FileVault eats up space

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by sebisworld, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. sebisworld macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2003
    I had to sent my Mac in to get something like AppleCare for it. Before doing that, I turned on FileVault so that they couldn't read my data. Now I want to turn it off again, but I somehow do not have enough space. Reason being: I have 8 GB left, the FileVault file hogs 37 GB - while my home directory only takes up 12 GB right now.
    I was once asked after logging out if I wanted my Vault to be optimized, but stupidly I clicked no. Does anyone know how I can get that option back?

    And what's the deal with FileVault anyway. It's for portables, isn't it? But it's totally useless since laptop drives are too small to fit two home directories of most users.

    Happy new year
  2. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    In general, FileVault is useless, IMHO. You are better off using Disk Utility to create a password protected Disk Image and storing personal information there.

    As for optimizing - I don't know if you can force it to optimize, but it should ask you again if you logout/shutdown.
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Before you screw around with it too much, can you backup your stuff to an external drive or CD/DVD?

    Just in case....

    Also, I agree with emw - password protected folder is the way to go.
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    To be specific:

    • Open Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility.
    • Click the "New Image" icon in the toolbar (or use Images->New...->Blank Image)
    • Fill in "Save as:" field with a name.
    • Select an appropriate size
    • Set the excryption to AES-128
    • Keep the format as "read/write disk image"
    • Click "Create"
    • You'll be prompted for a password - enter one
    • Very important: Unselect "Remember password (add to Keychain)" before clicking OK to set the password.

    This creates the password-protected .dmg file. Double-click it to open it (supply the password, and don't opt to store it in your keychain, or else anyone in your account can open it). It then looks like a mounted disk image - drag things into/out of it. Eject it to return it to it's password-protected state.
  5. sebisworld thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2003
    I have already tried moving files in and out of FileVault and creating empty disk images and deleting them but nothing has brought the optimization dialog back when I log out.
    I do have a backup of my data (it's about two weeks old). It's on an external harddrive in Iceland (I'm on vacation in Germany now) and just a mirror of the disk before I turned FileVault on. I do not want to lose all the changes I made during the last two weeks, though - and I also can't clear the external harddrive for a new backup, since I had to delete many huge files on the Powerbook in order to turn FileVault on in the first place.

    I also had to move my entire iTunes folder to my iPod - leaving me all without music (I deleted it on my Mac and cleaned my iPod before I manually copied the Music folder). I copied a few songs back from my iPod to my PB, though.

    I hate FileVault.
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I don't think anyone likes it.

    I'll try looking into this when I get home.
  7. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    Hi sebisworld, as jsw said above I strongly suggest that you back up your user directory before playing with FileVault anymore than you have to. I lost my entire User directory due to an error in the 'optimization' process that corrupted the FileVault image, making the entire directory unreadable.

    It's strange that the FileVault image takes up so much room, but you can try to move the large files onto a disk image (outside your user directory) that will store the files you want protected, then keep trying to turn FileVault off and see what happens.

    Good Luck

    (BTW I don't like FileVault either... it's a good concept, but not good for regular users who don't back up on a daliy basis.)
  8. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    Try restarting your machine, FileVault should ask you if you want to optimise, and will then recover the HD space in your Home folder.

    I've been using FV for a while, it seem to work fine as long as you remember to point audio and video apps at a external FireWire drive.
  9. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Most people don't really need to have this feature. Michael Jackson probably uses FileVault. :eek:
  10. sebisworld thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2003
    That other useless feature - the shutdown - made the dialog pop up again. Now I can finally turn that vault off :)

    Thank you guys! I will never turn this on again.

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