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I re-installed Mac OS and erased the recovery partition so Bootcamp would have a punt at installing Windows.

Still not managed to re-install Windows, and when I boot with -Alt- held down it still shows Windows as a disk. Why is it still there?

  • Did you remove the Windows partition? – At0mic Oct 4 '15 at 22:14
  • Yes, erased it and extended Mac OS to fill up the whole drive. Can still boot to Windows though, although its an error message. ;) – Ian Warburton Oct 5 '15 at 13:21
  • Normally, I would ask for more information such as the model Mac, OS X version and Windows version. I am going out on a limb and guess a newer Mac and Windows which means you did a EFI install. If so, then this answer will probably help. – David Anderson Oct 7 '15 at 21:22
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First of all the Recovery partition has nothing to do with BootCamp. BootCamp installs a small Windows boot partition that then points to the (separate) Windows partition where the rest of the installation is, if I recall correctly.

When you hold down the Option key at boot (it's only called "ALT" on Windows) the Mac only sees the small boot partition not the second one with the Windows installation on it.

I would be willing to bet that if you selected to boot from Windows from the boot menu you would get an error about *no bootable disk found" or some such.

In the case of BootCamp it is best to not do anything outside the BootCamp installer environment unless you have a bit of experience with it and know just how the partition map is set up. Apple likes to insulate users from the innards of the OS so you rarely see the whole story.

Just like you won't know how to remodel an 1890s Victorian by watching This Old House, watching what the BootCamp application seems to do won't tell you the whole story.

  • My recovery partition (which I'd previously moved) stopped me from making the whole drive for Mac OS which stopped Bootcamp doing anything. When I tried to boot Windows I got the same Windows 'can't boot error' that's resulted in me reinstalling the whole darn machine. (Its still there!) Anyhow, I've given up and am purchasing Parallels. But it would still be nice to get rid of the options to boot to Windows – Ian Warburton Oct 5 '15 at 13:20
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    @IanWarburton it might be your NVRAM. – At0mic Oct 5 '15 at 13:42
  • FWIW, the Option key has been labelled "Alt" on Mac keyboards for quite a few years now, so it's not unreasonable for people to call it that. – calum_b Jul 28 '18 at 0:00

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