Resizing Bootcamp

After installing Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro, I quickly discovered that I had shortchanged the Bootcamp partition when assigning disk space (only 32GB).

A quick search on the web revealed numerous methods for resizing, the most common procedure being to:

  1. Using Winclone on the Mac, create an image of the Bootcamp partition;
  2. Run the Bootcamp Assistant to delete the partition;
  3. Run Bootcamp Assistant again to create a new, larger partition; and finally
  4. Restore the Windows installation from the Winclone image.

Ahem! Easier said than done… After deleting the Bootcamp partition, I had a horrible sinking feeling. Bootcamp Assistant kept telling me that it could not create a new partition because some files could not be moved. Following suggestions in various forums, I ran Disk Repair, Repair Permissions, defrag’d with Drive Genius, etc. all to no avail. After a few attempts, the message displayed by Bootcamp Assistant had also changed to “Please reinstall your system“!!!

I spent an evening backing up my system with Carbon Copy Cloner, booted from the Snow Leopard DVD, reformatted my MacBook hard drive and then restored my Mac partition (5 hours).

Now, when I ran the Bootcamp Assistant, it told me, “Boot Camp Assistant cannot be used. You must update your system software before using this setup assistant.” Oh Geez. I ran Software Update, repaired permissions and disk repair again without success.

Then I happened across a forum posting that stated that Bootcamp Assistant would not work if journaling was turned off for the mac partition. Funny, The Snow Leopard DVD has formatted my hard disk with journaling off by default. Somehow, that seems very wrong.

It was a simple matter to open up disk utility and activate journaling for my primary drive. I didn’t even have to reboot. And I was (happily) able to recreate a larger (80GB) partition for my Windows 7 installation. Winclone restored the system without incident and I am up and running again, but only after having spent a good 6-8 hours in total watching progress bars and beachballs.

Author: Robert Costain

Education Consultant in Beaconsfield, Quebec. Also available for voiceover and narration work.

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