I upgraded to Lion and decided I no longer want 100 GB of my drive devoted to Boot Camp, I never boot into Windows, I just use it as a VM anyways. So I deleted the boot camp partition using disk utility and then attempted to expand the main partition to fill this now unallocated space. I also deleted the boot camp from inside VMWare Fusion. When I go to expand it, I get the error in the title of this question.

After searching this forum and Google, I found a lot of people with similar problems but none receiving this exact error with any resolution. I do not want to do a clean install if at all possible. I have enabled debug mode in Disk Utility and tried other stuff, but to no avail.

I've tried editing it in normal and in debug mode while running Lion, and I've tried in recovery mode.

Here are screenshots of the error and whatnot. Any ideas?

Error message received

diskutil list output

UPDATE: I verified my disk and got these errors. Attempting to repair but worried that my Snow Leopard disk will overwrite the Lion recovery partition....

Drive errors


4 Answers 4


OK, this isn't too bad. Reboot while holding Command ⌘-S to enter single user mode. When it gives you a prompt, type

fsck -fy

then press return. it will repair your disk. When it's done, type


and try partitioning again.

  • 1
    Does this cause any files to be deleted or any data to be lost?
    – user20352
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 2:47
  • 1
    No, it's the equivalent of clicking the Repair Disk button in Disk Utility. Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 9:48
  • This worked on Mavericks for me! Commented Nov 6, 2013 at 9:14
  • 2
    Just out of curiosity... What makes this work while repair disk (even from the recovery partition) couldn't.
    – mjrider
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 19:49
  • This worked for me for an external drive, so it's not that files were in use by the OS, as it could be for the main drive.
    – djjeck
    Commented Oct 7, 2014 at 19:55

The solution ended up being to create a Lion install disk, boot from the disk, run disk utility repair on the drive and volume, then resize the partition. Easier than I thought it would be.

  • 1
    I know this is a bit old, but this worked for me as well. I had to make the partition smaller, then resize it larger again for it to work. And yes it was easier than I thought it would be, too. After I found this post.
    – user22232
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 19:25

This solution worked for me after receiving the same error:

  • Shut down.
  • Start up holding down Command ⌘ + S. (This will boot you into Single User Mode.)
  • At the prompt, type in the command fsck -fy.
  • When that finishes, type reboot.
  • Try resizing again in Disk Utility.

I had this issue and couldn't resolve it this way because I had a 4gb swap drive (ubuntu linux) that needed to be turned off before disk utility could remove it.


  • boot to to Ubuntu Live CD (I used an EFI boot via usb)
  • open gparted via terminal $ sudo gparted
  • look for a partition with a key symbol on it's same line
  • right click the key symbol and select "swap off"
  • reboot back to mac then follow steps above


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