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So I have this quite "insane" partition scheme on my MacBook:

Kevins-MacBook-Air:~ Ingwie$ diskutil list
/dev/disk0
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *500.3 GB   disk0
1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
2:                  Apple_HFS MacHD                   389.9 GB   disk0s2
3:       Microsoft Basic Data LINUX                   50.0 GB    disk0s3
4:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP                50.0 GB    disk0s4
5:       Microsoft Basic Data SCHULE                  10.0 GB    disk0s5

Currently, when I am in windows, I can not see the 5th partition - due to silly MBR's 4-Partition-Restriction. Oh well.

My idea was to "swap" LINUX and SCHULE and install the Linux into the firth partition and SCHULE into the 3rd. But as far as I have been reading, there seems to be only grub2 that can "bypass" that.

Can anybody give me any help on how I can make the 5th partition visible in windows? I am currently using the GUID partition scheme, as you can see in the first entry of the listing. Since I am using Windows 8 I also thought converting it into a entire GPT scheme...but I wasn't sure if that'd help anything.

Regards, Ingwie! ^.^

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@Karan Well, to the switch I say! I'll need gdisk as well to swap my partition scheme without re-formating my whole HD o.o; Thanks for the informations though, very useful ^.^ –  Ingwie Phoenix Jun 9 '13 at 19:48
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1 Answer

It's certainly possible to swap the contents of disk partitions, but that would require juggling a lot of data and resizing partitions. A better solution is to create a saner hybrid MBR on the disk. Apple's tools basically just take the first three partitions following the EFI System Partition (ESP; your partition #1) and "hybridize" them, replicating them in the MBR for the benefit of Windows. Instead, you can create a hybrid MBR that contains nothing but the Windows partition(s) -- I'm guessing that's #4 and #5 on your disk. The GPT fdisk (gdisk) utility can do this; see its hybrid MBR documentation, referred to earlier, for details. The version of gptsync included in recent versions of rEFInd will also do the trick for you, although it's less flexible than GPT fdisk. (The older version of gptsync included with rEFIt does more-or-less what Apple's tools do, and so isn't useful to you.)

One caveat: If you change your hybrid MBR, it's conceivable that Windows won't react well; it could conceivably stop booting until fixed, and I'm not enough of a Windows expert to help with that. You could probably correct the problem by setting the Windows partition so that it's got the same number in the MBR that it's got now -- say, by entering 5 3 4 as the partitions to be hybridized in gdisk and placing the 0xEE partition first.

(Side note: When confronted with a hybrid MBR disk, both OS X and Linux use the partitions defined in the GPT. Windows, by contrast, uses the MBR side and ignores the GPT data. This difference is what makes hybrid MBRs useful to Apple, despite the fact that hybrid MBRs violate the GPT specification and are dangerous.)

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Seems he was in a bit of a hurry and your answer came too late, since he's already borked Windows just as you predicted: superuser.com/questions/607365/… Hopefully your tip will help him fix it! –  Karan Jun 13 '13 at 23:24
    
@Karan if i cant get an answer on that other question, ill reset my MBR and then attempt the method that was mentioned here...im open for tries, i have backups and a lot of free time. –  Ingwie Phoenix Jun 14 '13 at 2:50
    
Using gdisk or gptsync will still work the same way after converting to a conventional protective MBR, so my answer still applies 100% even after making the changes described in the question to which Karan has linked. –  Rod Smith Jun 14 '13 at 16:32
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