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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 19, 2008
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    Can't format partition during Windows install
    Hi,
    I hope someone has some ideas. I ran boot camp and set up a partition (32GB) just fine. After that, the computer reboots and begins to install XP. Everything is fine, till it finishes and reboots, then says can't boot from disk, press any key to restart (which doesn't work). I've trawled the net, and my problem is that I can't format the partition, because it doesn't give me the option! I am able to choose to install to the BOOTCAMP FAT32 partition, but I never even see the screen to choose to format either as FAT or NTFS, it just starts installing. Because it doesn't format, it cant boot in windows. When i go back to OSX, the bootcamp partition contains all the windows files so the installation seems to be working. How do I format?? Please help!!

  2. #2

    btdickey's Avatar
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    Feb 15, 2008
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    Specs:
    MacBook Black; 2.2 ghz core duo; 2 gb 667 mhz DDR2 SDRam; 8x SuperDrive; 160 gb hdd
    I think it has something to do with this 200mb file that is allocated in your partition table. I'm not sure, exactally, what it does, I always deleted it, just leaving the FAT32/NTFS partition and Macs Journaled partition, and it works fine, BUT theres a drawback...deleting that file will not allow you to change your partition back without reformatting leopard with disk utility in the installation media, and possibly reinstalling leopard.

    Do some research on this subject, and the 200 mb file I'm talking about and make a decision on what you want to do with it.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2006
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    Same here - Can't figure it out!
    I'm having this exact problem too, and I don't really follow what I need to do to fix it.

    I really need to get this sorted ASAP.

    Can anyone else help?

  4. #4

    mrplow's Avatar
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    What sort of XP disc do you have?
    Full retail, OEM, recovery, level of service pack etc?
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2006
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    Full retail XP Professional SP2.

    I used it to install XP on my mac with Bootcamp Beta under Tiger with no problems.

    Exactly as described above, I choose the bootcamp partition [enter], but then don't get the option to format the partition - it goes straight into instillation.

    Any Ideas?

  6. #6

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benito View Post
    Full retail XP Professional SP2.

    I used it to install XP on my mac with Bootcamp Beta under Tiger with no problems.

    Exactly as described above, I choose the bootcamp partition [enter], but then don't get the option to format the partition - it goes straight into instillation.

    Any Ideas?
    Have a look at this page. Scroll down to the blue screens.

    Which of them do you see? At which point does it reboot into the GUI part of the install?
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2006
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    Thanks for your help with this one mrplow - I really appreciate it.

    Okay so I get to the screen where you choose the partition and I see this:

    "238473 MB Disk 0 at Id1 on bus 0 on atapi [MR]

    E: Partition1 [unknown] 200mb (200mb free)

    F: Partition2 [unknown] 205696mb (202696mb free)

    Unpartitioned space 128mb

    C: Partition3 (BOOTCAMP) [FAT32] 32451mb (32434 free0

    305243mb Disk on disk [MBR]

    Unpartitioned Space 305243mb"


    So I highlight C: and press enter...

    Then it says "please wait while setup examines your disks"
    Then "Please wait while setup copies files to the Windows instillation folder"
    When it finishes copying files it tries to restart into GUI installation with no success.

    Two things to note:

    I don't get the option to reformat the windows partition prior to the files being copied.

    That E: partition is weird, I don't know why that's there, and that's the one that bt****y is talking about in his reply.


    Where should I try from here?

  8. #8

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benito View Post
    Thanks for your help with this one mrplow - I really appreciate it.

    Okay so I get to the screen where you choose the partition and I see this:

    "238473 MB Disk 0 at Id1 on bus 0 on atapi [MR]

    E: Partition1 [unknown] 200mb (200mb free)

    F: Partition2 [unknown] 205696mb (202696mb free)

    Unpartitioned space 128mb

    C: Partition3 (BOOTCAMP) [FAT32] 32451mb (32434 free0

    305243mb Disk on disk [MBR]

    Unpartitioned Space 305243mb"


    So I highlight C: and press enter...

    Then it says "please wait while setup examines your disks"
    Then "Please wait while setup copies files to the Windows instillation folder"
    When it finishes copying files it tries to restart into GUI installation with no success.

    Two things to note:

    I don't get the option to reformat the windows partition prior to the files being copied.

    That E: partition is weird, I don't know why that's there, and that's the one that bt****y is talking about in his reply.


    Where should I try from here?
    The 200mb partition is the EFI boot partition. Some people as bt****y have deleted it and then had success installing windows. However some people have then reported disk problem in Leopard. So you have to weigh up the risk on that one.

    I've trawled around and there seem to be 2 solutions that seem to be working .

    The info below has come from various sites but mainly from this posting on the Apple discussions page. So thanks to those involved if these work etc.

    Usual disclaimers apply. Backup first before messing with partitions and OS installs etc.

