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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 04, 2013
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    HELP! Problem after Bootcamp attempt
    Hi All.

    Encountered a problem after trying to install Windows XP using Bootcamp.

    I have a 2009 Macbook white unibody model, running 10.6.8.

    Just tried to install XP using boot camp and had a problem.
    Partitioned the disk with 20GB allocated to Windows, slipped in the XP CD and went through the first part of the Install where you select the partition and then Windows copies all the files.
    At the end of this stage Windows wants to restart then continue the Install.
    Upon restarting it went back to selecting partition etc at which point I thought there may be a problem so I quit the install, removed the XP CD and rebooted.
    Now when I reboot all I see is a grey flashing folder with a question mark, centre screen. I've tried holding the option key when starting but still get the same thing.

    I have an external disk housing so I've removed the hard disk and installed it into the housing hoping I could connect it to my other Mac as an external drive.
    My other Mac sees the disk and it shows in finder but all i can see is a windows folder and its contents, no files or folders I had on my Mac.
    In finder its showing capacity as 137.44GB, available as 136.95GB and used as 492.6MB.
    The Disk is a 750GB one so the numbers don't make sense.
    If i use disk utility its showing as a 750GB with 136,95GB available and 492.6MB as used.
    The disk is showing as an NTFS partition.
    These figures make me think all my data is still there but im not sure how I can access them?

    Now the questions I have are:
    Does anyone have any Idea what may have caused this problem?
    Is there anyway i can boot past the flashing folder and back into OSX?
    Failing all other options how can I get my files and folders back from the disk?

    Any help with this would be much appreciated.

    Thanks and regards,

    AC

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I HOPE you did not accidentally install Windows XP to the OSX partition! Also in Windows did you Format the Partition that Bootcamp made? If not it will not boot.

    As far as getting to OSX if it is there, try booting holding down the OPTION Key right after the Startup sound and keep it down till the boot menu comes up. Do you see your OSX partition as a choice? If so select it and it will take you back to OSX. If all you see is a partition named Windows, I have a feeling you overwrote the wrong partition! Let us know.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    May 04, 2013
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    Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for your quick reply.
    Im pretty sure I didn't install in the OSX partition but you never know. I remember allocating 20GB to windows in bootcamp. On the Windows install menu there was only one partition to choose from so selected that one.

    Tried the option key on startup but no option. Man I hope i didn't overwrite it! That would really suck.

    If I've over written the partition wouldn't I still be able to see the files on the disk when connected as an external drive?
    Im just trying Stellar Phoenix Mac data recovery software and seeing if any files show up.

    Do you know of any other options?

    Thanks,

    Alan

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACHK View Post
    Hi Dennis,



    Tried the option key on startup but no option. Man I hope i didn't overwrite it! That would really suck.

    If I've over written the partition wouldn't I still be able to see the files on the disk when connected as an external drive?
    Im just trying Stellar Phoenix Mac data recovery software and seeing if any files show up.

    Do you know of any other options?

    Thanks,

    Alan
    If you've formatted the OS X partition, and it sounds like you have, those files won't show up when the drive is connected to another Mac. Even if the files are still there the directory structure no longer shows where the files are on the drive. For all practical purposes the files don't exist as far as an OS is concerned.It's a bit like looking fort your car in a parking garage with thousands of other cars and all identifying landmarks have been removed from the lot.

    I have used DiskWarrior and Data Rescue in the past to recover deleted files but it's something of a crap shoot. If the directory structure simply needs to be repaired you may have a shot and Disk Warrior is probably best, Recovering a lost file or two is sometimes possible but the difficulty increases exponentially when the entire OS must be recovered

    If the OS X partition has been replaced by the Windows partition then it's probably a lost cause.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  5. #5


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    Hey Sly,
    Thanks for the reply.

    I've pretty much come to terms that I've lost everything on the disk now. Have been running Data Rescue and so far it hasn't picked up anything. You live and learn :-)

    Will look to re install OSX again tomorrow. Was just thinking if its worth installing using the disk that came with my Mac or buy the latest OSX version to install.

    Thanks again,

    Alan

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Someone who spends more time with XP than I do can probably answer that better than I can. If I am not mistaken trying to create the Bootcamp Lion or Mountain Lion may not necessarily play nice with XP since it is looking for Win 7 drivers.

    Lion or Mountain Lion should be fine assuming you have sufficient memory. I am running ML on and 08 MacBook Pro and it runs well.

    Here's what I think I would do:
    1. Re-install Snow Leopard and update to 10.6.8. If you have some older Power PC only software to run don't update past this point.
    2. Re-create the Boot Camp partition using the assistant.
    3. I think it would then be safe to Update to Lion or ML since the drivers for XP are present. Someone else may be able to clarify that for you.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    Here's what I think I would do:
    +1 Follow member Slydude's advice on this one. And, next time be careful about which partition you're formatting for Windows. The Windows installer should clearly identify the partition you created for it as "Boot Camp". If it doesn't, then something went wrong and you should not proceed.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks chscag,
    @OP Should've mentioned something in those directions. If you have some free space lying around make a backup of your OS X install before beginning the Bootcamp process. That way if something goes wrong you can reload from the backup rather than having to re-download those updates. My personal preference would be a bootable backup but you could also use a Time Machine backup and restore from it using the Snow Leopard DVD.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    To add to what has been said, after you make the Bootcamp partition and you go into the Windows installer, if you see only ONE partition listed, something is wrong. Both the OSX and the Bootcamp partition should be showing. When you saw just one listed, that should have been a warning that something is wrong.

    Every time I have installed Windows on a Mac using Bootcamp, the partition that Bootcamp made was called Bootcamp.

  10. #10

    Slydude's Avatar
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    @OP Just in case you thought about creating the partition manually, don't. Let the Assistant create the partition. Trying to use other methods will certainly be frustrating and may lead to other problems.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  11. #11

    chscag's Avatar
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    Again, good advice. The reason you can't use something like Disk Utility to create the partition is because it does not create the Windows boot sector which is needed. Remember, Macs do not use a BIOS but rather EFI whereas Windows operates assuming a BIOS is present.

  12. #12

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Thanks for explaining that. I could not for the life of me remember what the difference was between using Disk Utility or others and using the Boot Camp utility.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  13. #13


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    Appreciate all the help and advice guys.

    Thankfully there is a happy ending :-)

    As I mentioned before I Installed Stellar Phoenix and had it scan my drive. It found files but nothing was recognizable, had all weird file names and folders etc.
    Anyway while it was still scanning I downloaded and started Data Rescue 3 as suggested by Sly.
    By the time Stellar Phoenix had finished, DR3 was about a third of the way through scanning my disk. By this time it was probably 1am my time, and as mentioned I had given up hope of getting back my data so I just stopped DR3 at this point and left it.
    What i didn't know was then when i stopped DR3 scanning and went to bed, it then started organizing the files it had found. Woke up this morning, and happy days!. It was showing all my files in all the correct locations etc.
    I can't recommend Data Rescue 3 enough. Cheers Sly for suggesting it.

    And once again thanks to all that replied.

    Take it easy

    Alan

  14. #14

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Glad that worked out. I wasn't expecting you to be able to recover enough to be useful.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

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