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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Format and retain boot camp?


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oli271

 
Member Since: Mar 03, 2010
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Hi,

There's something wrong with my Mac's hard drive, it takes a long time to boot up, though it does eventually work. Anyway, I'm scared it's going to die soon so I'm planning to format and reinstall OS X (Snow Leopard). I have a lot of files that I'd like to keep, so I was wondering if it would be possible to transfer the files I want to keep to my boot camp partition (where I have windows 7 installed). Then reformat the mac drive and reinstall. Is this possible or will the format wipe both partitions?

I hope that makes sense...

Thanks!
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sau124

 
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It will not wipe the other partition... when you boot with snow leopard install discs, the disc utility will show you both the partitions (actually 3 if you count the DVD drive) and if you select the right partition you should be OK as it will only format the partition you have selected and install the OS on that partition.

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chscag

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oli271 View Post
Hi,

There's something wrong with my Mac's hard drive, it takes a long time to boot up, though it does eventually work. Anyway, I'm scared it's going to die soon so I'm planning to format and reinstall OS X (Snow Leopard). I have a lot of files that I'd like to keep, so I was wondering if it would be possible to transfer the files I want to keep to my boot camp partition (where I have windows 7 installed). Then reformat the mac drive and reinstall. Is this possible or will the format wipe both partitions?

I hope that makes sense... Thanks!
If there's something wrong with your hard drive, it doesn't make sense to wipe and format it. Run the Apple Hardware Test on the machine before doing anything else, or at least boot from your SL DVD and use Disk Utility to do a FSCK on the drive.

Wiping and formatting is only going to lead to other problems and is not going to solve the immediate one.

Regards.
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EndlessMac

 
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Chscag is right. If your hard drive is indeed dying reformatting isn't going to help it. Generally reformatting will help solve software issues and not hardware issues like hard drive failure.

Backup your hard drive as soon as possible if you have not done so. A long boot up time doesn't necessarily mean that your hard drive is failing. Are other things running slow on your computer and do you get the rainbow spinning wheel a lot more than usual? Run the hardware tests as suggested and financially prepare for a hard drive replacement just in case.
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lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oli271 View Post
Hi,

There's something wrong with my Mac's hard drive, it takes a long time to boot up, though it does eventually work. Anyway, I'm scared it's going to die soon so I'm planning to format and reinstall OS X (Snow Leopard). I have a lot of files that I'd like to keep, so I was wondering if it would be possible to transfer the files I want to keep to my boot camp partition (where I have windows 7 installed). Then reformat the mac drive and reinstall. Is this possible or will the format wipe both partitions?

I hope that makes sense...

Thanks!
As the others said… if the hard drive itself is faulty, reformatting it won't make a lick of difference. Definitely back up your data, then plan on doing a hardware test as suggested.

If the disk checks out, then you may need to simply defrag it. The latest version of iDefrag is the only one I know of that can do this without a special boot disk to access the drive. An old Powerbook I had was taking over 15 minutes to boot up until I ran iDefrag on it and restored my boot times to saner levels. But definitely check out the drive first.
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Chilbear

 
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If the OP is seeing a poor performance in SL, are you seeing a similar poor performance in W7? Since they are on the same HD, the poor performance should be seen from both sides.

If W7 is running fine, I would reapply the SL 10.6.3 combo after what was suggest above with the Hardware test. Certainly running Disk Utility from the SL install disk is a worthwhile exercise also.

Does anyone know whether Time Machine will back up the W7 partition or does it not "see" that partition?
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chscag

 
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Does anyone know whether Time Machine will back up the W7 partition or does it not "see" that partition?
It can "see" the partition (NTFS) but will not back it up. It will only backup a partition formatted to HFS Journaled.

To backup a Win 7 partition (Boot Camp) use the built in backup program provided in Win 7. Unlike the older Windows backup programs, this one really works. It also creates an image of the Win 7 partition which can be restored - in addition to a file by file backup. (You will need an external drive formatted to NTFS in order to use the Win 7 backup program.)

Regards.
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