I would like to setup my Macbook Air's disk drive with 3 partitions - 50Gb for OSX Lion, 50Gb for Windows 7, and the remaining 150Gb for Data to share between both OSes (music, photos etc).
What's the correct way to do this?
Ok, this is written for a 500GB HDD. 4 partitions max, just like every other (bootable) hard-drive.
I tried this on 2 MacBook Pros and it works perfectly on both.
This tutorial also assumes you have OS X Lion installed.
What I want to achieve is to have OS X Lion & Windows 7 installed, with a shared space too.
Start off by resizing Mac OS X Partition so it's at least 1GB smaller than the full disk.
To do this; go into Utilities and then into Disk Utility. Select your HDD and go to the Partition tab.
1GB is not actually needed, but it's just to be on the safe side, it'll get resized later. There needs to be 'Blank' unallocated space available.
What you originally have (factory settings):
disk0s4 needs to be deleted. Go into Utilities, and load up Terminal. Type the following:
Then go into Disk Utility and delete the 'Blank' Partition. You should only have your OS X Partition and blank space.
Then check your partitions with the command 'diskutil list', you should now have:
This part was referenced from: http://osxdaily.com/2011/06/30/deleting-the-mac-os-x-10-7-lion-recovery-hd-partition/
Stretch OSX to the full available space using Disk Utility.
Load up Bootcamp Wizard, make Windows Partition 120GB whilst OSX has the remaining 380GB.
Bootcamp should be happy to start the install, but load up Disk Utility first
NOTE: On Lion 10.7.2, Bootcamp has changed a little. You need to insert the Windows 7 disk and then proceed with the installation before the Bootcamp partition will be created. When your computer restarts you need to hold down the option (alt) key and boot back into Lion, then follow the steps below:
Select the OSX Partition, and '+' another partition.
Reduce OSX to 120GB and make the new (middle) partition MS-DOS FAT, call it SHARED. That's what I'm using for now. Whilst FAT doesn't allow for any single files over 4096MB; it's also writable natively with both OS's.
It should be 260GB. Now you have:
According to Disk Utility, but... In reality what we have is:
Insert Windows 7 disk (if you haven't already) and then start the install sequence.
You'll notice that there's a 128MB unallocated space. Tragically you'll have to leave that unallocated.
Format the BOOTCAMP partition (only) and proceed to install Windows.
Don't mess about with deleting and merging partitions, otherwise the partition tables will be damaged.
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Here is my recipe for a
Successful setup of OS X Lion + Bootcamp Windows 7 Ult + Data Partition
Ok, so after many, many hours I think I've finally figured out how to successfully install Mac OS X Lion with Windows 7 on a Bootcamp partition AND an 3rd data partition. Here is a screenshot of my setup on my 13" MacBook Pro as it looks at the end of the process:
As you can see, I have my internal 500GB hard drive partitioned the following way:
To make this work, I started with the standard procedure of installing OS X Lion on a single Mac OS Extended journaled (HFSJ) partition. Next I used Bootcamp Assistant to build the Bootcamp partition for Windows.
Then I did two key things:
Any change to the partition tables after Windows is installed breaks the Bootcamp partition.
I went thru 3 broken installs of Bootcamp/Win7 to figure this out.
I will rebuild my system for a 5th time to fully document the process with screenshots, but this time with 5 partitions: OS X Lion startup, Workspace, custom 20GB OS X Lion recovery partition, 30GB FAT32 shared Mac/Win data partition, and a Bootcamp partition with Windows 7 Ultimate.
Until then, here is a quick step by step of what I did:
OK, hope this works for you!! Good Luck!! ;-)
(as suggested by bmike, I've moved my failed attempts into a separate answer)
Attempt 1: Using Boot Camp assistant, resize OSX partition to 50Gb, Bootcamp to 200Gb, install windows. In Windows, Shrink C:, attempt to add new partition but got scared by a Windows warning message about having to convert the disk to a dynamic disk and becoming unbootable to other OSes. Aborted.
Attempt 2: Delete Bootcamp partition, starting all over again. Using Boot Camp assistant, resize OSX partition to 200Gb, Bootcamp to 50Gb, install windows. Then in OSX, use Disk Utility to shrink OSX partition to 50Gb and create a new 150Gb shared partition (exFat). Result: Windows Bootcamp partition is still visible but I can't boot it up (ie it's missing from the OS boot menu).
Attempt 3: Same as Attempt 2 but using Fat instead of exFat. No difference.
