HFS+ Drive Goes to AFS When Encrypted?

wsuschmitt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2017
3
8
I did the conversion to High Sierra last night with minimal issues and then wanted to do a backup using Carbon Copy Cloner.

My backups go to an external hard drive partitioned so that it can clone the drive running the OS and 2 external drives. The backup external hard drive is partitioned and all partitions are using the old HFS+ format.

I noticed that one of the backup partitions was left unencrypted in HFS+ for some reason, so I right clicked the drive in Finder and chose "Encrypt This Drive" and entered a passcode twice and hit Enter.

The drive disappeared for a couple of seconds and came back. When I pull up the drives using Disk Utility, I see that the drive is now APFS running in a container. I didn't request a conversion.

Is this the new normal activity when doing encryption on hard drives?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,163
8,818
California
The drive disappeared for a couple of seconds and came back. When I pull up the drives using Disk Utility, I see that the drive is now APFS running in a container. I didn't request a conversion.

Is this the new normal activity when doing encryption on hard drives?
When you convert like you did, yes.

You can still reformat to HFS+ encrypted if you want, but the drive will be erased.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 8.50.54 AM.png
 

mikenaylor

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2017
1
0
Yes, this has just happened to me. Never had a beta on my iMac, so I did the official upgrade from Sierra to High Sierra. One of my external 16TB hardware raid 5 drives was not encrypted, so I right clicked and selected Encrypt. The disk is happily encrypting away in the background as I type this message - as one would expect. However, Terminal, Disk Util and CCC all report it to be APFS-Encrypted. According to what Apple has been saying, this should not be happening!
 

Doc69

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2005
476
23
In the past, with Sierra and earlier, I just right-clicked on a disk and chose 'Encrypt [disk]'. Then I could follow the progress in Terminal with 'diskutil cs list'. This was great, because it could take several days for the encryption process to complete on my 8TB drives. The drives were also usable during the process.

But yesterday I upgraded to High Sierra. And now when I tried to encrypt an internal drive in a 2010 Mac Pro, the disk unmounted. Now there's no indication of what's going on. The disk is listed as unmounted in Disk Utility, and 'diskutil list' still shows it as an Apple_HFS volume. But 'diskutil cs list' returns 'No CoreStorage logical volume groups found'. So I have no idea of what's going on.

After reading this post, I now realize that any drive will be converted to APFS during the encryption process in High Sierra, which is not desirable. However, I can live with that. But is it normal that the drive should now be unmounted during the whole conversion and encryption process in High Sierra, i.e. for several days? I need to check the progress as well as use the drive during the encryption process. As it is right now, I have no idea whether the disk is being encrypted and converted properly, or if something went wrong and I need to reboot.

Any help or insights would be greatly appreciated.

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25745?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
https://bombich.com/blog/2017/09/29/think-twice-before-encrypting-your-hfs-volumes-on-high-sierra

Update 1: It's now been an hour since I clicked 'Encrypt', and now the drive has been converted to APFS and has mounted. So at least that's a relief. But how do I monitor the progress? 'diskutil cs list' doesn't work like before 10.13.

Update 2: The drive that I'm encrypting is a Time Machine backup. But when I started Time Machine, I get the message "The backup disk is not in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which is required.". WTF?? No Backups to APFS disks? Great job Apple!

https://www.macobserver.com/tips/deep-dive/time-machine-and-apfs-need-know/

Update 3: I couldn't figure out how to cancel the encryption, but I went in to Disk Utility and deleted the APFS volume. That worked. Then I reformatted the disk in Disk Utility choosing GUID and HFS+ Encrypted. And that took less than a minute to format and encrypt! Now all I have to do is copy back the backup of my Time Machine backup to the newly encrypted drive. Thank goodness that I had that extra backup!

So the lesson here is that it seems like you can't encrypt HFS+ disks on High Sierra without also converting them to APFS. But if you encrypt the drive when you format it, and you choose HFS+, then everything is fine.
 
Last edited:

Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
419
138
US
Update 2: The drive that I'm encrypting is a Time Machine backup. But when I started Time Machine, I get the message "The backup disk is not in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format, which is required.". WTF?? No Backups to APFS disks? Great job Apple!
This is well advertised limitation of APFS disks for now. Note the "for now" there. Something about Hard links not supported by APFS yet.
Off all the issues with APFS we all have, this one is the least important one. So what, we used HFS+ for TM for ages now, can live with it for few more months/years.