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How reliable is File Vault? Anyone ever lose a drive/data?

Wolfpup

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Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
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Windows is my primary OS as I like it better than OS X, BUT for the first time I've lost data due to (I guess) Bitlocker. I have all my drives encrypted, internal and external, using Windows 10 November Update's best encryption method, XTS-AES 256-bit.

I've never had issues with Bitlocker before, but simultaneously had two external drives quit working. Mechanically they're fine, and I seriously doubt they both went wonky simultaneously. I can 'unlock' them, but then Windows 'sees' nothing.

I've got a couple of threads open on Microsoft's support site, and so far have no help (and all my other drives continue to work fine).

BUT it's making me wonder about File Vault... has anyone every lost anything with it? I'd be willing to switch full-ish time to OS X as my "serious" OS if it's more robust...
 

BeefCake 15

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May 15, 2015
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near Boston, MA
Windows is my primary OS as I like it better than OS X, BUT for the first time I've lost data due to (I guess) Bitlocker. I have all my drives encrypted, internal and external, using Windows 10 November Update's best encryption method, XTS-AES 256-bit.

I've never had issues with Bitlocker before, but simultaneously had two external drives quit working. Mechanically they're fine, and I seriously doubt they both went wonky simultaneously. I can 'unlock' them, but then Windows 'sees' nothing.

I've got a couple of threads open on Microsoft's support site, and so far have no help (and all my other drives continue to work fine).

BUT it's making me wonder about File Vault... has anyone every lost anything with it? I'd be willing to switch full-ish time to OS X as my "serious" OS if it's more robust...

I've been using FileVault for years and haven't ran into any issues related to it. My question though is, why don't you try other encryption software instead of switching OS? I'm not commenting on which OS is good or bad etc. as it's outside the scope of your question, what I mean is, if you need Windows to do your work then stick with it and find other encryption Software instead.

There are many free Encryption Software out there especially the forks from TrueCrypt.
 
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Wolfpup

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Sep 7, 2006
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It's a good suggestion, but I really want the OS level encryption, and Truecrypt didn't work for me after Windows XP. Vista and newer it would just immediately corrupt the drive.

I've been using Bitlocker for years without incident, and it's so weird that all my other drives are still working, including my internal ones :-/
 
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CreatorCode

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Apr 15, 2015
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Regardless of whether you use File Vault (or Bitlocker) or not, you'll need a backup scheme. Drives are unreliable enough regardless of encryption.
 
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Wolfpup

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Sep 7, 2006
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Regardless of whether you use File Vault (or Bitlocker) or not, you'll need a backup scheme. Drives are unreliable enough regardless of encryption.

The problem is I want my backups encrypted too. This was my pair of backup drives that went poof :-/
 
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Weaselboy

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Jan 23, 2005
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BUT it's making me wonder about File Vault... has anyone every lost anything with it? I'd be willing to switch full-ish time to OS X as my "serious" OS if it's more robust...

I have been using FV full disk encryption since it came out with OS X Lion and had no data loss of any kind. I am pretty active on the forums here and have not seen posts from anybody losing data due to FV either.

Now like with any setup, if you have a bad drive, all bets are off.... but as far as FV itself causing data loss, I've not seen it.

I suspect the issue with Truecrypt and others is they are not baked into the OS, so they are vulnerable to OS changes breaking things. With OS X FV is built in, so more stable I think.
 
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Wolfpup

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Sep 7, 2006
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Yeah, that's one of the reasons I've been preferring the built-in stuff.

I guess it's impossible to say "yeah, this is flawless", but at least it's good to hear there don't seem to be problems cropping up constantly.

UGH, I wish I understood what went wrong with my drives. I'm more concerned with that than I am with recovering them.
 
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BeefCake 15

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May 15, 2015
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Yeah, that's one of the reasons I've been preferring the built-in stuff.

I guess it's impossible to say "yeah, this is flawless", but at least it's good to hear there don't seem to be problems cropping up constantly.

UGH, I wish I understood what went wrong with my drives. I'm more concerned with that than I am with recovering them.

The only encryption that I would call close to true "built-in" is the FV because Apple controls it with the SW/HW together. VeraCrypt is a great up and coming TrueCrypt alternative after it was abandoned. Assuming you want to stay with Windows https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/releases/view/619351

On OS X, FV is great.
 
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Wolfpup

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Original poster
Sep 7, 2006
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Another random thought I've had...would it be possible for a Wifi access point to corrupt a drive? Because I have my backup drives awfully close to my Wii U, and there's actually a warning in the instruction manual for it not to stay very close to the system as the wifi broadcast strength is dangerous...if it's bad for humans, maybe it's bad for drives too... (except you can physically connect drives to it, AND it's going to be in entertainment systems with TiVos and game systems with hard drives sooooooo?) I guess it's not that, but I wish I knew what it was. My other half-baked idea is maybe my new Silverstone enclosure doesn't properly support USB...it did actually kick my iPod off...but even if it doesn't, it shouldn't be corrupting OTHER drives...I mean at worse Windows shouldn't be able to see the drives or access them right or whatever, you unplug it, and then it works...

So both those ideas seem kind of half-baked, leaving me with no real explanation :-/

The only encryption that I would call close to true "built-in" is the FV because Apple controls it with the SW/HW together. VeraCrypt is a great up and coming TrueCrypt alternative after it was abandoned. Assuming you want to stay with Windows https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/releases/view/619351

On OS X, FV is great.

Well Bitlocker's built in too, and I've never had an issue with it until now... I'm not really interesting in third party stuff both because I trust Apple and Microsoft more than random people, and also because I had to give up on Truecrypt after I upgraded from XP to Vista...just corrupted the drive 100% of the time (which would take me to a Microsoft thing that repaired it). I mean I know some projects might work fine, and might not be nefarious, but I just feel better with Microsoft or Apple doing it.
 
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BeefCake 15

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May 15, 2015
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Well Bitlocker's built in too, and I've never had an issue with it until now... I'm not really interesting in third party stuff both because I trust Apple and Microsoft more than random people, and also because I had to give up on Truecrypt after I upgraded from XP to Vista...just corrupted the drive 100% of the time (which would take me to a Microsoft thing that repaired it). I mean I know some projects might work fine, and might not be nefarious, but I just feel better with Microsoft or Apple doing it.

I would recommend reading articles by Bruce Schneir, who's an extremely respectable figure in the encryption world. Don't trust organizations but trust technology and understand it's strengths and weaknesses.

Your point is legitimate, cheers bud!
 
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rshrugged

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Oct 11, 2015
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Have you tried unlocking your drives via command prompt? Have you run sfc /scannow and/or Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth?
See Karen Hu's posts : https://social.technet.microsoft.co...-after-windows-10-update?forum=win10itproapps

Manage Bitlocker; syntax and parameters : https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff829854.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

I've never used Bitlocker or Windows 10. I have used sfc /scannow to fix issues with other Windows' versions. If you don't get useful responses elsewhere, I can't see any harm in trying these basics. Good luck.


PS: I'm seven months into OS X and have had no problems with FV.
 
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