7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2008 1:02 PM by Scopsi
Chris Thielen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
I have had problems getting boot camp to partition my drive, reporting that
"The disk cannot be partitioned because some files can't be moved." Solutions offered involve either backing up your entire drive and restoring it (SuperDuper), or defragging with commercial software (iDefrag).

This solution does not require a spare external drive, nor commercial software.

1) Using Disk Utility, shrink your main drive by the desired windows partition size. Click the Physical Drive, select the Partition tab, and resize the main partition by dragging the corner of the graphical partition representation. Click apply. This operation may take a long time, because it moves all the files at the end of the drive to other places on the drive.

Even though you now have free space at the end of the drive, Boot Camp Assistant will not use it (it wants to resize your main partition).

2) Now use Disk Utility to expand the main drive to fill the entire disk. This effectively reverses the change you made in step 1, but no files are using the space at the end of the drive anymore. Click Apply. This should go faster than step 1. Close Disk Utility.

3) Using Boot Camp Assistant, create the Windows partition. Choose a partition size no larger than the amount you shrunk your main partition in step 1. Your Windows partition will finally be created.

Works for me. If it works for you, please spread the word.

Macbook Pro 2.5ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • nerowolfe Level 6 Level 6 (13,070 points)
    Chris Thielen wrote:
    I have had problems getting boot camp to partition my drive, reporting that
    "The disk cannot be partitioned because some files can't be moved." Solutions offered involve either backing up your entire drive and restoring it (SuperDuper), or defragging with commercial software (iDefrag).

    This solution does not require a spare external drive, nor commercial software.

    1) Using Disk Utility, shrink your main drive by the desired windows partition size. Click the Physical Drive, select the Partition tab, and resize the main partition by dragging the corner of the graphical partition representation. Click apply. This operation may take a long time, because it moves all the files at the end of the drive to other places on the drive.

    Even though you now have free space at the end of the drive, Boot Camp Assistant will not use it (it wants to resize your main partition).

    2) Now use Disk Utility to expand the main drive to fill the entire disk. This effectively reverses the change you made in step 1, but no files are using the space at the end of the drive anymore. Click Apply. This should go faster than step 1. Close Disk Utility.

    3) Using Boot Camp Assistant, create the Windows partition. Choose a partition size no larger than the amount you shrunk your main partition in step 1. Your Windows partition will finally be created.

    Works for me. If it works for you, please spread the word.

    That's an excellent idea; but even though Leopard DU does claim that you can do what you did without losing anything, stuff happens, and I would never do what you did without a full backup. If you are running TM, that's enough. But repartitioning a drive without a backup is dangerous.
  • Chris Thielen Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    {quote:title=nerowolfe wrote:}
    That's an excellent idea; but even though Leopard DU does claim that you can do what you did without losing anything, stuff happens, and I would never do what you did without a full backup. If you are running TM, that's enough. But repartitioning a drive without a backup is dangerous.
    {quote}
    I trust Disk Utility to resize the primary partition safely exactly as far as I trust Boot Camp Assistant to resize the primary partition safely. Personally I don't see any difference in amount of risk between the two procedures.

    That said, I agree with you that a backup should be the FIRST step before doing any Boot Camp install, regardless of the partition resize procedure.
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,850 points)
    A lot of problems can be traced to systems upgraded from Leopard.

    A restore will always mean you have a backup, and maximize free unfragmented space, and minimize risk.

    I trust Disk Utility more than BC Assistant, but I also don't trust Disk Utility 100% to repair or find errors either.
  • Aa-ron Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    it wont work for me, it keeps saying not enough space or something along those lines.. been trying for ages and it just wont partition to how i want it.
  • Ollie.g Level 1 Level 1 (115 points)
    Okay - i'm also wanting to use bootcamp, it can't partition the drive. so i use option using Disk Utility and partition the space i need and erase the space again, then to use bootcamp.
    But now i'm getting another error message.
    Partition Failed with the error: No space left on device.

    Any ideas anyone?
  • early worm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi,
    I also got this error. I was able to fix it by following the instructions given here:
    http://installingcats.com/2007/11/22/no-space-left-on-device-error/

    It basically tells you to remove all files >1Gb, including the memory image used for hibernation. Be careful with this - read the article for details.

    After that, Disk Utility was able to do the partitioning as instructed in the original post. I then ran BootCamp assistant and it worked fine. In fact I'm not sure if the Disk Utility step was needed at all, now that the problematic files were out of the way.
  • Scopsi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I originally had an issue where apparently my disk wasnt "journaled" so I usdd disk utility from the Mac OS X install disk, and then it started partitioning. Then i had the error message appear that it couldn't move files. I will backup and then try the steps suggested above. Thank you, and I will post my results when I am finished