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Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
One of the volumes won't mount - 4TB external HDD (2TB for time machine, 1TB container for backups, 1TB container for work files). All encrypted APFS.

I've tried mounting/repairing it in Disk Utility, Terminal, Recovery Mode, Terminal in Recovery Mode (error messages below).

Disk Utility hangs for probably five minutes before displaying the drives. It doesn't ask for the password when trying to mount, nor is the password in my keychain for it to automatically grab.

Thanks for letting me use up some of your time, I have tried all kinds of stuff and am starting to think it's a lost cause. I really appreciate any help you could give.

Error messages I get

When trying to mount partition:
couldn't mount: (com.apple.DiskManagement.disenter error 49218.)

When trying first aid on the partition in Disk Utility:
** Checking the encryption key structures. error: failed to enable crypto I/O mode for container /dev/rdisk5: Invalid argument

When trying first aid on the partition's container in Disk Utility:
Some APFS cryptographic state information was unexpectedly unavailable. : (-69461)

When trying repairvolume on the partition in Terminal:
error: failed to enable crypto I/O mode for container /dev/rdisk6: Invalid argument File system check exit code is 66

When trying repairvolume on the partition's container in Terminal:
Error: -69461: Unable to get VEK info for an APFS Volume which is marked as encrypted in the IOKit Registry
 

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Freeangel1

Suspended
Jan 13, 2020
1,191
1,753
What os are you on? Monterey?
Have you tried all these steps running a Mac with Big Sur? Catalina? Mojave? or even Bata 2 Ventura?

Just a thought.
 
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Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
Yep, Monterey. I think I have one with Big Sur still on it... I'll give it a try! Thanks for the suggestion.
 

Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
Hm it was actually Catalina, but sadly it had even more trouble with the drive.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,129
12,287
Here's one more reason why my advice is to NEVER encrypt drives unless you have a really, really, compelling reason to do so -- and a second backup of that data, as well.

If there's stuff on that drive that you don't want others to access, then lock it up in a safe, or at least keep it hidden.

But encryption can "do its thing" when not expected, and keep YOU from getting at that data, as well as others...
 
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Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
I really don't have a reason to encrypt either, just figured extra security would be wise. I'm definitely soured on encrypting and honestly external drives in general. I don't know if it's just my bad luck but I feel like I regularly have issues with them.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,321
2,659
I'm definitely soured on encrypting and honestly external drives in general

External drives can work just fine. I have maybe 20 of them. You just have to be careful with:

1. Interface. USB (& USB version), thunderbolt
2. Enclosure. Lots of problems happen with poor quality enclosures
3. Specific disks, SSDs you put into the enclosure.
 
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eltoslightfoot

macrumors 68020
Feb 25, 2011
2,008
2,390
Here's one more reason why my advice is to NEVER encrypt drives unless you have a really, really, compelling reason to do so -- and a second backup of that data, as well.

If there's stuff on that drive that you don't want others to access, then lock it up in a safe, or at least keep it hidden.

But encryption can "do its thing" when not expected, and keep YOU from getting at that data, as well as others...
So you are saying people shouldn't encrypt drives? Especially external drives? I respectfully disagree. I agree with having backups to the data, but I have encrypted drives forever and never had an issue. It could even be that the encryption isn't the reason for the failure.
 
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eltoslightfoot

macrumors 68020
Feb 25, 2011
2,008
2,390
External drives can work just fine. I have maybe 20 of them. You just have to be careful with:

1. Interface. USB (& USB version), thunderbolt
2. Enclosure. Lots of problems happen with poor quality enclosures
3. Specific disks, SSDs you put into the enclosure.
This. Just pay for a good one.
 

HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,321
2,659
So you are saying people shouldn't encrypt drives? Especially external drives?

Don't think anyone is saying that. One of my medical professionals had his laptop stolen with all of my records. Since it was encrypted no issue of data being compromised.

But there are potential costs which can cause problems if you have a failure. You just have to be aware of them and decide which is more important - security or a better ability to handle failures.
 
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JonaM

macrumors regular
Sep 26, 2017
156
160
You mention that the password is missing from the keychain as well. Was it previously in there and went missing at the same time you started having problems?

The errors all seem to be pointing to the encryption key being missing from the drive ( I'm simplifying), but the fact it's not in keychain is intriguing
 

eltoslightfoot

macrumors 68020
Feb 25, 2011
2,008
2,390
Don't think anyone is saying that. One of my medical professionals had his laptop stolen with all of my records. Since it was encrypted no issue of data being compromised.

