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Thread: Did I fall foul of some 4 partition limit?

  1. #1

    MacDuck's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Did I fall foul of some 4 partition limit?
    Hi all. Sorry but this could get a bit long-winded

    I have a MacBook Pro retina 10,1 and was running OS X, Windows 8 in a Bootcamp partition and Ubuntu in its own partition with a swap partition. I had previously deleted the hidden recovery partition as I have a usb stick with OS X install on it.

    All was going smoothly and then I tried to install a different version of Ubuntu on another partition. Oh dear . Whilst creating another partition for the new Ubuntu (in Disk Utility) it appeared to lose my original Ubuntu partition and re-labelled it as unallocated. The newly created partition became /dev/sda5 instead
    This turned out rather badly. After getting the new Ubuntu to boot through refind I found that not only had the old Ubuntu completely disappeared but Windows wouldn't boot any more either. Running the Windows repair function did not get it booting again either.
    OSX still booted though

    Anyway, not the end of the world and I was probably due to re-install everything anyway.

    Having re-installed OS X (with the shiny new recovery partition as well) I now have 3 partitions.
    If I make a Bootcamp partition for Windows 8 that'll be 4.
    I'm guessing that as one of the OSes is Windows I can't exceed the 4 partition limit. Does Windows in Bootcamp create some kind of MBR partition table that messes up the GPT in OS X? Is that correct? Is that why I lost my original Ubuntu partition?

    I could do with some clarification if at all possible before I start installing things again
    as I wouldn't want to start all over again so soon.

    Thanks for any guidance which may be forthcoming

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Modesto, Ca.
    Sometimes when re-sizing partitions with DU I have seen it reported that the partition right before the new one can get messed up. Seen it here one time trying to do many partitions and lost my Windows partition. How did you make the new one? REsize the other linux one?

  3. #3

    MacDuck's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Hi dtravis7, I resized the Macintosh HD partition with the slider (for a third time). On creating the new partition I was asked if I wanted a logical partition or a primary. That sort of set alarm bells ringing knowing that I should have had a GPT setup.
    I've been reading about this and it seems that Windows wants a MBR type partition table in order to install so some sort of hybrid affair is created, hence the 4 partition limit.
    I've also been reading about installing Windows natively using EFI (no Bootcamp) which would be promising (if a lot of extra work) except that my Windows 8 is 32 bit and I'm not sure whether 32 bit will do that. (I made a mistake when I bought Windows - should have got 64 bit anyway :-( ).

    I'm thinking that if I install Windows in Bootcamp I'll be severely limited partition-wise for any other OSes.
    Problem is that I need Windows for a car diagnostics program and as that program (or some of it) works in a vm I can't install it in another vm (it won't nest well).

  4. #4

    MacDuck's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 29, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Enough of that nonsense!
    I've wiped the disc and made it a GPT only disc then installed Windows 8 in EFI mode then re-installed OS X. All seems ok for the moment.
    Various Linux systems can now follow at will. As many as I want.
    No more Bootcamp and its limitations.

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