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Old 06-25-2011, 02:56 AM   #1
toiletresin
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How to reinstall Mac OS X on OS X/Linux dual-boot system?


My setup: I have a MacBook Pro 5,5 with a Mac OS X Snow Leopard partition and a Linux partition. I use rEFIt to boot into Linux. I didn't use Boot Camp when I originally installed Linux; instead, I manually created the partition (with either Disk Utility in OS X or Gparted on a Linux live CD--I don't recall which one) and then installed Linux on it from a live CD.

The problem: My OS X partition is corrupt, and I need to reinstall Snow Leopard. Since I installed rEFIt from within OS X, I'm concerned that wiping the OS X partition will prevent me from booting into my Linux partition. How can I do this without losing access to my Linux partition? Is it possible to install Snow Leopard on the partition I reserved for it, or will it automatically overwrite the entire drive? And if I do the fresh OS X install and then install rEFIt again, will it automatically recognize my Linux partition?

Thanks for any tips!

Specs: MacBook Pro 5,5 (Mid-2009); Snow Leopard 10.6.7/64-bit Sabayon Linux, 2.6.36 kernel
 
Old 06-25-2011, 10:33 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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It looks like the snow leopard installer will let you see the partitions and choose which to install to, yep. However, make sure you back-up your linux partition before trying it.

this is you too:
http://superuser.com/questions/30194...al-boot-system
Dont forget to link one to the other wherever you get your solution first.

OTOH: embrace your freedom - this is the Universe telling you to do without OSX. Try it for a while, you have nothing to lose but your bondage and you can always reinstall later if you miss those chains.
 
Old 06-26-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
toiletresin
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Thanks. The situation has taken a more complicated turn:

I tried to reinstall Snow Leopard from the DVD, but it refused to install onto my Mac partition, claiming: "The disk cannot be used to start up your computer." Disk Utility wouldn't let me resize the partition or create a new one, and it doesn't see my Linux partition. It only displays the two partitions "Macintosh HD" and Linux Swap.

I can, however, see all the partitions from Linux. I attached a screenshot of Gparted showing them, and the output of "fdisk -l" is:
Quote:
WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.

Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders, total 488397168 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 409639 204819+ ee GPT
/dev/sda2 409640 349590464 174590412+ af HFS / HFS+
/dev/sda3 483122745 488392064 2634660 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda4 * 349590465 483122744 66766140 83 Linux

Partition table entries are not in disk order
I wonder if this is because I originally partitioned my disk with Gparted instead of OS X's Disk Utility (at this point, I don't recall whether I used Gparted or Disk Utility). In any case, it doesn't seem safe to do any reformatting with Disk Utility now, as I'm afraid it will wipe sda2 ("Macintosh HD") as well as sda4 (my Linux partition).

So... I'm hoping to find a solution that doesn't involve wiping my entire hard disk. Would it be safe/possible to use Gparted to erase sda2 ("Macintosh HD") and then use the Snow Leopard DVD to install OS X onto just sda2 without touching the other partitions?

Thanks for any insight!
Attached Images
File Type: png scrot-gparted.png (42.1 KB, 4 views)
 
Old 06-27-2011, 05:25 AM   #4
Knightron
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hi, i own a mac book pro, and i installed ubuntu and opensuse (seperate occasions) and try booted them with Os X and windows 7 in the past on it. i think the first thing to know before trying to solve this is how did the os x partition become corrupt? it would have been something you did, (no offense). Was it after you installed Linux?
 
Old 06-27-2011, 06:40 AM   #5
toiletresin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightron View Post
hi, i own a mac book pro, and i installed ubuntu and opensuse (seperate occasions) and try booted them with Os X and windows 7 in the past on it. i think the first thing to know before trying to solve this is how did the os x partition become corrupt? it would have been something you did, (no offense). Was it after you installed Linux?
The OS X partition has been acting funny for a few months (frequent kernel panics, spinning beach balls, etc.), but I installed Linux well before this started. Pretty sure I just installed too much crap onto the Mac partition and made a few too many experimental customizations. It really started acting up when I began using Adobe After Effects on a regular basis, though I don't have enough info to blame it on that. In any case, pretty sure it's not related to the original Linux install, though it could be related to subsequent partition resizing.
 
Old 06-27-2011, 05:42 PM   #6
Knightron
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oh ok, you mentioned gparted before, you didn't move the os x partition from being the first partition did you? i tried once using gparted on my mac and it totally stuffed my windows partition, however i've used gparted on my samsung laptop and it worked terrifically.
Have you tried a malware scan on your os x partition, because like linux, although they don't get as much malware as windows, macs and linux do have there acceptations.

Hey i just looked at your partition picture. Your EFI is formatted as fat32, i don't think that's normal.
I'm a little lost for other ideas. I'd think the os x dvd would have a recovery option like the windows dvds.
If you end up having to reformat your os x partitions, it will delete your refit files which will make your os x partition boot the ordinary way (assuming everything goes smoothly). Once it's working again, i'd think that you'd be able to reinsall it and it should pick up your linux partitions, since it doesn't touch them. I'm assuming your bootloaders, (grub, lilo) are instlled on /, in the linux partition.
 
Old 06-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
toiletresin
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Solved! See here: Superuser.com thread
 
Old 07-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #8
Simon Bridge
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Well done and thanks for sharing.
 
Old 07-02-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
Knightron
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Your link isn't working for me, but i'm glad you won.
 
Old 07-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #10
Orba
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Hi,
I found the link by doing a search for superuser dot com "how to reinstall Mac OS X on OS X/Linux dual". I would post the link, but this is my first post.

I don't have the same question, but wonder if I do install Linux on my Intel dual core iMac with os x Tiger, will I later be able to wipe the disk and reinstall os x using the installer discs in case I want to sell it?

I ask because I went to the rEFit - Myths and Facts page at sourceforge dot net and it says, "Myth: Mac OS X requires GPT
This is mostly a myth. Mac OS X boots and runs just fine from disks using MBR partitioning, or even APM (Apple Partition Map, used on PowerPC Macs).

However, the Mac OS X Installer will refuse to put a fresh copy of Mac OS X on a disk thatís not using GPT. You can work around this using cloning tools like SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner. Install Mac OS X on a GPT-partitioned disk first, then clone it onto the disk of your choice."
From my understanding, I would need GPT then to be certain. Just not sure?
Orba
 
  


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