Installation / Removal > Apple - Installation/Removal

Problem installing from os x.


I have just got a nano and am trying to install rockbox using os x. I have come across a bit of a problem. When it's formatted as fat32 os x appears only able to see the fat32 partition. This means you can't use dd to extract the boot partition so can't install the rockbox bootloader.

Here is the output from disktool and fdisk.

--- Code: ---disktool -l       
***Disk Appeared ('disk1s2',Mountpoint = '/Volumes/NANO', fsType = 'msdos', volName = 'NANO')

fdisk /dev/rdisk1
Disk: /dev/rdisk1       geometry: 992/128/63 [7999488 sectors]
Signature: 0xAA55
         Starting       Ending
 #: id  cyl  hd sec -  cyl  hd sec [     start -       size]
 1: 00    0   0   0 -    0   0   0 [         0 -          0] unused     
 2: 0B   19 118   7 -  990  14  63 [    160656 -    7823649] Win95 FAT-32
 3: 00    0   0   0 -    0   0   0 [         0 -          0] unused     
 4: 00    0   0   0 -    0   0   0 [         0 -          0] unused
--- End code ---

When it's formatted as hfs os x can see the extra partitions and dd can be used on them so it's possible to get the rockbox bootloader running. The trouble is rockbox can't read the apple partition table or the hfs filesystem.

Output from disktool, disk1s2 is the boot partition.

--- Code: --- disktool -l
***Disk Appeared ('disk1s1',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')
***Disk Appeared ('disk1s2',Mountpoint = '', fsType = '', volName = '')
***Disk Appeared ('disk1s3',Mountpoint = '/Volumes/iPod', fsType = 'hfs', volName = 'iPod')

--- End code ---

Unless rockbox is able to read apple partitions and hfs aren't os x users going to be stuck without rockbox or am I missing something?

If found that if I try to format as Fat32 from a windows machine, it'll format OVER the hidden partition, using the full disk as Fat32. This is, at least, what I've noticed as the default behaviour. Out of curiosity, what differentiates an HFS and a Fat32 ipod other than the FS? Can you use a Win32 Apple Restore utility to generate a proper partition table?

The apple restore utility will restore from either type but I could only get windows to produce fat32 and os x to produce hfs.

The nano at least shows up as a removable drive in windows. I think this effects how windows treats the drive when formatting. Removable drives like memory sticks and cards typically won't be partitioned while removable hard drives will.

Yeah, that's why I'm saying use the Windows Apple Restore utility to create a properly partitioned Fat32 iPod, or when formatting Fat32 make sure that it does *not* destroy the Firmware patition (windows format does destroy it)

The problem I found with both Mac OS X and Windows is that the first partition on an iPod (the firmware/boot partition) is marked as type "Empty".  So these operating systems don't give you direct access to that partition.  Linux doesn't care and gives you access to it as usual via a device such as /dev/sda1.

The only way to access that partition is to access the whole-disk device (e.g. /dev/disk1 in Mac OS).  This is how the ipodpatcher.exe utility works - it by-passes the operating system by reading  the partition table itself from the first sector on the hard disk.

I have written the equivalent to ipodpatcher.exe for Mac OS - I'll try and clean it up and release it.


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