Can't unlock encrypted external drive!

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
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Okay first of all, 'as usual' my external drive (used for Time Machine backup) was 'unproperly ejected' as I wake the computer up. This happens since I bought the iMac (late 2012) and the external drive (Seagate Backup Plus 1TB), although it happens more frequently after 10.8.5 and now 10.9.

Today, something worse happened. It asked me to enter the password to unlock the disk (it's encrypted). I entered the password and it shakes. It won't unlock! I've checked the hint and Keychain Access, I've entered the exact correct password a few times. I even copied it from the keychain and it still won't unlock! What's going on? Is my disk corrupted? Is it related to this problem?

What do I do? :(

EDIT: I've also tried unplugging and plugging the drive back in, and it still asks for password and won't accept the (correct) password that I enter. It's also not appearing on my 'Devices' menu.
 

Weaselboy

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Try it in Disk Utility. Look in the File menu and try to unlock it from there then do a disk repair.
 

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
622
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Try it in Disk Utility. Look in the File menu and try to unlock it from there then do a disk repair.
I think you mean "mount it from there" as I do not see any option to "unlock" it in the File menu. I tried to mount it but can't. It didn't ask for password, it just said can't be mounted.

I clicked "Verify Disk" and it says everything is OK. I clicked "Repair Disk" and it stopped half way and says the disk can't be repaired. The window that asks for password to unlock the disk also simultaneously popped up - and the password still wouldn't work.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,179
5,535
Next time, think twice about encrypting or otherwise password-protecting your drives, especially if it's being used as a backup.

Backups should be as easy to "get into" as possible -- because the very reason one _needs_ a backup is usually in a situation of "duress".

If you need "security", lock the drive up in something.
 

Weaselboy

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I think you mean "mount it from there" as I do not see any option to "unlock" it in the File menu. I tried to mount it but can't. It didn't ask for password, it just said can't be mounted.

I clicked "Verify Disk" and it says everything is OK. I clicked "Repair Disk" and it stopped half way and says the disk can't be repaired. The window that asks for password to unlock the disk also simultaneously popped up - and the password still wouldn't work.
Nope... I mean unlock. It would look like this.



I suspect you are not seeing that option because the partition won't mount. Can you see the drive, but just not the partition in Disk Util?

Attach the drive then enter "diskutil cs list" (without the quotes) in Terminal then post up the output.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
Okay first of all, 'as usual' my external drive (used for Time Machine backup) was 'unproperly ejected' as I wake the computer up. This happens since I bought the iMac (late 2012) and the external drive (Seagate Backup Plus 1TB), although it happens more frequently after 10.8.5 and now 10.9.

Today, something worse happened. It asked me to enter the password to unlock the disk (it's encrypted). I entered the password and it shakes. It won't unlock! I've checked the hint and Keychain Access, I've entered the exact correct password a few times. I even copied it from the keychain and it still won't unlock! What's going on? Is my disk corrupted? Is it related to this problem?

What do I do? :(

EDIT: I've also tried unplugging and plugging the drive back in, and it still asks for password and won't accept the (correct) password that I enter. It's also not appearing on my 'Devices' menu.
This migt sound silly, but what happens if you cancel the dialog asking for the key?

I also have an encrypted backup drive, and for some reason plugging it in occasionally makes a non-functional passkey dialog pop up. It won't accept the passkey I know is correct, but if I just cancel the dialog, the key is fetched from my keyring and the partition unlocks and mounts normally.
 

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
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Hopefully you made a backup.
It is a backup drive. Currently all the files that I (currently) care about are in my Mac. It just means that I probably won't be able to recover anything if something happens to the my Mac HD. And I don't have any other external drive at the moment.

I feel so sorry for all those who lost all their files in their external storage drives when I read the WD thread.


Nope... I mean unlock. It would look like this.

Image

I suspect you are not seeing that option because the partition won't mount. Can you see the drive, but just not the partition in Disk Util?