    ----------------------------
    Solution 1:

    1. download fdfullcd.iso at http://www.freedos.org/freedos/files/ . And burn it on CD. This CD is bootable and be able to format disk.
    2. use Boot Camp in Utility to partition the hard drive for XP. Choose something <32gb. Don't start installing XP yet. Restart your mac. Make sure the bootable CD is in.
    3. hold "option" key during rebooting. THen boot your mac from CD.
    4. Then click "1" : continue to boot Free DOS from CD-ROM
    5. Then click "1" : Install to hard disk using Free Dos setup ( Default )
    6. Then click "1" to choose English (US) keyboard
    7. Click "5 to run Free Dos From CD-ROM
    8. Key in " format c: " - without the quotes - press enter
    9. Once format is done. Reboot to Mac OS.
    10. Eject the freedos cd. Put the XP CD in and restart the bootcamp assistant
    10. Start the xp install in Boot Camp ( don't do anything to the partitions. )
    --------------------------------


    Solution 2:

    Boot into OS X, put the XP CD in. Use the Boot Camp Assistant to start the XP install.
    Once your mac reboots and starts the windows install you will get a blue screen with white text in the upper left hand corner that says "Windows Setup." On the bottom of the screen there will be some info telling you this and that is loading. Keep an eye on this. It will slowly list a bunch of things that it is loading. Toward the end, it will say something like "Starting Windows Setup." At this point, press and hold the F10 button. Keep holding it until you get a black screen with white text.

    You are now in the Recovery Manager. You will be asked what volume you want. The only choice you should have is 1. This is your new Windows partition, it is not your Mac OS partition. You may safely type "1" (without quotes) and press return. Then, the prompt will look like this:

    C:\WINDOWS\

    At the prompt, you type "cd\" (without quotes) and press return, the prompt will now look like this:

    C:\

    Now, to format your windows partition. To do so, at the prompt type the following without quotation marks "format c: /fs:FAT32" When typed into the prompt, it will look like this (pay close attention to spacing)

    C:\format c: /fs:FAT32

    It will give you a warning and ask if you are sure. Type "y" and press return.
    It will take some time to format and you will see a percentage counter counting up from 1% to 100%. When it is done, you will be back at the C:\ prompt where you will just type "exit" and press return.

    Now, Windows Setup should proceed normally.
    -----------------------

    Good luck.

    Please post back and let us know how it goes.

    mrplow
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2006
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    Thanks for going to all that trouble mrplow. I'll try tonight and report back!

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2008
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    I had the same problem and it kept me in a loop of the start up. The way around it for me was to remove the disk right when it restarts. Then after it restarted it asked for me to insert the disk and everything worked out fine.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Sep 07, 2006
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    MrPlow - Your a champ! Thanks for chasing up those solutions for me.

    Solution 2 worked a treat. Took a few goes to get the recovery manager to load and then went like clockwork.

    Using the command prompt bought back memories of my old MS-DOS* days and that high-end 186* and speccy EGA* CRT* that got me onto all sorts of Bulletin Boards*.

    * Google it young'ns

    Thanks again - I'm really glad to finally have this figured out.

  12. #12

    mrplow's Avatar
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    Pleased it worked for you

    mrplow
    Not been around these parts for a while. Trying to change that . .

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

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Apr 13, 2008
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    MrPlow,

    I registered here just to say thanks. Your advice was greatly appreciated, as Solution 2 worked for me as well.
    I have some other minor things I wanted to add.
    For me, once I got past the steps you provided, it gave me another list of options, for example, "Do you want to convert the partition to an NTFS?"
    On other boards, I saw that this should be done, and just as many boards saying not to do so.
    I went with my gut instinct and choose the option to leave the partition alone. Immediately afterwards I saw the colorful windows logo and I realized I had made the right choice.

    Also, holding F10 didn't do anything, for me. Instead I was given the choice to go into the Recovery menu in the following screen.

    Anyway, just a few tips for anyone else who might have some similar quirks along the way.

    am

  14. #14


    Member Since
    May 05, 2008
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    I thought I'd throw this out there as well.

    Something that I had noticed after a day's worth of trying to XP installed is that the 32gb that Boot Camp was setting aside was too big to be formatted in fat32 when being read by the XP installer. I had tried manually formatting into fat 32 using the recovery console, and it worked, but the install of windows failed pretty miserably.

    I had gone back into boot camp and allocated a 30GB partition, then started the windows install again, and the option to format in Fat32 was there. I formatted, and everything ran smoothly after that.

    So another option is to simply try knocking the partition size down a gig or two so that setup recognizes it as a fat32 compatible drive.

  15. #15

    chscag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyBrokenBone View Post
    I thought I'd throw this out there as well.

    Something that I had noticed after a day's worth of trying to XP installed is that the 32gb that Boot Camp was setting aside was too big to be formatted in fat32 when being read by the XP installer. I had tried manually formatting into fat 32 using the recovery console, and it worked, but the install of windows failed pretty miserably.

    I had gone back into boot camp and allocated a 30GB partition, then started the windows install again, and the option to format in Fat32 was there. I formatted, and everything ran smoothly after that.

    So another option is to simply try knocking the partition size down a gig or two so that setup recognizes it as a fat32 compatible drive.
    I noticed that too. For some reason the partition sizer in Boot Camp is not as accurate as it should be. Specifying an 8 Gb partition for example will actually yield a partition of around 9 Gb. When approaching that 32 Gb limit for FAT-32, it becomes even more critical.

    Regards.

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