Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bootcamp Partition Lost Repairing Mac Partitions

Today I changed my Macbook partition sizes and Windows Bootcamp would not show in the Boot menu. Here are the steps I used to fix it. I got these from an Apple forum post.

The 45 page long Apple forum post I used is here:

Warning and disclaimer.  I am in no way responsible for you following these instructions and breaking anything.  Please read them carefully, if there is anything you do not understand or do not know then please STOP!  Although what we are doing is simple, a mistake can lead to big problems that I do not know how to fix.  Read the instructions carefully and consider your options.

How It Started – Macbook Resizing OS X Partition

I had a partition of Macbook OS X Mountain Lion and Windows 7 on Bootcamp.  I needed more space on the Windows side so I decided to use Disk utility on the Macbook to shrink the size of the Mac partition, and use the spare space to make a third partition in exfat format.  Bad idea! because modifying the core Mac partition modifies the MBR (Master boot record), and removes Bootcamp from the startup menu.

Bootcamp still exists in it’s own partition, it’s just that the boot process on the Mac does not know to look there for a bootable thing.

The solution is to fix the Master Boot Record and tell it that it should add the Windows 7 Bootcamp partition to the bootable drives list it has.

Warning 2 – this is simple, but scary.  We will be using terminal and reading things carefully.  If you can not do either of these two then find someone who can.  I will provide full instructions to allow me to repeat this process to fix the partition MBR if it ever happens for me again, so you know it should be good.

How to Fix the Broken Bootcamp Partition after Resizing Mac OS X Partition

First, we need to download some software to handle the partition fixing.  Get gptfdisk from here:

Download the latest version (I used 0.8.6) and because you’re on a Mac you will need the .pkg version.

Once you have downloaded gptfdisk double click the file and install the .pkg file that downloaded.  That’s all the software we’ll be using.  Now it’s just you and terminal.

NOTICE – Now is a good time to plug your Macbook in to charge, you don’t want the power going out while changing the MBR.  Trust me.  Also a great time to BACKUP everything on your Mac and Windows Bootcamp partition.  I just backed up my Mac side because I like to live dangerously and my Windows Bootcamp partition is just for games and testing.

Now back to fixing.

Open terminal.  For a quick shortcut to open it press (CMD + spacebar) to open the spotlight quick search and type terminal.  That will open terminal.  It has >_ as it’s icon.

Let’s see what the state of your MBR is first.  Type these three things.  After each one press enter.  You will need your password for them because we use sudo.  None of the lines change anything on your computer and are used so you can get information about the state of your MBR and partitions.  Type carefully, and that is a vee vee not double you on line 1, and it is disk-numberzero not disk-oh.

  1. sudo gpt -r -vv show disk0
  2. sudo fdisk /dev/disk0
  3. diskutil list

One shows you disk status and partitions.  Two shows you types and three shows you your hard disk partition setup.  Three is the most important.

Output of line 3:

0: GUID_partition_scheme *250.1 GB disk0
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS SSD 125.0 GB disk0s2
3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 650.0 MB disk0s5
4: Microsoft Basic Data exfat1 24.2 GB disk0s6
5: Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP 100.0 GB disk0s4

IMPORTANT! note down the number on the left of BOOTCAMP when you do line three above!  For me this number was 5.  For you it might be 4.  This is what we will use to tell the MBR it’s a boot drive.

That’s the setup and preparation complete.  Now it’s time to go deep.  Open a new terminal window.  Anywhere that says <enter> means press enter.

Type the following line to start disk:

sudo gdisk /dev/disk0

r <enter>        go to the recovery & transformation menu

h <enter>        create a new hybrid MBR.

STOP! the next line is the most important.  Use whatever your bootcamp partition was above when we did line 3.  My Bootcamp partition on my Mac was 5.  Yours may be 4 or even 3.

5 <enter>        add partion 5 to the MBR.  Your’s may be different! Use what you got from line 3 above.

y <enter> if you are asked “Place EFI GPT (0xEE) partition first in MBR (good for GRUB)?”

<enter>          accept the default MBR hex code of 07

y <enter>        set the bootable flag

n <enter>        do not protect more partitions

o < enter>       print (display) the MBR.

You will see a message telling you it’s go time to actually write the partition.  It will say “Disk size is …” and list two MBR partitions it will make.   This is essentially a notification of what the new MBR will look like.  Look at it and if it looks acceptable then hit w <enter> to write out the table:

w <enter>     Recovery/transformation command (write partition table to disk)

y <enter>  Say yes to question: do you want to proceed.

It will recommend you reboot your Macbook.  Do it and when it’s booting up hold the left ALT/option key like you always do to boot up into Bootcamp.  It should work.

If it did work, great!  Don’t do it again :)  If it didn’t work…try the link at the top to the Apple forum post.  It’s 45 pages long right now so good luck with that but the guy seems very helpful.