But there are potential costs which can cause problems if you have a failure. You just have to be aware of them and decide which is more important - security or a better ability to handle failures.
@Fishrrman said exactly that above. And I quote, "Here's one more reason why my advice is to NEVER encrypt drives unless you have a really, really, compelling reason to do so -- and a second backup of that data, as well."
 

Fuchal

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2003
2,601
1,040
MacOS has eaten two of my APFS encrypted USB disks in the past 2 years. I don't go anywhere near it anymore.
 
Last edited:

Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
You mention that the password is missing from the keychain as well. Was it previously in there and went missing at the same time you started having problems?

The errors all seem to be pointing to the encryption key being missing from the drive ( I'm simplifying), but the fact it's not in keychain is intriguing
No it was in there but as part of my troubleshooting I removed it from keychain hoping it would ask for it again and therefore unlock the encryption. I could be wrong but as far as I can tell it never got to the stage in the process where it needed a password.
 
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MacCheetah3

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2003
1,998
998
Central MN
No it was in there but as part of my troubleshooting I removed it from keychain hoping it would ask for it again and therefore unlock the encryption. I could be wrong but as far as I can tell it never got to the stage in the process where it needed a password.
Have you logged out or restarted your Mac since entering the password? At least for my encrypted Time Machine backup, I can unmount and remount as necessary without needing to re-enter the password as long as I remain logged in to my Mac.

Disk Utility hangs for probably five minutes before displaying the drives.
Again, in my experience, there’s a minute or more delay (after connecting/turning on the drive) before the password prompt, then another minute or so for it to finally mount — the password dialog remains present but greyed out until the partition/drive mounts.

It’s a 1.5TB partition in APFS encrypted.
 
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eltoslightfoot

macrumors 68020
Feb 25, 2011
2,008
2,390
Have you logged out or restarted your Mac since entering the password? At least for my encrypted Time Machine backup, I can unmount and remount as necessary without needing to re-enter the password as long as I remain logged in to my Mac.


Again, in my experience, there’s a minute or more delay (after connecting/turning on the drive) before the password prompt, then another minute or so for it to finally mount — the password dialog remains present but greyed out until the partition/drive mounts.

It’s a 1.5TB partition in APFS encrypted.
This is the most helpful post in the entire thread. Bravo!!!!
 

Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
Have you logged out or restarted your Mac since entering the password? At least for my encrypted Time Machine backup, I can unmount and remount as necessary without needing to re-enter the password as long as I remain logged in to my Mac.


Again, in my experience, there’s a minute or more delay (after connecting/turning on the drive) before the password prompt, then another minute or so for it to finally mount — the password dialog remains present but greyed out until the partition/drive mounts.

It’s a 1.5TB partition in APFS encrypted.

Yep, I restarted multiple times during the troubleshooting, including entering recovery mode several times, logging in/and out, all of the above. No change.

Unfortunately, no matter how long I wait, be it minutes or hours, the password prompt never appears and the drive never mounts.
 

MacCheetah3

macrumors 68000
Nov 14, 2003
1,998
998
Central MN
Okay. Let’s circle back to the Disk Utility errors.

When trying first aid on the partition in Disk Utility:
** Checking the encryption key structures. error: failed to enable crypto I/O mode for container /dev/rdisk5: Invalid argument

master0v said:
I have the solution, so I'll just post it here. I basically started following this path in order to recover my files https://matt.sh/apfs-object-map-free-recovery and it was going as described. I was able to see the contents of the disk when decrypting it with a third-party tool, so I was preparing myself for reformatting the disk after backing up the contents, but when I got to installing osxfuse, I noticed something odd.

When I tried to unlock "Security & Privacy" in the System Preferences in order to allow the installation to proceed, the system wouldn't accept my password. That turned out to the known issue linked with the T2 Security chip (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203127). Resetting the SMC solved that problem as well as the original problem with the hard drive.

In retrospect it seems kind of obvious that it wasn't able to decrypt the volume because of that.
 

Makyo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2022
7
1
Unfortunately I'm on an M1 Pro Macbook so afaik there is no way to reset the SMC other than a regular restart of the computer.

Really appreciate your persistence though, thank you.
 

kibepo73

Suspended
Jun 2, 2022
61
5
If your APFS or HFS partition is not functioning properly, then repair the partition immediately to avoid data loss. You can repair the APFS partition using Disk Utility by following the below steps:

1. Open Disk Utility in your Mac system.
2. Select the APFS partition and click the “First Aid” tab and then click “Run”.
3. If Disk Utility can’t repair the partition, it suggests the next action course. For example, “Disk Utility fails to repair the startup disk. Backup as much data as possible and erase this drive.

In such a case, recover data from failing partition with help of data recovery software.

Hope it helps!
 
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