I decided to "give a hand" to Boot Camp and partition my drive, setting aside a FAT32 partition for installing windows (through Boot Camp) in the future.

Can one do this or does Boot Camp Assistant need to be handed a single-partition drive and do the partition itself?


From the Boot Camp FAQ:

Boot Camp Assistant works only with an Intel-based Mac that has a single hard disk partition

Boot Camp won't work with your multiple partitions, unless the partitioning was done by Boot Camp itself.

You'll probably need to undo the partition to use Boot Camp, or use one of the many ways discussed online for installing Windows without the usual Boot Camp installation steps.

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    I see. Thanks. But it's possible to wipe a (still empty) FAT32 partition and let Boot Camp Assistant take over; is it not? (I mean wipe FAT32 without having to reinstall OSX) – Calaf Mar 20 '12 at 5:37
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    Yes, you can resize your partition using Disk Utility without having to wipe the disk clean. Note that you'll need to use Disk Utility from your OS X setup disk, after booting from it. – Hippo Mar 20 '12 at 6:04
  • Sounds good. One last clarification: I also want to be able to run Linux through VirtualBox and, intuitively, I like the idea of putting the VirtualBox .vdi file (itself the entire linux filesystem) on its own partition. But Boot Camp Assistant will not let me create a third partition beside Windows and OSX; is that right? – Calaf Mar 20 '12 at 15:32
  • I don't see any advantage to putting the .vdi file on a partition of its own. You're right about Boot Camp not supporting a third partition (without workarounds, that is). – Hippo Mar 20 '12 at 16:00
  • Potential Advantage 1: The vdi file is binary and large (20GB). If it ends up accidentally on Time Machine (if I ever omit to exclude it), the penalty on the back-up disk will be hefty, since every tiny change will cost the 20GB. Potential Advantage 2: If the vdi file shares the OSX partition, then with time it will reduce the chance that files will remain contiguous. But I hope you will shoot these two PAs down! – Calaf Mar 20 '12 at 16:15

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