It's been a very long time since I booted natively into Boot Camp (I've been using virtual machines for a while), but I'd like to do it again to play Windows-exclusive games. When I tried, though, I got a message about the partition not being bootable.
So, I thought I would just reinstall Windows, since I now have Windows 8 and there's nothing important on my Windows 7 partition. So I fired up the Boot Camp assistant and told it to merge my Windows partition into my Mac OS partition again, and it failed. It told me, descriptively, that "[my] disk cannot be restored to a single partition". The Windows partition is gone, but my Mac OS partition is not bigger than it was before.
I tried again from the Disk Utility, and I got a message that told me, instead, that this is because of a filesystem error.
So I went and looked at a lower-level what's going on and found out that either Lion or Mountain Lion took a 650 MB chunk at the end of my Mac OS partition to put the recovery partition, which is now sandwiched between the Mac OS partition and the (now defunct) Windows partition:
$ sudo gpt -r show disk0 start size index contents 0 1 PMBR 1 1 Pri GPT header 2 32 Pri GPT table 34 6 40 409600 1 GPT part - C12A7328-F81F-11D2-BA4B-00A0C93EC93B 409640 720414896 2 GPT part - 48465300-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC 720824536 1269544 3 GPT part - 426F6F74-0000-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC 722094080 254679055 976773135 32 Sec GPT table 976773167 1 Sec GPT header
Partition index 1 is the 200 MB EFI partition; index 2 is my Mac OS partition; index 3 is the recovery partition; and that free block is the place where my Windows partition was before the Boot Camp assistant thrashed it away.
Obviously, with a new partition in the way, the system can't reintegrate the free space into my Mac OS volume.
I don't really care about the partition layout since I planned giving Windows 8 the exact same size. However, I'm concerned that I won't be able to install Windows again with this current setup.
How can I install Windows 8 on my Mac, without breaking my Mac OS install, under these circumstances?
Here are some things I have been thinking about:
gptto create a partition in the free space, then
newfsto create something Windows can install on, but this does not modify the MBR in a Boot Camp-compatible way;
- Move the recovery partition to the far end of the disk (right before the secondary GPT table) and then use Disk Utility to merge the contiguous free space into my Mac OS partition, and then use the Boot Camp assistant normally, but I have no idea how to move partitions;
- Back up everything, bulldoze everything on the disk, freshly reinstall Mac OS, freshly install Windows, restore backups on Mac OS, but that's gonna take forever, and I can't do it until I get a big enough drive (I'm temporarily not doing any back ups, unfortunately).