Attach the drive then enter "diskutil cs list" (without the quotes) in Terminal then post up the output.
That means it only shows either "Unlock" or "Mount" if there's where it is. So I can't unlock because it's not mounted. I can see the partition, but it's greyed out.

Here's the result for "diskutil cs list" in Terminal:

CoreStorage logical volume groups (1 found)
|
+-- Logical Volume Group 26C8225B-9631-44B9-B935-3C17BF225D30
=========================================================
Name: Seagate Backup Plus Drive
Status: Online
Size: 999860912128 B (999.9 GB)
Free Space: 16777216 B (16.8 MB)
|
+-< Physical Volume 2223F780-6AB4-4A44-91C9-EB0CB850A518
| ----------------------------------------------------
| Index: 0
| Disk: disk1s2
| Status: Online
| Size: 999860912128 B (999.9 GB)
|
+-> Logical Volume Family B13E6995-5781-46F5-8354-F3BF6B4F350D
----------------------------------------------------------
Encryption Status: Unlocked
Encryption Type: AES-XTS
Conversion Status: Complete
Conversion Direction: -none-
Has Encrypted Extents: Yes
Fully Secure: Yes
Passphrase Required: Yes
|
+-> Logical Volume 1E54302A-022F-4CC5-BF8C-A3426B770826
---------------------------------------------------
Disk: disk2
Status: Online
Size (Total): 999525363712 B (999.5 GB)
Conversion Progress: -none-
Revertible: Yes (unlock and decryption required)
LV Name: Seagate Backup Plus Drive
Volume Name: Seagate Backup Plus Drive
Content Hint: Apple_HFSX

This migt sound silly, but what happens if you cancel the dialog asking for the key?

I also have an encrypted backup drive, and for some reason plugging it in occasionally makes a non-functional passkey dialog pop up. It won't accept the passkey I know is correct, but if I just cancel the dialog, the key is fetched from my keyring and the partition unlocks and mounts normally.
Nothing happens, it just won't mount.
 
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Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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Here's the result for "diskutil cs list" in Terminal:
That diskutil cs list output looks correct. All I can think of is somehow the encrypted core storage volume was corrupted.

If you want to wipe it out and reformat to start over, enter the command below in Terminal. After that you will be able to reformat the disk in Disk Utility. After the reformat, run Disk Repair to see if any errors show up.

That string after the command is the UUID of the core storage logical volume group.

Of course any data on there will be gone.

Code:
diskutil cs delete 26C8225B-9631-44B9-B935-3C17BF225D30
 

blackburn

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2010
974
0
Where Judas lost it's boots.
I've had issues with an external hard disk encrypted with the time machine backups. I've had to format it.

But even now sometimes it fails do decrypt it.

A thing that I've noticed also is that when I plug the hard drive is asks for the password, I type it and it mounts but it says the password is wrong (but I can see my files just fine).
 

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
622
110
That diskutil cs list output looks correct. All I can think of is somehow the encrypted core storage volume was corrupted.

If you want to wipe it out and reformat to start over, enter the command below in Terminal. After that you will be able to reformat the disk in Disk Utility. After the reformat, run Disk Repair to see if any errors show up.

That string after the command is the UUID of the core storage logical volume group.

Of course any data on there will be gone.

Code:
diskutil cs delete 26C8225B-9631-44B9-B935-3C17BF225D30
Okay, thanks a lot for your help. I'll call AppleCare sometime and ask for their advice. If nothing else can be done, I'll just proceed with starting over.
 

dean1012

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2008
130
0
This is a bit scary but it just undermines the necessity for multiple backups, especially if you care about version history.

I know the OP probably knows this but for the benefit of anyone on the internet finding this post, I'll outline a few thoughts here.

* Backup using Time Machine. This is your first line of defense

* Use a service like CrashPlan+. Second line of defense...

* Use SuperDuper (or something similar) to clone Time Machine drive to another external drive once a week. This is your third line of defense... a ready-to-go Time Machine replacement

* Use SuperDuper to create a bootable clone once a week. This is your last line of defense.