Attempt 4: During step 1, Boot Camp formats my USB stick so that I can boot off it and install Windows. So in my Mac, I fiddled with my partitions until they are how I want them:
I can see and use the DATA partition on the Mac. So then I booted off my USB stick and installed Windows to the Bootcamp partition. So far so good. But when I boot into Windows, the Data partition is not visible. If I go into Disk Management, the space is marked "Unallocated". If I try to create a partition, I get a warning saying that Windows will convert the disk into a dynamic disk, so I'm too scared to proceed and wipe out Mac OS.
Windows is showing a few more partitions than the Mac does. The first 200Mb is the "GPT Protective Partition", and I think the 620Mb one is the Lion recovery partition.
Perhaps the only way to do this is to delete the Lion Recovery partition. If I convert the disk to a dynamic disk will OSX be able to boot it? Why does Windows think my shared partition is unallocated but OSX sees it as a FAT partition and can write to it?
I followed Thomas Jespersen's instructions below and started again, this time deleting the Lion Recovery partition during Windows startup, and I also followed the instructions here to prevent the creating of a 100Mb windows recovery partition. http://www.mydigitallife.info/hack-to-remove-100-mb-system-reserved-partition-when-installing-windows-7/ So now in Windows Disk Manager everything is looking fine. 4 partitions all the sizes I want them.
200 Mb GPT partition
150Gb Shared partition
But alas over in OSX I can't see my shared Windows partition. In OSX Disk Utility the partition is greyed out and if I click Verify Disk I get "Invalid BS_impBoot in boot bloc". The only option that Disk Utility gives me is to Repair Disk. I get the feeling that if I click Repair Disk it will restore the Mac Recovery partition and undo everything.
Update: I tried clicking Repair Disk and sure enough it wiped out my Windows partitions. I give up. I'm going to allocate 200Gb to Windows and store my media there.
Attempt 6: Followed HuzZz's instructions and it worked. Yay!
I managed to get everything works like the way I want:
The key of my success is moving my Boot Camp partition to the first position, as shown in this image:
When I say moving, there's no such a tool or way to move partition. I have to recreate all partitions without having to actually clean the HD and remove factory-setting Lion. As I use MBP retina, and reading from several references that Lion installer on the Mac App Store is not compatible with MBP retina, I don't want to lose it.
The steps are:
And that's it. Then I install Windows 7 on the first partition using USB key (since MBP Retina doesn't have DVD drive). After Windows installation finish, install Boot Camp drivers, and Windows recognizes the two shared partitions above.
Since all steps are done in MBP retina with flash storage, and it's super fast, all steps only take about one hour. But I do need some time to think about the solutions.
We do have choice!
Hope it helps.
Easy. Don't be afraid of the long answer.
Use BoottCamp to create a 50GB Lion and a 200GB Windows partition. Because Mac has a 200MB utility partition you will see the following when installing Windows:
200 MB Mac Utility
50Gb Lion MAC OSX
600 MB (Wierd partition created by bootcamp)
200 GB Windows BootCamp partition
These are all primary partitions, and because you can only have 4 primary partitions you may think you are stocked.
But ... When installing Windows, just delete partition 3 and 4 and create a new 50GB partition for Windows an leave 150GB free space.
After Windows is installed create a D drive with the 150 GB free space.
PS: Because you already did it wrong, you can try and use the Schrink partition in Windows to 50 GB but you still need to delete the weird 600 MB partition... Otherwise Windows will convert the disk to a dynamic disk (to get over the 4 primary partition limitation)... And then you can't start OSX. When you delete the weird partition you may get problems startin Windows because it changed position... U can use bcdedti.exe in a repair prompt. I guess this is not a problem on Windows 7 (not sure). This will give you 600 MB waste... but you save a reinstall.
PPS: 50GB is NOT enough for Windows and Visual Studio. When you update Windows old files are not deleted, and system restore grows and grows. Give it at least 60-80GB... you will thank me later. Starting with Win7SP1 disk wil help a bit.
I recommend creating a ExFat partition which can be read and written on by both, Win and Mac
Regarding your criticism: just as Mac OS is limited to reading on the recently common Windows file systems, this problem also exists in the other direction. Win can only read from Mac OS Extended. So blame either of the players or none
Have you tried setting up your partitions first? That would be my suggestion.
Use the OS X install disk to partition your disk how you like. You can access disk Utility from an installer screen by selecting it from the Utilities menu. Then install OS X, then use boot camp to install Windows on the other partition.
As you've seen, resizing partitions once there's an OS installed can be tricky for a variety of reasons. To avoid this, just don't install anything until you've got your partitions correct.
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If memory serves me, the bootloader doesn't not allow for multiple partitions. Using rEFIt should allow you to do get around this restriction.