If I use FileVault and DON'T use Secure Erase, is it recoverable?

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by macpokerstars, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. macpokerstars macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2010

    The title says it all.
    If I am using FileVault, and if I don't use Secure Erase, where are those deleted files located, physically on my hard drive?

    Are they recoverable?

    Do I need to use secure erase to be sure nothing can be recovered?

    Since I have an SSD, I am a bit concerned that secure erase is quite bad for the SSD.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    TO answer your main question, the files could be recovered by someone who knows your password. But in that case they would have access to all your files anyway.

    I don't think you need to use secure erase if you are using FileVault.
  3. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    Since you have an SSD, I would not recommend using secure erase, as it writes zeroes over the file it's deleting. I would recommend you enable trim if it's not already turned on and your drive is compatible. If it has an aggressive garbage collection, I wouldn't worry.

    Also, deleted files would remain encrypted regardless because of full drive encryption.
  4. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    AFAIK, in FileVault 2, Apple encrypts your already encrypted encryption keys (encrypted with your hashed password) with a long random key. Because no one knows this random key, not even Apple, it is nearly impossible to recover the unencrypted data. This works like a OTP.

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