So, I recently got accepted into a beta program for a popular game. The problem is, there’s no Mac version of the beta yet. So, I had to get a windows machine up and going. All the PCs in my home, and at work, aren’t really capable of playing modern games. So, I had to get bootcamp working on my laptop (which is still fairly old, but at least is a C2D Macbook Pro (2006)).
So, I started with just trying to run bootcamp assistant. It failed saying “cannot move files”. Great. So, looking online, I found that it can be caused by insufficient space on the HD. So, I removed some data from my laptop. Ran the assistant again, and got the same result. Moving on, I tried using the work copy of iDefrag. I did both the “compact” option, and the “full optimize” option. After both, the result of the bootcamp assistant was the same: “unable to move files”.
So finally, after spending probably 16 hours on this problem, I “Target Disk Mode” booted my MBP, and hooked it up to my Mini Server, and ran Carbon Copy Cloner to backup my MBP to a disk image. Then, repartitioned the drive on the MBP as 1 partition, HFS+ Journaled. Then, ran CCC and restored the disk image back to the MBP HD. (Total time for backup, then restore, about 2 hours for 50GB (about 1 hour for each direction). I then booted the MBP back up, and ran the Bootcamp assistant. It worked!
So, while iDefrag SHOULD have been enough to move everything up to the start of the disk, it didn’t seem to be enough. CCC does file level copies, so wiping the drive, then restoring it, basically moved everything to the start of the drive, and all non-fragmented. Who knows, maybe the bootcamp assistant just looks at the age of the partition and decides to fail based upon it’s age. *shrugs*
Anyway, I installed XP SP3 since I couldn’t get Win 7 64-bit to install. I’m going to give it another shot when I have some time, given this link that seems to address the issue I saw when I tried booting from the Win 7 DVD.
So, all told, 18-20 hours (with some sleep in there) to install XP to play one game that’ll probably have a Mac version of the beta out in a couple weeks. But, it was worth it after playing 3 hours tonight, and probably playing more tomorrow.
All that said, Apple really should allow running the Bootcamp assistant from another machine while the “target” is in TDM. Or, run it from single user mode. The former should allow everything to be moved, and the latter should allow moving of just about everything but the kernel. *shrugs* Bit annoying. But, it’s really a “corner case” for those of us that want/need to install windows after the initial computer setup. The CCC route seems like the most easy, fast, and logical option. If only I’d thought of it to begin with.