Basically if you lose a file, you restore from Time Machine as always. No worries.

If your Time Machine drive dies a horrible death or can't be accessed, you can restore a file from CrashPlan+. Additionally, you can swap out your Time Machine for the backup Time Machine and haven't lost anythying. No worries.

If you lose both Time Machine drives simultaneously (say, your kid decides to play with matches and your house burns down...), you can restore from CrashPlan+ (which also has versions) and start over on Time Machine backups. Not all is lost.

Finally, if all else fails (say both Time Machines fail and CrashPlan goes out of business), you have a fully bootable clone.

As long as you took steps to correct any failures as they occur, the liklihood of all backups failing at the same time (plus the original computer) are acceptably low in most circumstances.
 

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
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Please let me know what they say. I am curious if they have a better solution.
I've called them. They guided me to reset the P-RAM or whatever by shutting down the Mac and unplugging for about 15 secs. And when that didn't work, they asked me to restart and press command+option+P+R during the chime. That didn't work either. So they finally told me to just reformat the disk.

So I reformatted the disk from the Disk Utility. I didn't do what you suggested using the Terminal. That is okay right? I'm a bit nervous with Terminal (since I'm a noob with it) and only use it as last resort or just to get hidden informations.
 

Weaselboy

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Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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I've called them. They guided me to reset the P-RAM or whatever by shutting down the Mac and unplugging for about 15 secs. And when that didn't work, they asked me to restart and press command+option+P+R during the chime. That didn't work either. So they finally told me to just reformat the disk.

So I reformatted the disk from the Disk Utility. I didn't do what you suggested using the Terminal. That is okay right? I'm a bit nervous with Terminal (since I'm a noob with it) and only use it as last resort or just to get hidden informations.
Sure that's fine if you were able to reformat? I was under the impression you were not able to mount so a format was not possible, and that is why I gave you the command to kill the encrypted volume first, but if you got it to reformat without that command... you are in good shape.

You might also do a "verify disk" on that drive now and then again every few days to make sure there are no errors popping up. It could be the drive is beginning to fail and that caused your problems, and hopefully a verify disk check in Disk Utility would detect any issues coming up.
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
315
Okay first of all, 'as usual' my external drive (used for Time Machine backup) was 'unproperly ejected' as I wake the computer up. This happens since I bought the iMac (late 2012) and the external drive (Seagate Backup Plus 1TB), although it happens more frequently after 10.8.5 and now 10.9.
If you are getting the "Improperly Ejected" message "as usual", you should not be surprised when your disk (encrypted or not) starts having problems. OS X is telling you that the drive was not unmounted properly and there is a good chance of data being corrupted:

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/datacorruption.html

Solving the error message on wake may not be easy; you may have to try a different drive manufacturer, or wait for a fix, or manually unmount the drive before you sleep the machine, but as long as you treat this message as a normal event, you should expect to reformat this drive on a regular basis.

A.
 

Swordylove

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 23, 2012
622
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Sure that's fine if you were able to reformat? I was under the impression you were not able to mount so a format was not possible, and that is why I gave you the command to kill the encrypted volume first, but if you got it to reformat without that command... you are in good shape.

You might also do a "verify disk" on that drive now and then again every few days to make sure there are no errors popping up. It could be the drive is beginning to fail and that caused your problems, and hopefully a verify disk check in Disk Utility would detect any issues coming up.
Yeah the partition was greyed out, unmountable, but still erasable. Thanks again for all your help. :)


If you are getting the "Improperly Ejected" message "as usual", you should not be surprised when your disk (encrypted or not) starts having problems. OS X is telling you that the drive was not unmounted properly and there is a good chance of data being corrupted:

http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/datacorruption.html

Solving the error message on wake may not be easy; you may have to try a different drive manufacturer, or wait for a fix, or manually unmount the drive before you sleep the machine, but as long as you treat this message as a normal event, you should expect to reformat this drive on a regular basis.

