How to get around FileVault and restore my mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by wiberley, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. wiberley macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2016
    So I have purchased a Macbook Air on eBay that has FileVault encryption, and I am fully aware that there is no way I can access the information on this mac without the password or the reset key. So my question is this, what procedures will I have to take to get the mac in working order. Is there a way I can wipe all the data on the mac and factory reset it? Will changing the SSD on the computer fix this problem? What are my options? Thanks
  2. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    You should be able to boot from the recovery partition (hold cmd-R) during boot. Then open disk utility and erase the volume. After that you can restore from scratch.
  3. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    If it is a late 2010 model or newer, it has Internet recovery built into firmware (EFI), so it is fairly easy to start fresh.

    Hold command-option-r to boot to Internet recovery. Pick your language and login to your wifi when prompted. Then you will see a globe while the recovery utility downloads. Once that is done you will see a recovery screen.

    From there click on the Utilities menu and launch Terminal. Once in Terminal enter the command below to wipe off the FileVault encrypted volume. This assumes the main volume is still at the default Macintosh HD.

    diskutil cs delete "Macintosh HD"
    Enter it exactly like this including the quotes.

    Now quit Terminal then launch Disk Utility and go to the erase tab. Select the disk at the top of the left column then select Mac OS Extended (Journaled) in the dropdown and apply the format.

    Now quit Disk Utility and click install OS at the top and wait for the ~6GB OS to download and install. This will get you the OS X version that came from the factory. If you like when you are done you can update to the latest OS version El Capitan.

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