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  1. #1
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

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    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    I'm trying to install Windows 7 on my 13 inch 2007 MacBook. I already have my hard drive partitioned and I have Ubuntu installed on 100Gb of hard disk space, but I never use it so I thought I'd swap it for Windows. There are programs that are only Windows compatible that I'd like to use.

    My problems are. 1. Bootcamp won't work because my harddrive is already partitioned. It tells me to use Disk Utility to make only one partition and then to try Bootcamp again.

    2. Disk utility won't let me remove the partition. It says I can't resize the partitions on my drive because it uses the Master Boot Record partition scheme. The hard drive isn't original, it's a 500Gb SATA disk, whatever that means, I think it was Seagate, it's a year old.

    3. If I try to change to 1 partition, i.e. I try to format the harddrive back to one partition, it gives me the error message "Partition failed with the error: Couldn’t unmount disk." This happens even when I boot up from my time machine external drive.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    chscag's Avatar
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    You're going to have to erase that drive and partition - format it properly. You can't use Master Boot Record as the scheme, it has to be GUID.

    Backup what you can first, then boot with your install recovery DVD and erase the drive. You should be able to remove the Ubuntu partition when booted from the DVD. Also, you might have to do a PRAM reset which sometimes is required after setting up a Linux partition. (GRUB messes with the OS X boot sector.)

  3. #3
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2010
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    Great chscag, thanks, I'll try that in the morning. I don't have an 'install recovery DVD', is that a Lion Recovery Disk Assistant (http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1433)? I had thought that my Time Machine drive served that purpose.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
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    I have the same problem and more details could help me. I do not understand if I have to reformat the whole drive or just the "Ubuntu" (or another partition of the like) from the external boot drive.

  5. #5
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    When you start using BootCamp, the drive must be in one single partition formatted Mac OS Extended (Journalled). It is a great idea to print and read the BootCamp Assistant user guide.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  6. #6
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
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    @harryb2448: Thanks, that is indeed what the bootcamp assistant says.
    However, when I try to remove the second partition on which I have no data, Disk Utility cannot unmount the disk.
    Do you know if it is possible to download a copy of the Lion recovery disk, somewhere? I do not have the disk with me @ my current location and meed to proceed.
    Thanks

  7. #7
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    You remove the partition in BootCamp Assistant if that is how you set the partition up. Start BootCamp and hit the remove button.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  8. #8
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
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    Well, if you read the first post, this describes my problem quite well.
    My question is, why is it like that? and then, how can I succeed but with more details.
    Boot camp cannot do what you suggest.

  9. #9
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    mrplow's Avatar
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    How did you create the partition?

    I'd suggest making yourself a bootable GParted disc, boot from that, delete the linux partition
    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

  10. #10
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
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    Hi mrplow,

    I created the partition using Disk Utility when installing OS Lion on a clean new disk. Then, I restored my files and installation settings from my old OS version from a Time Machine backup.

    The second partition is not a Linux as for EddyB, but just a OS extended (journaled) partition, on which I wanted to save specific files.

    Ps_ what is a GParted disk

  11. #11
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    mrplow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rashdj View Post
    Hi mrplow,

    I created the partition using Disk Utility when installing OS Lion on a clean new disk. Then, I restored my files and installation settings from my old OS version from a Time Machine backup.

    The second partition is not a Linux as for EddyB, but just a OS extended (journaled) partition, on which I wanted to save specific files.

    Ps_ what is a GParted disk
    Posting "I have the same problem " then replying, after several other posts, that you have a different issue makes it difficult to help you.

    What exactly is the issue you're facing ?

    How many partitions do you have?
    How do you want your disk to be partitioned once the issue is resolved?
    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

  12. #12
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
    Posts
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    I have the SAME problem, to the simple difference that the partition is not a Linux partition.
    So using EddyB post I will detaila by putting in red, what does not apply to my case, and by correcting in green:

    I'm trying to install Windows 7 on my 13 inch 2007 MacBook. I already have my hard drive partitioned and I have Ubuntu without anything installed on the 100Gb partition of hard disk space, but I never use it so I thought I'd swap it for Windows. There are programs that are only Windows compatible that I'd like to use.

    My problems are. 1. Bootcamp won't work because my harddrive is already partitioned. It tells me to use Disk Utility to make only one partition and then to try Bootcamp again.

    2. Disk utility won't let me remove the partition for some reason that I do not understand. It says I can't resize the partitions on my drive because it uses the Master Boot Record partition scheme. The hard drive isn't original, it's a 500Gb SATA disk, whatever that means, I think it was Seagate, it's a year old.

    3. If I try to change to 1 partition, i.e. I try to format the harddrive back to one partition, it gives me the error message "Partition failed with the error: Couldn’t unmount disk." This happens even when I boot up from my time machine external drive. This is where I stand now.

    So what would help me is a description of the reason for the problem and a detailed, easy to understand and to apply solution to the problem.
    Thanks a lot.

  13. #13
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility
    mrplow's Avatar
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    That 'simple' difference changes the solution completely.

    Disk Utility cannot deal with linux partitions but it can deal with HFS formatted partitions. It may seem like a simple difference but I'd urge you to try and be clear about the issue and to answer the questions posed as directly as you can.

    Already we have another issue. In one post you say the partition is an "OS extended (journaled)" partition but then in the last post it's a partition with a master boot record which suggests an OS like Windows may have had an install attempt on it.

    To save trying to identify exactly what you do and don't have I'd urge you to read up on gParted

    Using the information on that site and creating a liveCD boot disk will let you boot your Mac from the disc, delete the unwanted partition and then reboot into Mac. Then you can resize you OSX partition in Disk Utility to use the full disk.

    Once you're at this point do a repair permissions and repair disk for good measure then get yourself the bootcamp instructions and start over.
    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

  14. #14
    Can't Remove Partition in Disk Utility

    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2013
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for your quick reply.
    My apologize for the confusion. The sentence about master boot record was supposed to be in red (which I now corrected). I have a OS extended partition.

    I will have a look at the gParted, thanks.

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