Mac Stopped Booting After Removing BootCamp Partition

Using Bootcamp is a great way for using native Windows applications and if you need all available horsepower in your computer for Windows. This utility will partition your hard drive and in essence make your Mac a PC with Windows. In some cases you could get by using virtualization instead though. It depends on what you are planning to do.

BootCamp Mac Problem And Solution

I decided to write this little article because I stumbled onto some problems when removing the bootcamp partition. I hadn’t used Windows in many months so I decided to delete the partition and gain some more hard drive space. It is easy enough to do. You just browse to the utility folder in OSX and start up the bootcamp application where you can delete the partition and reclaim your hard drive space. I have done this many times with other Macs and it worked flawlessly.

This time it didn’t really work but! I didn’t notice anything until I had to do a reboot. And that can take several weeks before I do. What happened is that the Mac wouldn’t boot at all. I hear the boot chime sound but after that a flashing folder with a question mark appeared.

This error is telling you that the Mac have problems booting from the hard drive. To make a long story short.. I had to start up the Mac with the non booting hard drive in target disk mode and connect it to another mac using firewire cable. The other Mac detected the drive but couldn’t initialize it. It could at least detect it so thats a start. If it asks you to format the hard drive select NO! do NOT do it.

So you think you should download an expensive hard drive repair application, do you? Nope, try something called TestDisk. This application will read the hard drive and enable you to re-apply the correct partition table without damaging anything. It is a bit fiddly because there are no real GUI and the work is done in the terminal but it works. At least it worked in my case. I suggest you read the manual in this case.

You may have other problems preventing your Mac from booting. But this article was written for those who had specific bootcamp issues.

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