Final disclaimer.  This post is for my personal use only and I accept no responsibility for anything you do with it or if anything bad or good happens because you followed the instructions above.  This fix worked for me once and will hopefully work next time I accidentally destroy my Bootcamp partition and stop Windows bootcamp from booting or showing in the startup choice menu when starting my Mac.

Location of Samsung Galaxy S4 Phone Water Damage Indicator

The location of the water damage indicator on the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. The moisture sensor paper is under the back cover in a special location. To find and see the water damage indicator paper you will need a Philips screwdriver and your phone.

A plastic pick is also helpful for separating the back casing. I used an old sim card and it worked great, but damaged the old sim card slightly.

Before starting I should say I accept NO liability if you damage your phone, warranty, or anything in any way by doing anything mentioned on this page or any page on this website. You accept total liability for your actions. I am not sure if doing any of this affects your Samsung S4 phone warranty in any way, but it’s your task to find this out before doing the process below to find the water mark warning indicator. You will only be removing 8 screws and removing the back cover with the pick. No electronics are removed or harmed by this process.

Remember to ground yourself before doing anything with electronics because of static electricity. You can ground yourself by touching a grounded central radiator with your hand before starting. A metal door handle might work too, but I’m not sure.

First, turn over your Samsung s4 phone and remove the back cover. Remove the battery, sim card and memory card if you have one.

Intrusion 2 – Steam Indie Game Review

As part of a Humble Bundle I found Intrusion 2 in my Steam game list. Here is a quick review/critique of what was good and what was bad in the game. Intrusion 2 was developed by Aleksey Abramenko and the Intrusion 2 metacritic score is 80/100. The Intrusion 2 game is a 2D platformer shootem-up, similar to Metal Slug on the old Neo-geo console.

This is a random critique, just spilling out my thoughts on the game.

The graphics are…dated. I don’t mind that they are retro 2D, but here they’re slightly worse than Metal slug graphics. Getting the graphics right for a 2D platformer is a core feature. Metal slug has 2.5D graphics art and the art fits the game perfectly. Intrusion 2’s graphics are nice…but not Metal slug 3 nice. The screen also feels “empty” when compared to Metal Slug 3. I would recommend adding more floating papers and general junk to the scenes, nice weather effects would be an easy feature to add to increase the immersion and atmosphere of the game.

Animations/motion in Intrusion 2 is slightly jerky, again I compare it with the butter smooth Metal Slug. Gravity is floaty and the damping is off. Because of this the controls don’t feel “tight”, which is something hard to get right but it pays of big because it’s something that is always in the game (and once you get the controls right you can copy and paste into sequels).

Bullets collisions are not accurate, which ruins immersion. Sometimes they vanish when hitting the middle of a sprite, sometimes the side. They feel like something pulled out of gamemaker.

Music is good and follows the game well but lacks the “rock of action” needed in 2D shooting platformers. Sounds effects are acceptable, but sound muffled and lack punch and excitement like streets of rage. I want my speakers popping. Lack of big explosions.

Enemy variety is great, there are many cool enemies with unusual attack patterns. The Box-2d physics used makes for some cool fighting. For example, when you take out a jetpack man he will spin out of control (in 2D). Imagine how cool it would be if he spun out in 3D…flying towards the screen or back into the background with some sprite scaling? Something to think about for Intrusion 3.

Shooting enemies is also not as “tight” as Metal slug. In metal slug, you shoot an enemy and you KNOW you’ve shot them. In Intrusion 2, there is no or very little feedback that your shots are even hitting. For feedback I would have liked visual + sound effects. This lack of appropriate feedback when hitting is the same flaw found in Gears of War 3 and Crysis 2. Without feedback or instakill when shooting bad guys it ruins the experience and immersion of the game. In metal slug, 1 or 2 shots are enough for most enemies and you get instant graphical and sound feedback. I’d like to see the same in Intrusion 2.

A tiny intro story would be a nice feature. Nothing long or expeditionary, just a simple paragraph of text to explain why I’m shooting at aliens. A good story adds context to a game and is valuable for very little extra work.

Overall, I LOVED metal gear solid and finished every game in the series, but I’m sad to say I didn’t like Intrusion 2. It just felt like the game was not polished enough. This is a shame because the content is there, just waiting to be played, and it’s great. Awesome variety of enemies, interesting puzzles and great 2D physics. But Intrusion 2 is let down by…lack of polish or lack of playtesting.

Final verdict – I would pay $1 for Intrusion 2 out of a maximum of $5 for 2D shooting platformers. This score comes from metal slug already existing as a perfect example in the 2D platformer market and being available practically free and in multiple versions. Although the value of 2D platformers is low the impulse buyness of games like Intrusion 2 is high. If it looks nice I’ll easily drop $3 without thinking on a game with Metal Slug 3 style graphics.

I would drop $10 on a Mirrors edge 2D clone or a clone of the scarecrow steps 2.5D scene from Batman Arkham Asylum. I think using modern, more realistic graphics is a big area that 2D platformers could move into and win big. The core gameplay in these games is already proven, looking nicer is a great way to get an extra unique selling point.