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Old 08-07-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
Alaska Jack
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Unhappy Help gratefully appreciated! Trying to set up 10.7/10.6/Windows7 triple-boot.

I am not a mac expert, and could REALLY use some help on what seems like a fairly straightforward problem:

(1) Spring 2011-model MacBook Pro (13-inch) running 10.7.

(2) Ran Bootcamp, installed Windows 7 Home Premium on partition #2.

No problems so far. When I started up with the option key, saw the expected three options (10.7, Windows, and the little restore partition that 10.7 creates). Windows ran great. Then...

(3) I wanted to create a relatively small bootable partition running 10.6, for those times when I want to run PowerPC applications. Using Disk Utility, I split off a small part of Partition #1, giving me:

1- Lion
2- Blank (I haven't yet installed Snow Leopard)
3- BOOTCAMP - Windows
(The 10.7 restore partition doesn't show up in Disk Utility)

BUT NOW -- I can't boot into Windows anymore!

* Disk Utility, the Finder and the Startup Disk preference pane all still show the Boot Camp volume, with all the files intact.

* When I boot holding down the option key, all I see are 10.7 and the restore partition.

* When I select "BOOTCAMP - Windows) in the Startup pane and restart, the computer holds for several minutes on a blank gray screen. Then I get a black screen with white DOS-like text that says "No bootable disk -- insert boot disk and press any key."

If it helps, here is the output from diskutil list

----------
/dev/disk0
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: GUID_partition_scheme *750.2 GB disk0
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Mac Daddy 553.5 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3
4: Apple_HFS Snow Leopard 939.5 MB disk0s4
5: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 96.3 GB disk0s5
------------

I would be extremely grateful for any help!

- aj
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
agentx
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Apple_HFS Snow Leopard 939.5 MB disk0s4
Partition too small to install Snow anyway, i think you will need at least 20GB for Snow.

You really needed to create the Bootcamp partition once you had done everything else ie. Install Lion, Snow then do bootcamp from Lion to install Windows. It is likely the partition map has changed and windows does not like that. Not sure how to correct without a wipe.
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
agentx
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There maybe some windows DOS "magic" to be done but not sure what !

But Bootcamp has a limitation of 4 partitions so there lies the issue.

But a post here may help to get it right
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1157807
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:23 AM   #4
Gilles9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agentx
Apple_HFS Snow Leopard 939.5 MB disk0s4
Partition too small to install Snow anyway, i think you will need at least 20GB for Snow.

You really needed to create the Bootcamp partition once you had done everything else ie. Install Lion, Snow then do bootcamp from Lion to install Windows. It is likely the partition map has changed and windows does not like that. Not sure how to correct without a wipe.

And how do you deal with this message :
"The startup disk must be formatted as a single Mac OS Extended (Journaled) volume or already partitioned by Boot Camp Assistant for installing Windows."

when my hardisk has 3 partition (Lion, Snow, edrive, and Bootcamp)
I get this message !!!

thanks
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
agentx
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Your disk has 5 partitions !
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Mac Daddy 553.5 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3
4: Apple_HFS Snow Leopard 939.5 MB disk0s4
5: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 96.3 GB disk0s5

So that is why it is not working and not sure how you will get a triple boot due to limitation of Bootcamp.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:29 AM   #6
agentx
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It maybe that Bootcamp needs to be on 4th partition and Snow on 5th....that may work.
I have only really dealt with dual boot systems and have setup a few users with Lion / Windows and all was working fine as there were 4 partitions only.

ie.
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Lion 500 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s3
4: Microsoft Basic Data WIN7 249.2 GB disk0s4
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
fracai
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I ditched my triple boot system when I made a clean install of Lion. Prior to that I had something like:

1: EFI
2: Apple_HFS - Snow Leopard
3: ext3 - Ubuntu
4: NTFS - Windows 7

You may be able to get hands on and manually partition the drive to keep Windows within the first 4 and put one of the Apple partitions (maybe even the recovery partition) in the 5th slot. Or, just leave out the recovery partition.

What's irritating is that the 64bit version of Windows 7 can boot from GPT which, from what I understand, would remove the 4 partition limit.

You might even consider using virtualization (VirtualBox is free) to replace the Windows install. Do you really need to boot directly?
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
agentx
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Yep i agree @francai I tend to use Visualisation for most of my "Other OS" needs nowadays but those Windows gamers/3Ders have to boot into Windows still to get the performance required.
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #9
Alaska Jack
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Hi everyone, OP here.

As I successively tried other things, I made the problem worse and worse. I never hosed the main partition though, so eventually I threw in the towel, re-partitioned, and reinstalled Windows via Boot Camp.

