File Vault Woes

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by advres, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. advres Guest


    Oct 3, 2003

    After reading all the crap people have said about File Vault I did one of the stupidest things anyone could do, I TURNED THE FREAKING THING ON!

    Now I have had nothing but problems. Folders don't remember their location and size, The laptop won't wake up from sleep and when it does I have to put my password in 2-4 times beofre the finder will appear, etc. This morning I opened my laptop when I got to work and all my icons were strewn all over the screen. They were all the wrong size, My dock was back to factory position and size and all the icons went back to their factory station and the ones I put there are now gone. (Yes, I repaired my permissions!)

    So I am sitting in my cube and I decide "to HELL with this security crap", I need a computer to run properly first and formost. I go to system prefs > Security > File Vault and try to turn it off. So far so good. It quickly goes from needing 600 minutes to complete the job to 90 minutes, so far so good. Now about 1/3 of the way through it I get an error message saying it can't complete the job. WTF!!! I have reproduced the steps 3 ***** times to no avail.

    I have done all the cron scripts, permissions, yada, yada, yada and it still won't let me turn file vault off.

    I have come to the conclusion (if I am wrong please help and let me know) That I have to back up my drive and do a clean sweep, erase the drive and reinstall everything via my backup.

    Now, when I make the backup will it be encryted? Is there anyway to get out of this state I am in? Unfortunately I did not do a complete backup right before I started File Vault so it will be pretty bad if I have to use the last backup I made to solve this problem.

    Please help before I turn this book into my new boat anchor!!!
  2. pncc macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    I have never used File Vault, so I can't quarantee this will work, but try:

    -Get your Home folder Open and working however many times you have to enter passwords.
    -drag/drop the CONTENTS of the Home folder (ie select each folder) and drop/copy to another drive.
    -create a New User, an Admin (if your original user was Admin). Create an additional Admin user and log in as that 2nd Admin user.
    -copy the Contents of the original User to the New User. Log out and in as New User. Check permissions. Delete original User.
  3. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I think that pncc's solution will work, so I'd try that first. Otherwise, if you do make a backup and reformat, when you backup (copy) your files, they will be unencrypted.

    In the future, the best way to protect a subset of your files (do you really need the entire Home folder encrypted?) is to create a password-protected disk image with Disk Utility. Mount it when you need it, unmount it when you're done with it, and it's locked.
  4. pncc macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    I hope it works for you. My solution MAY screw up permissions since I advise you delete the primary User account (At least I assume your account is the primary and only one). That may affect the root User account.

    Emw is correct about encrypted disk images. That is what File Vault is really. An encrypted disk image that is rolled into the User account file structure.

    File vault is a good idea, but poorly implemented. Using a Disk image is much better and it is portable. You can save the image to any drive-even a USB key ring drive and take it with you. I am betting that OS X 10.4 will allow portable User folders and synching User folders to iDisks and iPods.

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
  5. advres thread starter Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    All hooked up I think!

    OK guys,

    First of all. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out!

    I did a little test and I think this is going to work. Right now my laptop is on and the corrupted user is logged on. I mounted the user onto my work mac via our network. I dragged a few files from my corrupted desktop and dropped them onto my work machine. I then ejected my corrupted disk from my work machine.

    The files I transfered had the permissions changed from my old Admin (the corrupted one) to the admin on my work machine (my user anyway). Everyone of them opened fine and I had no problems so I think tonight if I just copy all my files to my firewire drive and then throw them back in a new user I should be good to go.

    Thank you two for saving me some time and a lot of frustration. I would hate to go bald at 26 by pulling all of my own freakin hair out. I will post an update either tonight or tomorrow letting you know the outcome.

    Moral of the story: for the love of god, DO NOT USE FILEVAULT!

    Thanks again!
  6. advres thread starter Guest


    Oct 3, 2003

    OK, So I had nothing to REALLY do on Sunday so I sat around watching some football and tried to fix my PB. I got all of my encrypted home folder copied to my new user and all was well, I thought.

    The permissions didn't change to the new user! I went to the 6-7 main folders or so and changed the permisssions to the new user and selected to apply these changes to every item inside. This worked for every folder EXCEPT for the library folder. Do realize how many F*ing folders are inside that library that I was gonna have to change permissions for inidividually? Plus, when you change the permissions, you have to change the folder icon in the get info window because for some reason, they keep the locked folder icon.

    I spent hours doing this and finally get my new user looking the same as my old user. I reboot and run my fsck, pram, and permissions. reboot again and all seems well. I try to open iTunes, CRASH. I try to open a few .mov files w/quicktime, CRASH. Everything was going wacky, so I boot from my firewire drive and I try to repair the .sparse image again via disk utility and this timme it actually worked, so I tried to turn off FileVault.

    THIS TIME IT WORKED. So I deleted the new user I just made and spent my Sunday with and I am now typing this message from my old encrypted home folder which is no longer encrypted and working fine for the time being.

    This should have been simple but it was not. I tried to fix the Sparse image at LEAST 10 times and tried to turn filevault off even more that that. For some reason it decided to work AFTER I wasted my whole day breaking my wrist clicking command+I change owner, enter, down arrow button, command+I change owner, yada, yada, yada


    Thanks for all the help guys
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    you whine a lot.

    you could have copy everything over to a new user. deleted the old one then remade the old user and copied everything back.
  8. advres thread starter Guest


    Oct 3, 2003
    I have every right to whine when Apple hands me a bad product and expects me to take it in the a55.

    Where were you on Thursday last week?

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