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Running Windows (or anything else) on your Mac Discussion of Classic or running Windows, Linux and other OSes on the Mac.

Triple boot - Windows 7 and 8 on Mac


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nathanmaybrey

 
Member Since: May 23, 2013
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On my MacBook Pro, I have 3 partitions. The main one is mountain lion, and the other two have windows 7 and windows 8 on them. However, I have refit installed so that I can selectively boot, however when I go to boot from windows 7 it boots straight to windows 8. Booting to windows 8 works fine as well as going onto mac.

Windows 7 partion still exists though, as I can see all the files when I go onto mac. It's like the mac doesn't know to boot to windows 7 when I tell it too and will only boot to the same windows 8 partion.

It would be great if someone could help solve my problem

Many thanks
Nathan
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chscag

 
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First, tell us how you installed Windows 7 and Windows 8? It sounds very much like the Windows 8 boot sector overwrote the Windows 7 one. And, I moved your post to the correct forum - here.
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nathanmaybrey

 
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I installed windows 7 through bootcamp quite a while ago. And I installed windows 8 onto a partion which was created separately on disk utility. All the data remains on the windows 7 partion as I can see into the partion on OSx.
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chscag

 
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Yeah, classic case of the Windows 7 boot sector getting overwritten. You can attempt to repair Windows 7 but I'm not sure if it will work right. You'll need to boot with your Windows 7 DVD and do the repair with it. However, you need to be careful that you don't accidentally "repair" your OS X partition or the Windows 8 one.

Before you attempt to repair Windows 7, try turning off rEFIt and see if you can boot to the Windows 7 partition manually. Do you know how to turn off rEFIt temporarily? If not, follow these instructions: (no need to uninstall rEFIt)

Open your Finder and go to: Macintosh HD/efi

Rename the efi folder to something like "efi_save". Now reboot the machine and rEFIt will be disabled or turned off. To turn it on again, just name it back to its original folder name.

Once rEFIt has been disabled, reboot and hold down your Option key. If everything is OK, you'll see: OS X, the OS X recovery partition, Windows 7, Windows 8. Try booting to Windows 7 if it appears. Let us know and we can go from there.
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nathanmaybrey

 
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Hi,

I did what you said and turned off rEFIt and when I rebooted I only saw the mac partion, the recovery partion and the windows 8 partion, the windows 7 one does not appear.
I'm really confused though because I can see all of my windows 7 files when I'm on mac and look into the partition.
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chscag

 
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The Windows 7 boot sector is probably gone or overwritten as I mentioned above. You can try a Windows 7 repair with your DVD. I'll provide a link below with instructions on how to repair the boot sector. Again, be very careful what you repair. You don't want to accidentally repair your OS X partition or the Windows 8 one. Also, make a backup before proceeding. Backup OS X using either Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. You can make a backup of the Windows 7 and 8 partitions using WinClone.

How to repair Windows 7: LINK

If the Window 7 repair doesn't work, you may be able to copy your Windows 7 data using WinClone and restore it after reinstalling.
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nathanmaybrey

 
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Okay,

The windows repair tool didn't work because it couldn't find the bootcamp partition and can only find the windows 8 partition.

So I tried to use winclone to clone the bootcamp partition, however when I go to save the image, it comes up with and error message that says its on partition 5. From reading other articles I think windows needs to be on either partion 1 to 4. Is there any way I can change which partition number it is on.
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Is there any way I can change which partition number it is on.
Unfortunately, no. I think you're in a situation now where a total backup of everything and re-installation is needed. Not really your fault by the way. Windows 7 and Windows 8 do not play nice with each other. I have had similar problems with Windows 2000 and XP on the same machine.

Unless you're using Windows 7 or 8 to play games and or for a specific application that has to be run natively, you might want to think about running them in a virtual machine verses using Boot Camp. VMWare Fusion, Parallels, or even the free VirtualBox can run them from OS X in a separate virtual machine without having to reboot or using rEFIt. Something to think about.
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nathanmaybrey

 
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So is there no way to clone this partition at all? Or even boot from it because I really need the data off it.
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nathanmaybrey

 
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I have windows 7 and 8 installed on my mac. Windows 8 works fine as its installed on partition 4. However windows 7 won't work as it is installed on partition 5 and it needs to be on partition 1 to 4.

Is there any way I can change the order of partitions so windows 7 can be swapped with mac recovery partition so it can run.
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mrplow

 
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The recovery partition and OSX need to be partitions 1 and 2

So why not have Windows 7 on 3, and 8 on 4?

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

Please use the reputation system if you think you've been helped - top right of this post
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