Questions about Bootable USB

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. doubledee, Jul 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013

    doubledee
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    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Well, it looks like I was able to create my first-ever Encrypted Bootable USB drive!! :D

    But I have some questions about what I just did...

    1.) After booting up from my USB Drive (Power + Option), if I go under Apple > About This Mac it says...
    Code:
    Startup Disk: MBP Factory 2013-07-07
    
    That looks good!


    But if I open under Finder, under Devices, I only see this..
    Code:
    Debbie's MacBookPro
    MacIntosh HD
    
    Why don't I see my Bootable USB Drive under "Devices"?? :confused:


    2.) When I boot up from my Bootable USB Drive, why am I able to actually *use* the computer?

    That is, I was under the impression that everything would be "Read-Only", and so while I could boot up and maybe clone a new HDD, that I would NOT be able to do things like work on documents? :confused:

    I thought the whole idea of creating a "clone" on my Bootable USB drive is that it could not be changed?


    3.) Related to #1, if I go into Apple > About This Mac where could I see that I am indeed booted up from my USB Drive vs. the Internal HDD?


    4.) If I boot up from my Bootable USB Drive, then I guess I'm sorta confused why I can see the internal "MacIntosh HD".

    I suppose this relates to my confusion in #1.


    5.) How can I get 110% reassurance that my Bootable USB Drive is indeed encrypted?? :eek:

    (It would be a bummer to have went to all of this trouble, only to find out that I have a USB Drive laying around that someone could hack into...) :eek:


    6.) When I boot up from the Internal HDD, if I go under Apple > About This Mac it does NOT say anything about what the "Startup Disk" is...

    So how do I get some confirmation from what HDD I have booted to??

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  2. Dalton63841
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    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #2
    Regarding #2, when you boot into a read only filesystem, it gets loaded into RAM. While in RAM you can do anything just like a normal system, but the changes won't be persistent. That is, change any document you want, but after a reboot the files will be back to their original state. If the changes are persistent, then the filesystem is NOT read only.
     
  3. Dark Dragoon
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    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    How did you make this bootable clone and how did you encrypt it?

    As for number 2, for it to be a bootable clone that necessitates that it must be usable. Now whether or not you've found some clever way of doing something very similar to a Linux Live CD/DVD where it loads into the RAM (didn't know you could do this with OS X) or whether it's just a standard OS X install is another matter.

    For 5 have you tried plugging it into your Mac without decrypting it or entering a password to unlock it to see if the files are accessible. This is assuming the password isn't stored in the keychain and is automatically unlocking it of-course.

    For seeing whats booted you can open up Disk Utility then select the partition you think you are booted from and check the "Mount Point" if it's "/" then thats the device its booted off of. You should also be able to select your internal drives partition and successfully unmount it.
     
  4. Dalton63841
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    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #4
    Mac does have support for something like this... It works similar to netboot, but the image is stored locally. In fact that is how the recovery partition works. I am curious about the encryption though...
     
  5. doubledee
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    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #5
    I made a Bootable USB Drive clone using CCC.

    I encrypted my Bootable USB Drive using Mountain Lion's FileVault2 interface under System Preferences.


    That was my point...

    I thought the Bootable USB Drive I created with CCC would be like a Linux Live CD and wouldn't allow me to change anything.


    This may sound silly, but...

    Yes, when I boot up from the Internal HDD and then plug in my Encrypted Bootable USB Drive, I get a prompt asking me for a password to access it.

    And, yes, if I don't do that, then I cannot see the USB Drive in Finder.

    Admittedly, that seems pretty convincing.

    HOWEVER, there always seems to be lots of "Back Doors" and I just want to be 300% sure that this Encrypted Bootable USB Drive is actually *encrypted* for sure, because I'd hate to make a mistake and down the road lose my USB Drive and have someone have all of my data?! :eek:

    All of this is new to me, so I am trying to be doubly, triply, really really certain I am doing the security part right!!!


    Okay, I'll try that.

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  6. doubledee
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    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #6
    That is good to know.

    Thanks!


    Debbie
     

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