onto [I]just[/I] sda2 without touching the other partitions?
Thanks for any insight!