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Startup Disk Fail. Need Help badly!

I partitioned windows XP onto my Mac HD a few days ago. It worked beautifully until last night. Whenever I booted to it, it stuck at the welcome screen for 10 minutes, and was really buggy upon startup.

This morning, my macbook pro (bought in August '09) upon turning on automatically boots to windows XP. No amount of holding "c" or "Alt" will bring up rEFIt or boot camp selection pane. And the kicker is, the windows XP partition is completely corrupted.

Here's what happens now:

1)Turn Macbook Pro on, hold down "c" or "Alt"
2)White background for ~ten minutes, nothing happens
3)After a long time, boots to black screen and says "Startup Disk Error... Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.

I'm pretty sure its trying to boot to Windows XP partition, because Ctrl+Alt+Del is not a Mac OS X command... But I can't boot to my Mac OS X partition.

Help! Thanks in advance

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to Clarify

What I want to do is either Boot directly to Mac OS X so I can delete the XP partition


Somehow delete the XP partition from outside Mac OS X, so I boot to Mac naturally.

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Well, for starters, holding down "C" only works if you have a bootable CD/DVD in the drive. And holding down "Alt" doesn't do anything. You want "Option" to get the EFI bootloader. That should let you manually select the Mac OS X partition to boot from.

Hard to say what happened, but I wouldn't be surprised if some malware screwed up boot camp, which will likely be a real mess to untangle. Personally, I'd just not even bother, and reinstall. You left out what version of OS X you're running, so either do an Archive and Reinstall for versions pre-10.6, or let the 10.6 installer do its thing (because you have no real choice in the matter) and just start over.

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What I meant to say is that I hold down the Option key, not Alt

Nothing changes. It automatically boots to windows XP, bypassing the option to pick a startup disk. How do I manually delete the XP partition?

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Get out your OS X DVD

Get out your OS X DVD, boot from that, then just reinstall OS X. If all else fails, take it to the nearest Apple Store if there's one within a reasonable driving distance.

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Steady there Jimmy,

the Alt and the Option keys are one and the same.



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Well, I don't have a Mac keyboard handy at the moment, or when I was posting, so just making sure. In any case, there clearly seems to be something else wrong if even manually selecting the Mac partition doesn't help. Only time I've ever seen that happen is when the drive itself is pretty much toast, which would probably be the next step if repartitioning it doesn't have any positive effect.

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(NT) Agreed, something else is certainly going on

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