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I'm using Bootcamp to sideload Windows (7 Pro) on MacBook Pro. Current windows partition has not enough free space. I've created a Windows system image using Backup and Restore. I wonder if can I delete current partition and create a new partition and restore the system image on it?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It's unclear to me what utility you've used for the backup, and therefore how you'd do the restore. In principle, though, this approach will work. The big (and I mean BIG) caveat is this:


Apple's Boot Camp reconfigures the disk as a hybrid MBR, in which the normal Mac GUID Partition Table's (GPT's) protective MBR is modified to hold duplicate information on up to three GPT partitions. OS X uses the GPT partitions directly, whereas Windows reads the MBR partitions and ignores the GPT data. Thus, if you use a Windows partitioning tool, you'll modify the MBR data but not the GPT data. This mis-matched GPT and MBR partition data will almost certainly result in serious damage to one or more partitions. (Some third-party Windows tools know enough to avoid this disastrous consequence, but the standard tools delivered with Windows will trash a hybrid MBR disk.)

Instead, you should delete, resize, and create new partitions using GPT-aware tools such as Apple's Disk Utility or the GParted tool in Linux. (In fact, GParted may be able to resize your existing partitions, which may be easier than a backup-and-restore operation -- but resizing is risky enough that backing up any partition you resize is advisable.) After making these changes, you may need to re-create your hybrid MBR using a tool such as gptsync (which comes with rEFIt) or GPT fdisk (gdisk).

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