Very big problem with Time Machine and external HDD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Rockoar, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Rockoar macrumors regular

    Rockoar

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Paris (France)
    #1
    Long story short: it seems I'm being unable to remember correctly the password I set to my external hard drive (Western Digital My Passport 1Tb) using Time Machine in order to 'code' my data (don't know which is the proper English word for it, in French we say "chiffrer"). I wrote the password down on a piece of paper and even saved it on my 1Password account but apparently I'm too dumb and I wrote it incorrectly (that or my Mac is going crazy?).

    I need to know how can I un-password my external hard drive in order to set a new password to use it. I don't care if I lose my backed up information as I can re-back it up once I have unlocked my external hard drive. Is there a way to do it? (just to be clear, I'm not trying to retrieve my password as I imagine there isn't a way to do that, I just want to be able to use my external HD...) Thanks.
     
  2. simsaladimbamba, Sep 3, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

    simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    As far as I know, password protecting an external HDD is not an option with Time Machine, it is more likely, that you have permission problems.

    Have you checked Finder > select external HDD >> GET INFO >>> Sharing & Permissions yet? What does it say there, does your account have write access?
    [​IMG]
     
  3. stuaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #3
    Could you not just format it using the disk utility (as you don't care about data loss) unless that asks for a Password too?
     
  4. Rockoar, Sep 3, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

    Rockoar thread starter macrumors regular

    Rockoar

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Paris (France)
    #4
    I think I'm failing to explain myself in English in this case. What I seem to have done is to set a password using Time Machine in order to 'code' my data. It is not that the hard drive has a password but the data in it does. Whenever I connect the hard drive to my Mac a window prompts me to enter said password so I can't even see the hard drive on my Mac. If I open Disk Utility all I see is the hard drive I'm having problems with but I'm unable to format it from there as it ask me for the password too. It's weird because as far as I knew, setting the password was for protecting my backup information to be loaded into another Mac? I'm new to the Mac environment so I may be saying some nonsenses...

    PS. This is the information I got (sorry is in French):
    Nom*:
    Type*: Partition logique chiffrée
    Point de montage*: Non monté
    État du disque*: Verrouillé
    Capacité*: 999,49 Go (999*491*063*808 octets)

    It says the disk is 'locked' and also that it is encrypted. That's the word I was looking for. I set a password to encrypt my data.
     
  5. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #5
    I think you may mean "encrypt" your Time Machine data? :)

    Reformatting the drive should restore it to usability, but of course you will lose your data (actually ... you have already lost it if you don't have the password).

    Good luck...

    -howard
     
  6. Fabricman112 macrumors regular

    Fabricman112

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #6
    The built-in protection in Disk Utility stops you from erasing un-mounted drives...
    to erase an encrypted drive you need to enable Disk Utility´s Debug mode:
    kill disk utility if open, in terminal: defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1

    now all you have to do is destroy the Core Storage Volume (has the same name as main volume)
    and voilá your disk is free...

    EDIT: and by free I mean you can erase it :)
     

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  7. Weaselboy, Sep 3, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012

    Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Edit: (snip) Fabricman's post above is the answer.
    ----------

    You can encrypt USB connected Time Machine drives starting with Lion, and now Time Capsule connected drives with Mountain Lion.
     
  8. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #8
    Thanks ... I didn't know about the debug menu in DiskUtility. Cool! :)


    I don't have an encrypted drive to test with ... can you simply repartition the hardware drive name ... or is it not mounted and thus unavailable in the list until the password is presented (or use the debug menu)?


    -howard
     
  9. Fabricman112 macrumors regular

    Fabricman112

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #9
    If a drive is encrypted using disk utility (as Time Machine does to external HDDs) as an extra protection the drive cant be erased in disk utility...
    you can not mount the drive without the correct password, meaning you dont have access to the drive... unless you use debug menu
    there is still no way to get the encrypted data of the drive, but you can erase it
     
  10. Rockoar thread starter macrumors regular

    Rockoar

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Paris (France)
    #10
    Thanks a lot for all the answers but I'm still unable to access the debug mode on Disk Utility. I followed these steps: 1) quit Disk Utility 2) opened the terminal 3) copy-pasted this: defaults write com.apple.DiskUtility DUDebugMenuEnabled 1 4) hit enter 5) close terminal 6) open Disk Utility

    ...and nothing happened. I still am able to see my external hard drive listed but am unable to do anything except try to unlock it (which I can't without the correct password). I'm a newbie when it comes to terminal and everything related. Can you guys point to me which steps I'm not following correctly?

    And just to be clear, once I enter debug mode, I shall be able to erase the drive without needing the password? (as I don't care losing my data stored on it)
     
  11. Fabricman112 macrumors regular

    Fabricman112

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    #11
    I think there is a new menu for you ontop "Debug", and there you can choose "show all partitions"
    now if you destroy the Core Storage volume, the disk is rendered useless and you can erase/format it.. be careful though, debugging tools are powerful ;)
     
  12. Rockoar thread starter macrumors regular

    Rockoar

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Paris (France)
    #12
    That's all the extra information I was in need for :D
    Thanks again! I was able to erase it and now I'm going to try to back it all up -again- and I'll be careful how I type my password and will do my best not to forget it yet again.
     
  13. sharkman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #13
    Maybe I missed something, or you don't have access to another machine. Just nuke it in windows and then reformat it in Mac again..?
     
  14. Rockoar thread starter macrumors regular

    Rockoar

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Location:
    Paris (France)
    #14
    Well I did try to format it from an old Windows machine I have using Western Digital's own software (Smartware) but although Smartware showed me the drive it didn't give me any option nor was the drive present on "My PC" list of hard drives connected to the computer so in the end it was easier to recover it using my Mac.
     

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