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chaunce322 10-29-2007 09:49 PM

Please help! I think I killed my iMac!
So after installing Leopard, I decided to set up a Windows partition to do some gaming. I went into Bootcamp, established the partition, and proceeded to install Windows XP. After going through some of the Windows installation menus, it reformatted the partition to NTFS, which took about 45 minutes. I then went ahead with the install. After some copying of files and what not, the system rebooted, and returned to the same screen, which showed the partition was still not formatted. Growing tired of all this, I decided to give up for the night, ejected the Windows disk using the keyboard, and restarted the computer.

After the computer rebooted, it attempted to return to the Windows install, but without the disk, I just got this gray screen with a picture of a blinking file with a question mark. I inserted the Leopard installation disk, which the system recognized. I was then brought to the Leopard main screen of selecting a language, and then choosing to install Leopard again. I figured I had overwritten something along the way, so was just going to reinstall Leopard. However, when it came time to choose which disk to install it on, the only thing that was listed was my external drive. No hard disk in my system was displayed.

I tried a second and third restart, hoping the disk would show, but nothing came up. I also followed the instructions of restarting and holding down C to access the disk utility, but nothing happened.

Does anyone have any idea what I can do? I'm thinking I will need to reformat the hard drive, but being new to Macs, I am unsure how to do that at this point.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Please help me save my Mac! :'(


dtravis7 10-29-2007 09:56 PM

I hope I am wrong on what I am going to say, but I wonder if somehow Windows FDisked and Formatted the WHOLE drive zapping the OSX partition? That can happen if you select the wrong option in XP/Vista.

If that did happen and you are sure, which is sounds like to me, Boot with the Leopard DVD and when it gets to the installer go to the Tools Drop Down and choose Disk Utility. Make a new partition and then reinstall Leopard.

Again, I hope I am wrong.

Levi 10-29-2007 10:14 PM

It certainly sounds like you've formatted the whole disk as NTFS rather than just the bootcamp partition (print out the bootacamp instructions before using it; it's a very easy mistake to make).

Leopard can't install to a NTFS drive, so it isn't showing up. If you do as the poster above me said you should be able to get it back to HFS+, but it will be like a fresh install... I hope you had a backup of your system! If you've been using Time Machine, you can restore your computer from that after formatting the drive; instead of re-installing Leopard, find the option from the menu bar to restore from Time Machine.

I may be, and hope I'm wrong but let's get a system on the computer and assess the damage then.

BlackCivic 10-29-2007 10:42 PM

when you did the format in for XP in bootcamp, did you notice two different partitions, because if i remember correctly, when formatting and installing bootcamp, Fdisk will NOT differentiate between OSX and your other partition. It should only show your to partitions you made. I think you might have selected the bigger partition which happened to be OSX to format rather then the latter which would be XP

chaunce322 10-30-2007 07:04 AM

Thanks for the tips so far. Just to clarify, I did print out the Boot Camp instructions, and I was very careful to select the correct partition when installing Windows.

But going back to your advice, how do you boot from the Leopard DVD?


dtravis7 10-30-2007 07:25 AM

With the 10.5 DVD in the drive, power up the system and after the Startup Sound hold down the C key and keep it down till it starts to load from the DVD, then let go. When you get to the Leopard Installer, look for the Tools Pull Down. Look for Disk Utility. Partition the drive in Apple Extended Journaled format.

chaunce322 10-30-2007 11:09 AM

I just wanted to say thanks again to everyone for all the tips. Thanks to your suggestions, I was able to reinstall Leopard this morning. It looks like the Windows install (despite my best efforts) ended up reformatting the entire drive, and not just the partition. I reformatted and reinstalled OS X. I also attempted a restore via Time Machine, which was copying files over when I left for work. I'll let you know how it worked out when I get home.

Thanks again for all the help.


JeffreyLloyd 10-30-2007 11:45 AM

Well that is good news!

dtravis7 10-30-2007 03:40 PM

Good going! Glad we could help you. Be CAREFUL if you try Windows again.

chaunce322 10-30-2007 06:25 PM

Thanks, everyone, for helping me with this issue. It means a lot to know there is such a knowledgeable and friendly support group here. All the more reason I'm happy I made the switch!


snert 11-04-2007 11:18 AM

Help! I think I just did the same thing. I'm at the point where I'm attempting to reinstall Leopard, but I need some clarification on what you mean by "Partition the drive in Apple Extended Journaled format". I can open the disk utility and found the Partition tab, but it asks me for a "Volume Scheme" (options are Current, 1 partition, 2 partitions, etc.). It also asks me for a name and size in Bytes.

I've been on hold with Apple Tech support for over an hour, so if anybody can help clarify what to do next, it would be great. Do I choose two partitions if I know I want to run Boot Camp?

I've resigned myself that I might have lost everything I had (mostly itunes files and some random PDF documents). However, I did install Leopard before I attempted the Boot Camp install. Would Time Machine have saved any of my files automatically, or did I have to manually do that?

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