View Full Version : ? about multiple partitions

12-03-2005, 01:11 AM
I am trying to decide how to proceed. My internal drive has 4 partitions, one is a bootable start up disk, the others have aliases linked to the bootable drive. For example, my documents folder on the start up disk is an alias. The actual documents folder lives on a different partition. (I am in this situation because I am pretty bad at guessing how big to make my partitions!) Anyway, I have two goals: first, creating a back up of everything, then erasing all the partitions on the internal drive, and restoring everything back to one partition. Do I need to partition my external drive to match the internal partitions and back up each partition separately or can I backup the startup partition, then use the backup alongside files option on the other three partitions? If I use the later technique, can I then reverse the backup back to a single, reformatted partition? Will all my aliases be broken?

Hope this post isn't too confusing. Thanks for your advice!

12-03-2005, 08:13 AM
Since the paths are all different, most likely, you're not going to be able to do the combination of partitions with SuperDuper! -- instead, you'll have to make the inital copy of the primary partition with it, and the rest will have to be done, carefully, with Finder.

Once everything's put back together on the backup, in one partition, you can boot from it, check it, and then copy it back to a clean drive...

Sorry I can't give you lots of steps, but I don't know where everything is, and think if you got yourself into this situation you can probably figure out how to get out better than I can! :)

12-03-2005, 09:04 AM
Hi Dave, thanks for the reply! After posting I found the similar thread from sliderule53 and that described my situation almost exactly. One question though, just like sliderule53, after I finished moving the last partition over to the new drive, (which I named the same as my old boot drive) the firewire icon was changed to the internal drive icon so I had two drives mounted with the same name and icon. Why?

I have yet to try to boot from the newly minted external drive. I will let you know if I am smart as you think I am about where I put everything! ;-)

12-03-2005, 09:20 AM
Because the icon is a file just like any other, and was copied to the destination volume when you did your backup. It's an expected this...

Let's see what happens when you reboot -- good luck! :)

12-04-2005, 11:50 AM
Hey Dave,
I have been somewhat successful! I was able to create a bootable copy of my boot drive on the firewire drive, then I moved the folders (documents, itunes, etc) back to their proper locations with Finder (and deleted the aliases to the other volumes). I had a few broken links to some Classic apps but that was easy to fix. All of the iApps work fine and seem to be accessing all the proper files. Hooray!

The only problem I seem to have is most (all the ones I have tried, anyway) of my Word files (which were down in the Documents folder, aliased from a separate partition on my old set up) will only open read only. Their permissions say owner "unknown" and that my access is read only. I repaired permissions every step of the way during this process and repairing them again now is no help. Also Word says it is "unable to load Microsoft Frameworks Library." The "Microsoft Frameworks" file is in the same location on old and new drives and the permissions are the same.
If I boot from the original internal drive, all is fine. Any idea on what caused this and any possible fix?

Thanks so much!

12-04-2005, 12:06 PM
You can fix the files with "unknown" owner by using Terminal. I don't know what your uid/gid is, so perhaps you could run the following in Terminal:


That'll give you both a "uid" and "gid" (probably 501 for the UID, and maybe 501 for the gid). Then, use those values with the "chown" command for each Word document, using the basic syntax:

sudo chown uid:gid the-document

Assuming the uid is 501 and the gid is 501 from the "id" command, you'd use:

sudo chown 501:501 the-document

To fill out the-document easily, type:

sudo chown 501:501

with a space at the end, and then drag down one of the documents from Finder. Drop it on Terminal, and it'll type the path for you.

Then, press Return and enter your password (it won't echo). Press Return again at the end of the password and check that document. Repeat for each "bad" file.

The Frameworks issue, though, it tough. I'd suggest reinstalling it, I think.

12-04-2005, 12:28 PM
I'm no UNIX geek but after this I'll be able to play one on TV!

From Terminal id:

uid=502(sfm) gid=20(staff) groups=20(staff), 80(admin)
(do these numbers look "correct"?)

so next would be:

sudo chown 502:20 "file name and path" from dragging the file to Terminal

Can I drag multiple files on to terminal at once and change them all?

Thanks again!

12-04-2005, 12:35 PM
chown can handle more than one file, so that should work. Don't carry too many, though.

12-04-2005, 12:36 PM
(Oh, sorry -- yes, that all looks right.)

12-04-2005, 12:51 PM
Thanks again for the fast responses. Your customer support is very impressive!

Change owner worked like a charm. I think all my word files are fixed. Should these changes survive another "repair permissions?"

I'm going to work off of my new external drive a little longer to make sure I have no other problems but so far so good.

A little off topic but I am thinking about doing a clean install of the system software (probably after I put every thing back on a single partition on my internal drive). I have never done an archive and install before. Just curious about your thoughts on this.

Thanks again, Dave.

12-04-2005, 12:59 PM
Repair permissions doesn't affect user files like those, so it'll definitely be maintained.

Tiger's archive-and-install works quite well. I wouldn't be reluctant to use it, though I wouldn't do so without a reason.

12-04-2005, 01:19 PM
I'm still running 10.3.9 on a g4 upgraded Pismo. I have some minor issues which I am hoping going back to one partition with some breathing room will solve. If not, I thought I'd try the reinstall. I agree, no need to do it without a reason. That's why I never have. I have used Macs since my SE in 86 or 87 and system 10 has been for me, the best overall experience.

12-04-2005, 01:30 PM
Panther's archive-and-install will work well, too.

Glad that OS X has been working well for you: it really does generally just work, even if the system isn't as "simple" as it used to be. The complexity is sometimes difficult to manage, especially when -- as happened to you -- it feels like you don't own your own computer.

But, fortunately, it's rare. Enjoy!