Maybe in a month or two more knowledgeable minds than I will figure out a relatively user-friendly way to triple boot 10.7/10.6/Windows7. Until then I'll just boot 10.6 off an external drive when I need to.

Thanks!

- aj
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:27 PM   #10
ganbustein
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The problem is that the BootCamp partition cannot end up as partition number 4. If it's already partition number 3, the Lion installer can't create its Recovery HD partition without moving BootCamp into the forbidden slot 4.

I don't use BootCamp, and have no trouble creating any number of APPLE_HFS partitions and installing Lion on any of them that I wish.

There is an Apple suggestion that you can get around the problem by moving BootCamp from slot 3 to slot 4 by creating a new empty partition in front of it (by resizing the partition in slot 2), then running the Lion Installer, which will push BootCamp into slot 5 where it works again. (Apparently, in that case Windows can't find it using MBR, falls back to GPT, and finds it anyway. It's only slot 4 that doesn't work.)

I have no desire to install BootCamp, so I can't verify that it works in slot 5, or that I correctly understand the rationale behind Apple's suggested remedy of resizing the partition right below BootCamp.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:02 AM   #11
christulane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbustein
The problem is that the BootCamp partition cannot end up as partition number 4. If it's already partition number 3, the Lion installer can't create its Recovery HD partition without moving BootCamp into the forbidden slot 4.

I don't use BootCamp, and have no trouble creating any number of APPLE_HFS partitions and installing Lion on any of them that I wish.

There is an Apple suggestion that you can get around the problem by moving BootCamp from slot 3 to slot 4 by creating a new empty partition in front of it (by resizing the partition in slot 2), then running the Lion Installer, which will push BootCamp into slot 5 where it works again. (Apparently, in that case Windows can't find it using MBR, falls back to GPT, and finds it anyway. It's only slot 4 that doesn't work.)

I have no desire to install BootCamp, so I can't verify that it works in slot 5, or that I correctly understand the rationale behind Apple's suggested remedy of resizing the partition right below BootCamp.

How do you do this?
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #12
Sumleilmus
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triple boot installation Lion-Snow-Win7 what problem?

I am not clear what some people mean by position 4.

I have, in my 2010 13 inch Macbook Pro, a drive with four partitions.

1. EFI disk1s1 (EFI)
2. Lion disk1s2 (Apple HFS+)
3. Snow Leopard disk1s3 (Apple HFS+)
4. Windows 7 Boot Camp disk1s4 (Microsoft Basic Data)

It got that way because I:

Installed Snow Leopard to partition 2 (which looks like 1 in DiskUtility). Then, I ran Boot Camp, and installed Windows 7 (32 bit) in partition 3 (which then looked like 2 in DiskUtility). Then I made a small (20GB) extra partition between Snow Leopard and Windows 7, that was partition 3 (Apple HFS+) (which then looked like 2 in DiskUtility, with Windows 7 now looking like 3 but actually being 4.) I installed Snow Leopard _again_ in the new partition.

At this point, I could boot into any of the three non-EFI partitions.

Then, I exhaustively updated Windows 7 for both Windows updates and Apple updates.

Then, I upgraded the first instance of Snow Leopard to Lion. As detailed in the post in another forum, cited above, the fact that there was _another_ Snow Leopard partition in line, discouraged the Lion Installer from installing a recovery partition.

At this point, when I booted into Lion, System Preferences>Startup Disk could not see the Windows 7 volume, _but_ I could boot into it via holding down the option key at startup.

From Lion, I ran Boot Camp Utility, and saved the Windows software updates to an external FAT32 volume (I used an SD card, but a USB stick would have been fine).

I booted into Win 7 and ran the updater from the external volume. Now, System Preferences>Startup Disk sees the Win 7 partition.

Now I have a triple boot hard drive, that will boot my MBP into Lion, Snow Leopard, or Windows 7.

I did not use any other software than Mac OS X Lion and Mac OS X Snow Leopard installers, and a (valid) Windows 7 installer. I did not erase any partition or drive to do this.

But, I have a fully functional Windows 7 Boot Camp partition in "position 4," counting in the way diskutil and agentx count.

It's really important, I think, to know _how_ partitions are being counted. I'm counting EFI, the first partition on probably any GPT disk, as partition one. That's why I listed the disk1s1 and other partition identifiers from
Code:
 diskutil list disk1
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Last edited by Sumleilmus; 11-07-2011 at 09:46 PM. Reason: clarify, addend
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:30 AM   #13
akjim
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Triple Boot Late 2011 MacBook Pro / 10.7 Lion/ 10.6.8 Snow Leopard/ Windows 7

On December 11, 2011 I posted the method I used to make this happen to the apple discussion forums. You may find it helpful:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/16969485#16969485
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