2 Replies Latest reply: Apr 4, 2010 12:48 AM by Chan Danny
John Kauble Level 1 (10 points)
Hello All,

I scoured the post here and in the Snow Leopard forum and gathered a lot of good info regarding partitions and Boot Camp.

I am planning to divide a 500GB drive on a MacBook Pro into 5 partitions, one of which I plan to install Windows 7 Professional (32-bit). The 5 partitions I want/need are:

10.6.3 #1
10.6.3 #2 (for testing and experimenting or maybe my old 10.5.8 setup)
Windows 7

I understand that Boot Camp Assistant will only allow me to setup a Boot Camp partition on a drive that has NOT been previously partitioned. Therefore I plan to use Disk Utility and iPartition....

I have come up with two possible methods to achieve my goal and wanted to see if any of you have any input as to whether of not I am setting myself for a big bag of hurt or not...

Method One:

Use Disk Utility to divide the drive into 3 partitions:

120GB for 10.6.3

325GB that I will partition later into 3 drives

55GB Windows 7 (MS-DOS (FAT))

(This will make the Windows 7 partition 4, which will satisfy the limitation of Windows only seeing 4 partitions.)

Install Windows and then use iPartition to resize and divide the 325GB partition into the 3 that I need/want. (Being careful that nothing I do in iPartition moves or changes the Windows 7 partition.)

Method 2:

Use Disk Utility to divide the drive into 5 partitions:

120GB -- 10.6.3

120GB -- 10.5.8 (or whatever)

55GB -- Windows 7 (MS-DOS (FAT))

100GB -- Media

RemainingGB -- Archive

This will still make the Windows 7 partition #4 or lower.

I have tried both way and have not had any problem installing Windows 7 but wanted to see if anyone had an strong feelings against this approach.

Any thoughts or suggestions??



MacBook Pro 2.6Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • stkmks Level 1 (0 points)
    Hey, from having spent some time trying to partition many partitions on macbooks, here are some thoughts:

    - Not sure if the boot camp assistant will let you go that interesting...
    - Were you thinking about using refit to select partitions on boot? I can vouch that it works well, but keep in mind that the MBR that it creates can only support 4 partitions as you noticed.. in practice i've only been able to create 2 dos/ntfs partitions that you can use to boot windows off.

    My drive setup is as follows:
    - 1 420gb partition for osx and data (since bootcamp 3 has read support for the apple file system, i keep my media etc on this partition to keep apple app's happy and use read access from windows).
    - 1 40gb partition for windows.
    - 1 40gb partition for windows data (so you can reinstall windows if you need to and keep your games/standalone apps somewhere without having to reinstall).

    How i go about this is:
    1. Boot into your mac with the osx install/restore dvd.
    2. Run diskutils.
    3. Create your partition structure as needed. (i'm not sure if you can preserve your osx partition when creating new fat partitions, i think resizing works ok, but i always delete the partition structure and start fresh).

    Its important under this step to create your dos partitions here and format them as fat32. I found it a real hassle/impossible to tell your osx about dos partitions later if you create them in a different way later. Without too much effort, osx doesn't seem to like logical dos partitions.

    4. Reinstall osx if you want/need.
    5. Boot into osx and install refit.
    6. Reboot with the windows cd in, and from refit, run your windows installer.

    Also important, while you install windows, chose one of the dos partitions, and format it to ntfs, but dont add/delete partitions from windows installer. In my experience, as soon as you let the windows built in partition tool touch the partition table on a mac, you've lost your mac partition. No refit, no mac selection, straight to windows. ie, start again. If you simply format a fat32 drive created via disk util.. all is fine.

    After all is done, when you boot back into osx, your windows partitions will be available (though read only if ntfs). Your osx partitions should also be available in windows.

    I've tried using a partition tool in windows with some success (easus partition manager i think) but when i added new partitions via this, i couldn't/gave up getting those partitions visible in osx..

    Getting windows and osx partitions to play nicely in both operating systems is a quite fun and long adventure if you want more than 2 partitions As mentioned earlier, how i run is my bulk storage is on the osx partition, keeps apple apps happy and read access via windows works better than the other way around.

    Another handy trick is you can backup your windows partition with a mac utility called winclone. If you've gotten into the habit of keeping images of clean, activated windows installs for a quick restore its great. I've tested myself on a windows 7 install and it works well (save that the boot entry somehow shows up as windows vista business on restore, i had to get in with bcdedit to fix it).
  • Chan Danny Level 1 (0 points)
    i am not sure if my post is related to here as it is more related to security issue !
    last night i successfully installed windows 7 via bootcamp 3.0 and upgraded to 3.1, after that i've found inside my windows 7 i can see my mac partition (i mean any users) or even went to \user\library\mail folder to see anyone's mail contents ...
    it is means if i install windows 7 + os x in company multi-users environment, anyone can see others' folder that is raise up security issue ... or i option key when power up, install windows 7 on mac machine, then i can see what people installed information on the machine, e.g. i take my macbook to outside repair, they can install windows 7 and get what inside my mac partition ?
    how can i remove hfs+ reader from bootcamp installed on windows 7 ?