A.
Thanks for your input.

Now I eject the disk every time before going to sleep. Do you know if there is an easier and faster way (that is readily available in OS X) to remount the disk instead of going to Disk Utility or unplug-replug?
 

Alrescha

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2008
2,157
315
Do you know if there is an easier and faster way (that is readily available in OS X) to remount the disk instead of going to Disk Utility or unplug-replug?
'diskutil mount /dev/yourexternaldevice' in Terminal?

A.
(well, it's easier for some :)
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,126
197
Sydney, Australia
Now I eject the disk every time before going to sleep. Do you know if there is an easier and faster way (that is readily available in OS X) to remount the disk instead of going to Disk Utility or unplug-replug?
If you don't mind spending a couple of bucks this application automatically umounts drives when the system sleeps and remounts them on wake:

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/id447430809?mt=12
 

sebs83

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2014
1
1
The same thing happened to me a week or so ago.

I don't mean to dumb down this thread by suggesting too simple a solution, but you might try replacing the USB cord (if that's how your drive is connected to your Mac. For me, the only problem was a defective connection between my drive and my macbook.

I replaced the USB cord (which had been a very cheap one) with a new one and now my drive mounts perfectly with the password.

Since my external drive is my backup too, I'm very relieved!
 
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brdeveloper

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2010
2,471
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Brasil
I'm facing a similar (if not the same) issue with my external drive (encrypted SSD in an USB enclosure). The drive is listed in disk utility, but the logical volume appears grayed-out. The only available option is "unlock" which doesn't work.

I can't reboot my machine because I'm running scripts that take a day or two for finishing, so I don't know what to do to get my drive working sooner...
 

mrtravel123

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2007
198
2
The exact same thing happened to me - today.

I have an external USB 3.0 WD My Passport that I use for my TM / and encrypted.

I tried to verify & repair it. I unplugged it in, plugged it back in.... and even tried to do these things on another MBP in the house. Nothing worked.

Then I remembered that this type of thing happened before. An external HD (a different WD My Passport) was inappropriately unplugged. In short, it was not ejected properly & the computer let me know it at the time.

The solution BOTH TIMES was to essentially plug the drive back in... and let it sit there for 15 - 30 minutes. Both times the drive eventually became recognizable and self-repaired. Today, it happened discreetly and I didn't even see it happen.

So, before reformatting & all that.... plug it in and let it just sit there. Maybe it'll just work itself out? It did for me... twice.

That being said, the 2nd time it happened was today... and I have not unplugged the drive since. So, I'm not sure what'll happen when I unplug it. When this happened previously.... everything was A-OK.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
32,744
22,594
Behind the Lens, UK
The same thing happened to me a week or so ago.

I don't mean to dumb down this thread by suggesting too simple a solution, but you might try replacing the USB cord (if that's how your drive is connected to your Mac. For me, the only problem was a defective connection between my drive and my macbook.

I replaced the USB cord (which had been a very cheap one) with a new one and now my drive mounts perfectly with the password.

Since my external drive is my backup too, I'm very relieved!
If your external drive is also your back up, you don't have a back up. If that's your only plan you are fried if there is a problem. See dean1012's post above for a good back up strategy.
 

MatsSkoe

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2013
57
2
Rotterdam
I had the same problem. Time Machine corrupted by not safely removing hardware. The password which I knew was correct was not accepted in any way!

Disk Utility also said could not mount, try first aid. So I did and Verify Disk showed you need to repair the disk but the Repair Disk was greyed out.

However after trying a lot, via the menu bar selecting Decrypt Volume accepted my password, said it was going to work in the background and the Time Machine was mounted after a couple of minutes!!!

Now Time Machine says it is on 30% of Decrypting Backup Disk... so fingers crossed.

Update: I cannot rule out Mrtravel123's solution, for I also have a WD My Passport. So maybe the solution was just keep it plugged in.

Update2: It worked! I recovered all data.
 
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