FileVault Opinion?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Jax Mac, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Jax Mac macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2005
    Hi all,

    Can anyone tell me the reliabilty of FileVault (on Panther)? I've been afraid to use it. I had read a long time ago of file corruptions.

    Please let me know your thoughts on it.

  2. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Aug 5, 2005
    I used it, but it trashed my account (wouldn't do the save-space thing, so my account only had 20GB of data, but it took up 60GB of space). If you have summat that you want to keep secret, create a blank encrypted .dmg file with Disk Util, then drop stuff into it
  3. Quartz Extreme macrumors regular

    Quartz Extreme

    Jun 9, 2005
    Outside of the box
    Enabling FileVault creates an auto-expanding AES-128 encrypted disk image. Basically, when you set up FileVault, it makes the image, sets up the password as the key for the encryption, and copies all of your Home folder to it. When you log in next, it mounts the image and uses it for your Home directory. Because it's doing all the encryption/decryption on the fly, it may make your computer a bit slower, and less forgiving to forced restarts or power outages. Also, while it is an auto-expanding image, it isn't an auto-collapsing image; meaning that if you stored a 15GB iMovie project there, and then deleted it later, that the image would still be an extra 15GB bigger than it needs to be.

    Depending on what your needs are, FileVault may work for you. If you decide not to use it, there are still ways to secure your files. If you want FileVault level protection without encrypting your whole Home folder, you can make your own AES-128 encrypted disk image with Disk Utility, and put any files in there that need securing. If you need a way to text, you can use Keychain Access.

    If you need more information, goto
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I'm not a fan of FileVault because there is just too much chance that it'll get corrupted and I'll have to go back to a backup to get my stuff back. IMO, the benefit doesn't outweigh the potential disaster factor.

    As noted above, if you need to secure info, use an encrypted disk image instead.
  5. Scottyk9 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2004
    I've been using FileVault on my powerbook for about 4 months now, with no file corruption so far. I find it to be the only way to conveniently protect sensitive information that may reside in multiple places in my home folder (mail, ical, as well as documents). Saying this, I would not use it without having backups (I back up to a portable HD, which synchronizes with my G5, which is also backed up to an external drive).

    I also echo the previous comments - if it is simply a few files or documents (or even a lot that can reside in one location), I would use an encrypted disk image rather than using your entire home folder.

    Edit: I should note that for half of the time I used it with Panther, the last 2 months have been with Tiger
  6. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    I guess it should be mentioned that there are some programs that don't work well with FileVault. For the most part these are programs that were quickly ported from OS9 -> OSX, and the company (*cough* Lasergene *cough*)doesn't want to bother with using the "correct" I/O API's or something. This is rare, but you may encounter such a problem.


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