Boot Camp files cannot be moved. Oh noes!

Yesterday I decided that I would like to install Windows 7 via bootcamp onto my Unibody macbook. I have bootcamp start to partition off 40GB for Windows, but it gets stuck for a few minutes and then I see this

Boot camp partition error
Boot camp partition error

What??? This is a not too uncommon problem actually. It’s caused by large files or file fragments residing at the edges of the OS X hard drive, which unfortunately is where a Windows partition needs continuous, empty space to set up.

OS X suggests you back up your data and wipe your drive (which would move all those pesky, large files to a better location), but obviously this will wipe your computer. Many online forum posters say the fix is to run an iPartition bootCD/DVD (non-free software), but this doesn’t work on newer macs, such as my unibody macbook… of course.  I also read that removing Parallels and disabling internet & screen sharing can fix this issue, but I tried that and it didn’t work for me.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be another way if you are in my situation and can’t use (or don’t want to pay for) iPartition, other than time machine.

Here is what worked for me: I busted out my external hard drive, had time  machine copy everything (which is EASY EASY EASY by the way), then booted from the OS X install DVD and selected Utilities > Restore from backup. It sounds a little scary, but I can’t emphasize enough how easy it is. Time Machine is practically idiot-proof. Once it was done restoring about two hours later, my newly restored macbook was just like it was before, only faster and without the ridiculous levels of file fragmentation. And boot camp manager could now property format a partition. Yay!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s