External Drive Not Encrypting

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by Dave410, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Dave410 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2015

    I have a LaCie Rugged 2 TB external drive plugged into my 2015 15" MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt 2 to give me extra storage since the SSD in the MBP is too small. I travel for a living so I encrypted the drive in case somebody steals it.

    Everything was fine for awhile. That is, the drive would ask for the password before it would mount whenever I plugged it in or booted the machine. But then things changed. Now the drive just mounts without asking for the password. It doesn't seem to be encrypted. When I right-click on the drive in Finder, there is grayed-out text saying "Encrypting" that never goes away even if I leave the machine on all night.

    Any ideas why this is happening or ideas for a fix?

  2. madmin macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    A couple of things spring to mind. Firstly, have you checked to see if the password is stored in your keychain? Perhaps it's unlocking it automatically. Secondly, did you backup to the drive ? For example, if you backed up with Superduper, unless you use the smart update option, it might have erased the disk first, removing the encryption in the process.
  3. Dave410, Feb 22, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018

    Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2015
    Many thanks, madmin. I hadn't considered either of those things. I back up from the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner, but not to the drive, so that's probably not it. I will check Keychain though. That's entirely possible.

    Thanks again!
    --- Post Merged, Feb 22, 2018 ---
    It was Keychain. You saved the day! :)
  4. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    "Encrypting" means exactly that. It's still working and the encryption isn't complete. It could take days to encrypt 2TB, and by days I mean 4 or 5, maybe more. It all depends on the speed of your machine and the speed of your hard drive interface (and of course the size of your drive, but in this case that's fixed at 2TB so that isn't a variable in your case).
  5. Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2015
    Thanks. I only have about 400 GB of data on the drive so I figured it wouldn't take too long. Does it encrypt all 2 TB even if it's not used?

    I was concerned because it stopped asking for the password before mounting, but the password was in Keychain and it was seamless. I never even saw Keychain enter the password.
  6. BigMcGuire Contributor


    Jan 10, 2012
    It encrypts everything. I have a 1TB WD and it took 2 days of overnight all night and days to finish. Mine never asks for the password unless I plug it into my wife's Mac.
  7. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    When you use whole drive encryption, there is no difference between data and empty space. In your case, the entire 2TB will be encrypted, so it can take a long time. I have personally had drives take days. You can check the progress of the encryption in Terminal by typing "Diskutil corestorage list" if I recall correctly. In the resulting report you can see how far along the encryption is in percent.
  8. Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2015
    Got it. Thanks. I just came over from PC and things are a little different here. Thanks again.


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7 February 21, 2018