How to best to recover after a reformat.

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One of my macbooks has gotten a hard drive problem that is beyond the disk utilities ability to fix. So I am faced with having to reformat the drive and reinstall the OS... I know that all the data on the Mac partition is toast because I can't even get it to start from that partition and when I boot in the windows partition it doesn't even show the Mac partition anymore.... so I'm writing that part of the drive off as a loss... However, the windows side is still working perfectly... Is there any way to backup and then restore the windows side after I reformat the hard drive so that I don't have to go back and reinstall all the windows software again. It would certainly make my life easier if I didn't have to install all the windows programs again and could just restore that partition to its current working self.
 
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The best way to recover from any data loss situation is to have a backup.
 

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One of my macbooks has gotten a hard drive problem that is beyond the disk utilities ability to fix. So I am faced with having to reformat the drive and reinstall the OS... I know that all the data on the Mac partition is toast because I can't even get it to start from that partition and when I boot in the windows partition it doesn't even show the Mac partition anymore.... so I'm writing that part of the drive off as a loss... However, the windows side is still working perfectly... Is there any way to backup and then restore the windows side after I reformat the hard drive so that I don't have to go back and reinstall all the windows software again. It would certainly make my life easier if I didn't have to install all the windows programs again and could just restore that partition to its current working self.

Before you write off the Mac side of your hard drive, try the suggestion that I'm going to quote below. I believe your Mac boot sector has been damaged - that is if what you've posted above is correct. In order to accomplish what I post, you must use your install DVD to boot the machine:

**************************************************

Restore default bootloader without harming partitions

Fri, Nov 20 2009 at 7:30AM PST • Contributed by: tofergregg

If your bootloader gets changed or corrupted, this fix will restore it without damage to your disk partitions.

This hint may be a bit esoteric, but I thought I was up for a long night of reinstallation pain before stumbling upon this fix. I made the mistake of trying to use an Ubuntu 9.04 boot CD to install Ubuntu to an external (USB) drive on my Mac.

Don't do this, unless you know the following: Regardless of the fact that you chose the external drive upon which to install Ubuntu, you won't be able to boot back into your Mac without changing the bootloader. I ended up with the dreaded question mark folder when I tried to reboot my Mac, and nothing worked to boot into my OS X partition.

Luckily, I have a bootable external drive with OS X on it, and I was able to boot into it by holding down the Option key (the primary partition still did not show up).

I started searching online for the fix, and it seems that Ubuntu changes the Darwin (default) bootloader to Grub on your internal disk, and OS X won't use it (at least not by default). The fixes listed were kludgy, and amounted to either installing another third party bootloader (called "rEFIt") or completely wiping your internal drive and reinstalling OS X (even a standard install won't work).

Anyway, the fix turned out to be easy with Disk Utility (and probably possible from the OS X boot disc). Run Disk Utility and click on your internal hard disk (the disk itself, not the partition under it). Then click on the Partition tab. If you move the triangular slider that adjusts the partition up and then back to where it was, the "Apply" button becomes active (it starts greyed out). You can now click "Apply," and the partition will be left alone, but the bootloader will be recreated.

When I did this, a window popped up that said, "Are you sure you want to partition the disk? Partitioning this disk will change some of the partitions. No partitions will be erased." If you get a message that partitions will be erased, I'd look into it more before going ahead!

I was surprised that this worked, but when I rebooted, the computer booted straight into OS X from the internal drive.

*******************************************

The above was copied from the OS X Hints forum. If the above procedure does not work, you'll probably be forced to reinstall everything. As far as making a copy of your Windows partition, it's not possible to use something like "WinClone" unless you have access to your Mac partition. The best you can do is backup all your Windows data and use it to restore after reinstalling Windows.

Let us know if the above procedure works for you.

Regards.
 
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The best way to recover from any data loss situation is to have a backup.

Clearly, but I'm trying to find out if there is a way to backup the windows portion so when I wipe the drive and reinstall I can simply reinstall the windows side without going through all the individual installs of each program. I have a backup of the Mac side so restoring that side is easy... its the windows side I'm trying to find an easy fix for.
 
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Before you write off the Mac side of your hard drive, try the suggestion that I'm going to quote below. I believe your Mac boot sector has been damaged - that is if what you've posted above is correct. In order to accomplish what I post, you must use your install DVD to boot the machine:

**************************************************

Restore default bootloader without harming partitions

Fri, Nov 20 2009 at 7:30AM PST • Contributed by: tofergregg

If your bootloader gets changed or corrupted, this fix will restore it without damage to your disk partitions.

This hint may be a bit esoteric, but I thought I was up for a long night of reinstallation pain before stumbling upon this fix. I made the mistake of trying to use an Ubuntu 9.04 boot CD to install Ubuntu to an external (USB) drive on my Mac.

Don't do this, unless you know the following: Regardless of the fact that you chose the external drive upon which to install Ubuntu, you won't be able to boot back into your Mac without changing the bootloader. I ended up with the dreaded question mark folder when I tried to reboot my Mac, and nothing worked to boot into my OS X partition.

Luckily, I have a bootable external drive with OS X on it, and I was able to boot into it by holding down the Option key (the primary partition still did not show up).

I started searching online for the fix, and it seems that Ubuntu changes the Darwin (default) bootloader to Grub on your internal disk, and OS X won't use it (at least not by default). The fixes listed were kludgy, and amounted to either installing another third party bootloader (called "rEFIt") or completely wiping your internal drive and reinstalling OS X (even a standard install won't work).

Anyway, the fix turned out to be easy with Disk Utility (and probably possible from the OS X boot disc). Run Disk Utility and click on your internal hard disk (the disk itself, not the partition under it). Then click on the Partition tab. If you move the triangular slider that adjusts the partition up and then back to where it was, the "Apply" button becomes active (it starts greyed out). You can now click "Apply," and the partition will be left alone, but the bootloader will be recreated.

When I did this, a window popped up that said, "Are you sure you want to partition the disk? Partitioning this disk will change some of the partitions. No partitions will be erased." If you get a message that partitions will be erased, I'd look into it more before going ahead!

I was surprised that this worked, but when I rebooted, the computer booted straight into OS X from the internal drive.

*******************************************

The above was copied from the OS X Hints forum. If the above procedure does not work, you'll probably be forced to reinstall everything. As far as making a copy of your Windows partition, it's not possible to use something like "WinClone" unless you have access to your Mac partition. The best you can do is backup all your Windows data and use it to restore after reinstalling Windows.

Let us know if the above procedure works for you.

Regards.

Will try it... it sounds to easy... but its worth a shot.
 

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