Encrypting a Time Machine drive has taken 2-days and it still needs way more time

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by stanw, May 12, 2017.

  1. stanw macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I setup a new 4TB drive for Time Machine and after the first backup I right clicked on the drive and chose to encrypt it. That was almost two days ago and the progress bar for the encryption process is still not even a quarter of the way...does this sound right? It is plugged into my 2015 MacBook Pro and I need to use it though I am somewhat limited working with it while it is connected to this external drive. Is there a way to quit the encryption process? I do not see an option. Will that damage the external drive since it is in process of being encrypted?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

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    #2
    If you don't mind losing that backup, you would be better off erasing the 4TB drive and encrypting it at that time or while it's empty, then backing up to it. Right now it's having to encrypt every single file on the drive and being a slow, spinning HDD it will take days to complete.
     
  3. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    it's at 17% after two days. Any idea how you cancel it? There does not seem to be an option.
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2017 ---
    NM, I just "stopped using this drive as a backup"

    So for clarification, do you mean I should format the drive and somewhere during that process I encrypt it before making it into a Time Machine backup and backing all the files to it?
     
  4. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

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    #4
    Correct, format the drive and either right-click the drive on the desktop and select "Encrypt..." or when you add the drive in TM settings enable "Encrypt Backups" before doing the first backup. What takes time is reading, encrypting, and writing the encrypted files back to disk if encrypting a drive that already has tons of files. If you encrypt a freshly-formatted drive then the process will be very quick since there are only a few files to encrypt, after that is done then new files are encrypted before being written to disk so you skip all the churn and waiting involved and the drive performs as it normally would.
     
  5. Weaselboy, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #5
    Just format the drive like this in Disk Util and it will erase the drive and encrypt it. Then start over with your TM backup.

    Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 11.00.51 AM.png

    Edit: Changed screenshot thanks to @CoastalOR catching my mistake.
     
  6. CoastalOR macrumors 68000

    CoastalOR

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    #6
    Weaselboy,
    I'm not a TM expert, but wouldn't formatting Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) also work?
     
  7. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #7
    Yes.... thanks for catching that. That is what I meant to highlight in my screenshot and I goofed.

    I'll edit it now.
     
  8. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a

    Yahooligan

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    #8
    Ah yes, I thought that was a format option but when I played with Disk Util and a USB stick that wasn't an option so I thought I might be mistaken. That's definitely the easiest way to go about formatting and encrypting at the same time.
     
  9. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Thanks everyone for the help! I know next to nothing about encryption. From what I've read, there are different levels of encryption. Any idea how secure the encryption that we are talking about it?
     
  10. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #10
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204837

    FileVault uses uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key and is very secure. You can Google "XTS-AES-128" for some boring articles if you want, but it is quite secure.
     
  11. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I also just found out that a USB flash drive with the OS on it can be used to bypass the login screen on a Mac and create a new admin account to take full control of a Mac. This seems very, very odd and completely defeats the point on the login screen beyond the average person.

    If the main drive in the Mac containing the OS is encrypted, would a person still be able to use the technique I am referring to bypass the login screen and create an admin account?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #12
    Absolutely not. The entire drive is encrypted and that cannot be bypassed. You would not even be able to access it to create the new account.
     
  13. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    So trying to encrypt an internal SSD with the OS, applications, and files already installed will result in the same issue that I experienced with the external TM backup? It will take days and days to encrypt? If so, is the only alternative option to format the drive as encrypted, reinstall the OS, and use the TM backup to restore everything? Thanks.
     
  14. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #14
    An internal SSD will encrypt far faster than that hard drive over the USB bus. The way FileVault works on the boot volume, you would not be able to format then install like you did with the external anyway. When you turn in FV it modifies the boot process to allow for the encryption, so it has to be done with the OS already in the drive.
     
  15. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I am just getting around to reformatting the drive as encrypted and setting it up as a new TM backup. I plug the drive into the dock and it prompts me for a password. I quit it during the process of encrypting the drive. Does this mean that the drive is now password protected but not fully encrypted? Is it possible that the drive was fully encrypted but Disk Utility just froze? Is there a way to determine if everything is encrypted on the drive?

    Thanks!
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    It may have finished from when you did it earlier.

    With the drive attached, enter this in Terminal and it will show encryption progress.

    Code:
    diskutil cs list
    It will look like this if the encryption is not done.

    Screen Shot 2017-05-20 at 3.12.46 PM.png
     
  17. stanw thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I checked through Terminal and it showed that it was only 16% complete with the Conversion Progress. I used Disk Utility to format it as encrypted (the second option from the top of the drop-down) I drive showed up in disk utility and then a secondary (partition?) showed up underneath and indented. It would not let me format the one above, so I had to select the partition. It took less then a minute and when it was done it did not mount. I ejected it and in disk utility it showed that it had a 4TB capacity and 4TB was used. I ejected and remounted it and now the secondary partition no longer shows in Disk Utility, just the main one. What is going on? Is this drive damaged because it began the encryption process and I quit it?

    Thank you!
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    It sounds like you are in good shape now with one, encrypted partition like you wanted.

    If you want to be sure, run these two commands in Terminal and show me the output of each.

    Code:
    diskutil list
    
    diskutil cs list
     

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