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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.

Can't switch back from Windows 7 to OS X


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Aquila

 
Member Since: Mar 13, 2013
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I just recently decided to dual boot Windows 7 alongside OS X using bootcamp (rEFIt is also installed). The installation went smoothly enough, and I've started up Windows just fine. However, I don't seem to have any of the drivers to connect to the internet or anything like that. When I try to reboot and return to OS X, the computer automatically reboots back into Windows. Holding down the option key on startup gives me a locked screen, where none of my passwords work, and none of the other startup keys have any effect at all, it just automatically goes to Windows. When I look in the Windows settings to choose a default OS to boot up into, only Windows 7 is listed. I've fiddled with ubuntu in the past, but I've never had this problem of not getting back to OS X.

I have a Macbook Pro 13" running 10.7.5, I gave the Windows partition 60GB, and I do have rEFIt installed, and until now, working.

Please help!
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chscag

 
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I could give you instructions on how to disable rEFIt but unless you can get into OS X you won't be able to. Try this first: Reset the PRAM on your MacBook Pro first, then reboot and hold down your Option key. Let's see if OS X appears as a boot choice. Once you get into OS X, post back and I can show you how to disable rEFIt very easily.

Edit: And do not cross post! Only post your question to one forum. Your cross post has been removed.
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Aquila

 
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I tried all 3 methods you listed for resetting the PRAM, but none of them would work. It would just automatcally boot into Windows after the chime, although it would give the option to enter Windows recovery mode.
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chscag

 
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There's only one method for resetting the PRAM. Make sure you're resetting it correctly as that should get you back to being able to boot to OS X. If that fails, you'll have to reinstall Lion. Let me know and we can go from there.
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Aquila

 
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It still won't reset the PRAM, its just booting in Windows regardless of what I'm doing.
The OS X partition is still there, is it possible to simply uninstall Windows?
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The OS X partition is still there, is it possible to simply uninstall Windows?
Yes, it's possible but we'll have to brute force remove it. Let's try this first:

Reboot the machine and hold down your Command + R key at the same time as soon as you hear the boot sound (bong). Keeping holding them until the Apple appears and spinning cog wheel starts to go around. That should boot the machine to the Lion Recovery Partition where you can gain access to Disk Utility. Let me know if that works.
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Aquila

 
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Well, it didn't boot into Windows this time, but the gray lock screen came up again. I've tried my password for my computer, and any other password I can think of, but it won't unlock :/
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The gray lock screen is a mystery to me. It should not be doing that unless the installation of rEFIt somehow screwed things up. I installed and uninstalled rEFIt before and it's a fairly straight forward process so I can't imagine what might have happened.

Do you by chance have an older OS X boot disk? For example, do you have a Snow Leopard install disk? We might be able to use it to get things working again.

Right now you're stuck.... Trying to boot to OS X is not working, trying to boot to the Lion Recovery partition is not working, only booting to Windows is working. I'd like to be able to disable rEFIt to see if that's the problem, but without being able to get into OS X, we can't.
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Aquila

 
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I previously had xubuntu installed for a couple months, and rEFIt always worked perfectly.

I don't think I have an older installation... I do still have the Windows installation and access to other Macs and PCs, if there's someway to reset from those.
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chscag

 
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No, those won't help. We need an OS X boot disk, preferably Snow Leopard so we can wipe the hard drive, install OS X and then re-load Lion from the Mac App store. What version of OS X came originally installed on your MacBook Pro?

I think I know what might have happened (I went back and re-read your first post). It appears the OS X boot sector (EFI) was somehow overwritten when you installed Windows 7.

A Lion OS X installation actually consists of 3 partitions: Boot Sector or EFI, OS X, and Recovery. Whether it was rEFIt that overwrote or changed the EFI or the Windows 7 format that did it, we don't know for sure.
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Aquila

 
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It came with Lion preinstalled when I bought it last year. It's possible that I may be able to get access to an older disk, but not for a few more days.

I've managed to access disk management on Windows, can I do anything from here? I have no reservations in completely removing Windows if need be.
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chscag

 
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If your machine came pre-installed with Lion, we still should be able to clear things out with a Snow Leopard disk. You can't install Snow Leopard, but it should work to boot the machine and remove Windows.

You can't remove Windows from Disk Management because it won't allow it as long as the drive is mounted and Windows is running. You could remove Windows with your Windows 7 boot disk but that doesn't help because it will leave your hard drive as formatted to NTFS.

We can't even use another Mac because your MacBook Pro does not have a Firewire port that we could connect to.
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Aquila

 
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Well, I'll try to find an old startup disk and see if that'll help. Otherwise, I'll take it in and see what can be done with it. Thank you very much for trying to help, but it seems pretty messed up for now.
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