Filevault

Nerdyaf

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
72
11
when my previous computers suddenly died on me, i was able to extract my files by connecting the hard drive with another computer. if i have filevault activated, will i still be able to do so? or will i just get a copy of encrypted files that I have no way of decrypting? Thanks
 

velocityg4

macrumors 601
Dec 19, 2004
4,654
1,197
Georgia
One would hope you change your habits and keep a backup. It's always advisable to do so. Anyways you should be able to retrieve the files as long as you have the password. Perhaps keep a copy of the encryption key. Either printed or stored in iCloud.
 

Nerdyaf

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
72
11
i backup on a half yearly basis, but i have experiences of my computer suddenly dying, like it was fine a minute ago, then it's not. it's not a major problem generally, but if I happen to be working on something and the computer died, I would like to be able to retrieve that file.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
401
Honolulu HI
If the computer component that dies is not related to the disk, then there's a good chance of extracting the data. However, there's a good chance that the specific document you're working on when the computer died will not have all the data saved unless you didn't make any edits since the last save (which could be human-triggered or automatically done).

If your computer dies because of a problem with the disk, then it depends. Your chances of saving any data decrease as follows:
- If your disk is a HDD with no encryption.
- If your disk is a HDD with encryption.
- If your disk is a SSD on a Mac before Apple started using their in-house SSD controllers without encryption
- If your disk is a SSD on a Mac before Apple started using their in-house SSD controllers with encryption
- If your disk is a SSD on a Mac with the Apple in-house SSD controller

If the computer dies because of a disk problem, even in the best case, it may be easy to retrieve the data, cost $$$ to retrieve the data or not able to retrieve the data at all.

If you have a Mac that dies and it has the Apple in-house SSD controller (even if it is a non-disk component) - unless you can get the computer working in target disk mode, your options are limited in terms of data retrieval - Apple may be your only option - I haven't kept up as to how difficult it is to retrieve data from these Macs. As to which Macs have the in-house SSD controller, tell us which Mac you're interested in. For the MBP, it starts at the 2016 models.

Really, one should do backup on a regular basis (more than semi-annually).
 

Nerdyaf

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
72
11
ok thanks. it seems like the filevault has not much implication on the recovery of the ssd.

on my backup habits, i actually find that semi-annually is already too much for me. mainly because if i have important stuff like new photos, i will back them up immediately. those that i dont, im generally fine losing them. my only concerns are the stuff i am working on at the moment. actually this isnt a really big issue; I just happen to see today that i have filevault enabled, and was just wondering how that might affect me.
 

nouveau_redneck

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2017
551
852
ok thanks. it seems like the filevault has not much implication on the recovery of the ssd.

on my backup habits, i actually find that semi-annually is already too much for me. mainly because if i have important stuff like new photos, i will back them up immediately. those that i dont, im generally fine losing them. my only concerns are the stuff i am working on at the moment. actually this isnt a really big issue; I just happen to see today that i have filevault enabled, and was just wondering how that might affect me.
Life must be nice to be so carefree that its not important to backup but twice per year, except photos. :)

I'm the exact opposite of you. I have weekly local backups, at least 4 copies kept in my vault, garage and offsite, and online backups automated daily, and data synced to iCloud. Losing my data would be disastrous. I won't lose it.

Keep in mind that I go to an extreme given the criticality of my data, and we all need to access how important our stuff is. Yet you asking about recovery might indicate that your data is not as accessible as it could be. Backups only twice a year reduce your ability to recover. What if the previous one is bad for whatever reason?

You don't have documents of the type financial, tax, legal, school/professional, personal/hobby, etc. to protect?
 

Nerdyaf

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
72
11
In my country, we don’t have to file for taxes, the company does it for us. You have to provide additional info if you made profits from investments etc.

I don’t store financial statements or work related stuff on my personal laptop. In fact I don’t keep financial statements at all. Every month, I will check that the statement is correct then that’s it. But I am able to access my past statements from my banks online portal.

Actually I barely have any documents at all; my 256gb MBP is only about halfway filled