For some reasons I could not install Boot Camp on my iMac. I tried to defrag, reinstalled OS X, repair hard drive but nothing seems to be working. I kept getting error "The disk cannot be partitioned because some files cannot be moved".

I have VMware Fusion but it seems to be very slow to what I want to do on my computer. So my only option is Boot Camp (unless there are other software like Boot Camp out there).

Any suggestion I should do?

  • How did you defrag it? I had a similar problem once (with shrinking a volume, but not for Boot Camp) and iDefrag did the trick. Commented Jan 30, 2011 at 2:26
  • @GordonDavisson I thought Macs don't need defragging ?
    – Simon
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 11:36
  • @Simon: OS X uses a number of techniques to reduce fragmentation and its effects (see this old KB article), but shrinking a partition requires that all files be packed together near the beginning of the volume. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 14:22
  • @GordonDavisson Thx for the info
    – Simon
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 15:48

2 Answers 2


Personally, I got around this issue by doing a complete reformat and reinstall of everything. I installed OS X first from disc, then created the Boot Camp partition, then installed Windows.

It definitely isn't the prettiest solution, but a solution nonetheless. I would advise at least waiting to see if anyone has an idea for how to move those "unmovable" files before diving head first into this.

  • I have 300 GB hard drive and have over 113 GB left
    – Jon
    Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 20:42
  • How large a Boot Camp partition are you trying to make? Disk usage isn't linear: 1/3 free space doesn't necessarily mean its contiguous, which is why the installer must move files. Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 21:15
  • Finally hit me that you already tried reinstalling OSX. In that case, I would recommend trying to completely free up your hard drive by following Griffo's suggestion. Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 21:17

Sounds like boot camp might be running into a space issue. Boot Camp might have trouble moving your VMWare files. Can you move them elsewhere (off your iMac) and retry? The issue may not be due to overall disk capacity but rather that Boot Camp is trying to use a portion of the disk which is occupied by something it doesn't want to move. As far as I know, the partition you allocate needs to be placed in contiguous space. Even running a defragmenting program doesn't guarantee you won't have fragmentation. You could try reducing the size of the partition you're allocating to Windows incrementally until you get success to see if that's the issue.


@Jon Are you running an Intel-based or PowerPC-based Mac? Boot camp won't work on PPC-based macs and just by the sounds of an error you were getting on your other question I'm thinking maybe you have a PPC Mac.

  • I'm going to delete my windows virtual image since I don't use it anymore. we'll see if it will work :)
    – Jon
    Commented Jan 29, 2011 at 21:49

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