FileVault Ate Everything

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by kalisphoenix, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    In my boundless naïveté, I thought I'd enable FileVault in order to protect all my notes from prying eyes :rolleyes:

    And I reboot today to find a few files that are, well, present... but without icons, and they disappear when I click on them. Mind you, this was a clean reboot, after successfully passing the "OMG FileVault is using more disk space than necessary!" warning and compressing my home directory or wtfever it wants to do.

    So I click on a few files ("Hey, let's see about that one, since it was my shopping list...") and they disappear. I Spotlight for them and they are totally gone.

    This is awesome! Perhaps I can scan my bills onto the computer, reboot a few times, and they'll disappear forever! It's flawless!

    I decided that I'd better convert back to a normal home directory, since, you know, I have important **** on my computer. And naturally, it won't convert back to a normal, unencrypted home directory. "An error occurred during copying" or words to that effect. Not to mention that I can't just take notes while troubleshooting the procedure, since it has to log me out in order to do anything like this.

    Verifying the disk, repairing permissions do nothing. Running 10.4.8, all latest patches and upgrades. Any thoughts?
  2. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    This is amusing.

    *attempts to copy directory tree filled with important documents to remote-mounted AFP drive* "Some data cannot be read/written."

    *attempts to create an archive of directory tree of important documents to send to remote-mounted AFP drive* "A file reference cannot be created."

    *attempts to copy directory tree of important documents to root of drive for later copying* "Some data cannot be read/written."

    *attempts to create disk image of directory tree of important documents* "Input/output error."

    *attempts to tar -zcvpf directory tree of important documents* "Exit delayed from previous errors"

    *attempts to tar -zcpf directory tree of important documents* repeated "Input/Output error" -- naturally, on the most important documents.

    I'm not a happy fanboi right now.
  3. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    FileVault is dangerous and cumbersome. apple should ditch it. anyway, I don't know if having Ayn Rand or FileVault eat your balls is worse.

    Ayn Rand was pretty odd, I mean, I recently read Anthem and am now reading Atlas Shrugged. Weird, weird, weird ideas!
  4. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    File vault absolutely sucks. If you really need protection, get PGP. It is amazing. There is a free version called GPG that is pretty good too.
  5. OldCorpse macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2005
    compost heap
    Try running something like DiskWarrior to repair the file structure... I'm afraid it's borked on your computer :(

    In general, my advice to all is to not use FileVault. It's just too risky. When you encrypt the entire file structure, the probability of weird behavior is very high. It is a horrible idea - look at all the application problems that this can cause (so many caution: if you have FileVault, disable it, etc.).

    Frankly, I think Apple missed the boat on encryption. It is idiotic to do global encryption like FileVault. There is no use to that. Is it really important to encrypt your desktop themes? What people need and want is a utility that encrypts and decrypts files and folders and maybe some directories - on the fly and on demand: that is extremely useful, and that's exactly what Apple does not provide.

    There is an open source encryption application for windows, that's absolutely brilliant - it's the one app that I really missed in moving to the mac:

    There's simply nothing like it on the mac platform - and believe me, I looked. It combines iron-clad security with extreme ease of use: it's in a contextual right-click menu, and you encrypt and decrypt files on the fly, send emails with self-extracting encrypted files (so the other party doesn't need the software, as long as they have the password), it can change all names of your encrypted files so you can't tell what kind of file it is etc., plus it can do really huge folders and complex directories. It can encrypt any kind of file or program.

    When I use my XP laptop, I use that app every day. I dearly wish there was something equivalent on the mac - and I've tested about 15 different apps - none come even close to the features and ease of use of AxCrypt.

    And FileVault? It's useless and dangerous. Total miss by Apple IMHO. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.
  6. kalisphoenix thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Thanks for the sympathy, folks :) I feel much better. Feelings of betrayal and iLoathing have passed.

    I reinstalled OS X (couldn't think of a damn thing to do, otherwise), and so far the only thing I don't have a recent backup of that I'm missing is my iCal calendar for the next four months or so. Not terrible. It can be redone in about eight hours.

    But yeah, once bitten twice shy.
  7. crenz macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2003
    Shanghai, China
    I think the main problem with FileVault is that Apple made it easy to encrypt your whole home directory (potentially containing gigabytes of iTunes and iPhoto libraries...) and more hard to create your own encrypted disk image. I find that encrypted disk images (use the harddisk tool for that) are a good alternative -- you can only encrypt what you want.
  8. someguy macrumors 68020


    Dec 4, 2005
    Still here.
    I don't even want to know.

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