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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks UNIX
Tiger only hintIt turns out that part of the 10.4.6 update was the inclusion of non-destructive partitioning in diskutil, via the new resizeVolume option.

You can use this feature, for example, to create a Boot Camp setup with more than two partitions. For an explanation, see this entry on bbum's web site.

[robg adds: This will only work on GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks, which are what you'll find in an Intel Mac. I used Disk Utility to format a FireWire drive with GPT, then used diskutil to try to resize it on the fly. I think this should work, but I was having issues with the sizing of the partitions, resulting in an error. Given more time, it should be possible. Disk Utility, however, does not seem to support the non-destructive option, even on GPT disks.]
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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks | 10 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: sjonke on Apr 17, '06 11:44:27AM

How do you format a drive in GPT format? I ran disk utility, but in the Erase tab there is no "GPT" option in the "Volume Format" menu. I couldn't find it anywhere else either. ??? I'm running 10.4.6 on a PowerPC AiBook. Is this option only available in disk utility on Intel Macs? Or am I getting this all wrong?

--- What?

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: mwalles on Apr 17, '06 12:06:37PM

Open Disk Utility
- Select the Drive you want to reformat
- Click on the "Partion" tab
- There will be an "Options" button
- Under that should be three options:
--- GUID Partition Table
--- Apple Partition Map
--- Master Boot Record
- Select GUID Partition Table

Click on "OK" and format the drive from there.

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: sjonke on Apr 17, '06 07:20:05PM

Thanks. A related question: can you partition a PowerPC Mac's boot drive this way, or must you stick with "Apple" format? If I can switch to GUID and get reformat-less drive partitioning/resizing, I would like to do that.

--- What?

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: aqsalter on Apr 17, '06 08:25:06PM

short answer:


The GPT partition format is only readable by Intel Macs, because it's an Intel format spec (although released as a standard I believe).

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: boli on Apr 18, '06 01:52:34AM
well, on my PPC mac (quad G5) i could. i could even boot off it (only when Mac OS X v10.4.6 was installed on it, with an earlier version it didn't work), but according to replies to my comments by sphns at macgeekery and afp548 only few PPC macs can boot off a "GPT disk", most can't.

however, the 'diskutil resizeVolume' did not work on the "GPT disk", which according to another reply by the same person is normal: it only works on intel macs. (this was my main reason to use GPT)

additionally, using GPT created a 200 MB partition called "EFI" (invisible from the GUI). so for now i have no reason to use GPT on my PPC mac, even though i could.

fds copied sphns's comments over, see here

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: fds on Apr 17, '06 08:51:42PM

Some posts from's page on the same subject, made by who I assume to be an Apple engineer:

sphns on April 10, 2006 - 8:36pm
pdisk is for APM maps only (Apple Partition map, the PPC map)

fdisk is for MBR maps only (Mast boot record, what's on your camera flash disks

gpt is for gpt maps only.

HOWEVER, gpt does not understand the partition format that's used for bootcamp. Using it to create/destroy partitions will not do what you want.

The only thing that will create bootcamp compatible partitions is diskutil under 10.4.6 or later...

sphns on April 10, 2006 - 8:46pm
Some late model ppc macs will boot from gpt disks, but the vast majority of them will not.

sphns on April 10, 2006 - 8:48pm
Resizing does not work on ppc at all. Resizing does not work on APM maps either.

Under 10.4.6, you can only resize JHFS+ volumes on gpt maps on Intel machines.

See my other comment as to why it might fail even in this case...

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: Nem on Apr 18, '06 09:02:35AM

So, is there going to be a 'resizepartition' coming on down the line in an update for use non-Intel users?

Nem W. Schlecht

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10.4: Create multi-partition Boot Camp disks
Authored by: quecojones on Apr 20, '06 11:19:33AM

From what I can understand (after reading this and the article you linked to), this would allow one to resize a partition, right?

Here's my question: can I use this to resize both of my partitions? I did the BootCamp thing and installes XP on my iMac but, I only created a 10GB partition. Now that I installed Oblivion on it, I'm running out of room and would like to expand it to at least 20-25GB (so I can install Half-Life 2). Would this allow me to do that without wiping out the data on either the XP (M$-DOS/FAT-32) or the OS X partitions? If so, any idea on how I would do this (links)?

I tried reading the man page for diskutil, but I didn't see anything about resizing partitions.

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Anyone actually got OS X + Windows + another partition this way?
Authored by: gabester on Mar 21, '07 07:12:24AM

This is not a very good hint... simply referencing another site and saying, "it can be done." Also, it someone needs to update it to reflect the installation of Vista.

I am trying to create a multi-partition setup, and these are the steps I've followed:

1. Installed Mac OS X on 1 partition.
2. Use Boot Camp utility to partition for Windows.
3. Put Mac in target disk mode (firewire - Apple-T) and connect to 2nd Mac (or boot OS install disk if it's 10.4.6+)
4. In terminal, ran "sudo diskutil eraseVolume JHFS+ <name> disk#s3
(Your "boot camp" partition will be 3rd on drive - this step is critical because resizeVolume only works on JHFS+ formatted partitions!)
5. sudo diskutil resizeVolume disk1s3 <size> <partition4format ... name ... size> <partition5format ... name ... size> etc.

At this point I can boot the Mac from a Windows installer disk (XP SP2 or Vista) by holding down the option key. However, Vista refuses to install, issuing a hex error at the stage where you would select the partition to install onto; XP could format and copy install files to the appropriate partition but issued an error after the reboot to perform the actual installation saying:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

Other things I've tried:
From a single OS X partition on the internal drive, I've run Boot Camp Assistant to partition and then installed Vista and attempted to create the additional desired partitions that way (bad idea - Vista eats the hybrid gpt/mbr partition table created by Boot Camp and poops it out as MBR, preventing OS X from installation.

After spending 3 days trying to figure this out, this is where I'm stuck. Any suggestions?

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Got it working for 3 usable partitions
Authored by: gabester on Mar 21, '07 10:51:21PM

Here's what I did:

1.) Started with OS X install and 1 partition on disk (of course, this is really disk0s2 since there's the hidden EFI partition.
2.) Ran Boot Camp Assistant, partitioned drive, installed Windows (Vista).
3.) Rebooted from Install DVD (Intel 10.4.6 or later only.)
4.) Ran "diskutil resizeVolume disk0s2 <x>G partition3format ... name ... size "
5.) Ran "diskutil eraseVolume partition3format partition3name disk0s3"

In my experience if you've got a 10.4.8 Mac or newer that you're connecting your Multi-part Boot Camp Mac to in FireWire Target Disk Mode, it automatically does step 5 for you.

At this point I had OS X, a data partition, and Vista all installed and working. Then I got greedy and tried to split the data partition again and this killed my Vista installation.

Some of the other literature I've found online seems to indicate that your Windows boot partition has to be the #3 partition; but seemingly because of the MBR wrapper limitation of 4 partitions it definitely cannot be past the #4 partition.

Tomorrow I might try to go against Apple's GPT spec and eliminate the hidden EFI partition; then I should be almost able to run my system the way I want with 2 OS X boot volumes, 1 Windows boot volume, and a data drive shared between them.

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