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Discussion in 'macOS' started by DarthBowie, Oct 24, 2007.
What is it and should I use it?
Do you use Tiger?
Yes (Leopard on Friday)
Then click on system preferences>Security>File Vault and read what is says.
i know what this is but i'm wondering how many people here actually use it. cos i don't
I have to use it at work, and I think about using it at home from time-to-time. It depends on how much you need the security it offers. I need security so I take advantage of it. I also have my keychain locked down, which means I have to enter my password a lot, but it keeps others out. I even found out how to create a firmware password so no one can reformat the computer if it's stolen.
Essentially, use the security you need. I'm just glad Apple offers such great security features.
I just wanted to add I make use to use it on my laptops. If the laptop is stolen the passwords will keep them out but FileVault also gives me the added security that my files are encrypted in case they decided to rip out the hard drive.
I used it for a bit to test it out. The larger your home folder is the longer it takes to encrypt originally and if you later want to get rid of it the longer it takes to reverse. The most annoying thing I found with it was when I would use and delete files (e.g. import digital files, encode, delete original) finder would not show the recovered disk space (and yes I emptied my trash(es)) until I logged out/in. It was really annoying. And if you decide to get rid of file vault you need an equal amount of disk space free for it to copy an unencrypted version of your home folder into. So plan appropriately. It would erroneously report some ungodly amount of space needed to undo (like 3 billion terabytes I kid you not.) I tried on like 3 macs and haven't tried again. Haven't tried it with Leopard seed but I'm probably stupid enough to.
I dont use FileVault mostly because of the horror stories i heard about it failing and alike. Add to that the fact that the information i have on this computer is not really valuable, and the fact that i really dont need my music encrypted along with my preferences and other things in my user folder, i have no point in using it. I would reccomend, however, using encrypted sparse disk images to store sensitive files. If you dont save the password in keychain they will always ask for a password before being mounted, and AES is yet to be cracked AFAIK.
Early Panther Builds (<= 10.3.3) were prone to some FileVault corruption which bit me. Unfortunately, I haven't tried it since. I haven't hear anything like that for years though so either people are using it successfully or they aren't using it at all.
If FileVault works well with Time Machine (I assume they've figured that out), I might start using it again.
Update: Not to scare you, because this has been long since fixed, but this is the reason i stopped using FileVault.
DO NOT ENABLE FILEVAULT!!!! If you do, you are in for a would of problems and issues! I have a 110GB + harddrive with about 20GB of data on it. After enabling FileVault, it seizes all but about 600mb of storage space. And when I try and disable it, it says there is not enough free space to disable it. AND when I try and save my data to an EXTERNAL drive, it gives me the same error. IT TOTALLY BLOWS and I'm sorry I ever enabled it. I'm about ready to reload the OS. Any suggestions anyone?
er, sorry, didn't read that it won't allow you to turn it off.
I'd like to use FV on my laptop, so that if it ever gets stolen my files aren't at risk. However, like many, I avoid it due to the horror stories I've heard, although they may not be relevant any longer. Basically, FV creates a single encrypted image of your entire user directory. The problem is that if something goes wrong during a sleep or whatever and a few bytes of that file become corrupted, the entire file and hence your entire user directory are now hosed.
The single-file "all your eggs in one basket" has been a problem ever since the early Stacker disk compression days.
Since I'm unwilling to go 100% FV, I do something else. I have several smaller encrypted disk images in my Documents/etc. that hold my sensitive files or work files. When I need them, I just mount the image, do my thing, and then manually un-mount it. This minimizes the chances that things will go wrong as I don't sleep the Macbook without unmounting the images. Also, if something gets corrupted, I only lose that one file and not everything. Backing-up these smaller discrete disk images is super easy too and I can copy them to a USB flash drive for backup/access if I need to as well (try doing that with a full FV image of any large-ish size!)
I think what happened is that somehow, the process got botched (it seems to happen occasionally when you have a really big user directory -- for instance, you should move your music and videos and pictures folders out, e.g. to /users/shared/, as there's generally no reason to encrpyt them). When the encryption becomes botched, you end up with a huge image file hiding somewhere (I think in /var/tmp, but I could be wrong) that must be deleted.
As a counterpoint, I had it working on my iBook just fine before I got rid of it. I was in the habit of weekly backups though.
As for the pros/cons of using encrypted disk images, it really depends on what your goal is. The reason people in certain industries push for whole disk encryption is that Windows has a bad habit of placing sensitive information in various temporary locations, instead of respecting the user home directory. OS X does not do this. However, it does place sensitive information in the library folder inside the user directory. So, if your goal is to provide adequate HIPAA related privacy safeguards or something like that, putting document files in a disk image is probably a partial but not fully defensible solution, as it leaves caches and the like open to inspection. Certainly I will chime in and say that full disk encryption is a stupid requirement that just compensates for Windows' shortfallings, and good IT people will recognize that Filevault + secure VM is sufficient. But I wouldn't defend making separate encrypted disk images.
If your needs are more casual, though, it might be fine. If you're asking "what is filevault and do I need it?" the answer is probably "no."
Turn it off before installing Leopard.
I don't know exactly what happened but shortly after I installed Leopard my File Vault got corrupted... It may have been because the setting were passed from OS Updates and Moving to different systems from 10.2 (Back in 2004) when I last did a clean install but after putting leopard on I was able to login and view my stuff then I logged out and when I went back in it wouldn't let me in stating my Vault was corrupted. (It may have been corrupted before because I couldn't turn it off before) But the short story is because my home directory was corrupted I decided to whip the drive clean and do a full install.
I activated Filevault a couple of years ago and now im unable to deactivate it.I need help al my important data is under the encryption and everytime I try to deactivate the filevault it says I need 4000 and something GB or it starts deactivating and then it stops saying that an error has occured.I would be very pleased If someone could help me.
I think you need free space on your hard drive equivalent to the size of filevault image. Try moving data off to an external, logging out (so that to freed up space is reclaimed) until you have enough space to decrypt the image.
The amount of free space that it states you need is a bug, wouldn't get too worried by the exact amount it states you need)
Something else you can do to simplify is to open your Hard Disk, navigate to /users/shared, and create some document folders in there. If you have large volume stuff like in your Music or Movies directories, again, move those whole folders temporarily to the shared folder -- put them in analogous places so you'll remember where they go. When you pull them out of the home directory, they also get pulled out of the encrypted file. If you log out and back in, you should get a prompting to salvage unused space from filevault. Go ahead and do this. Then, once your filevault image is smaller, see if you can't successfully go in and deactivate filevault. Once you've done that, you can move the files back from /users/shared to their original locations in your home directory.
Thanks for the information.After trying several times finally I have decrypted all my files after installing Leopard.Leopard is great includes great things,I recommend it to anyone who is having some problems relating with the decryption who is desperate ....before erasing everything or something similar.If this can help anyone I couldn't decrypt because I kind of broke filevault switching off the computer while it was doing somethings.
This is not true , I have two user profiles encrypted , one is 49gb and the other is 5gb
I still have 100gb hard drive space free (on a 250gb drive)