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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > FileVault for users on 10.9

FileVault for users on 10.9
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Aug 28, 2014, 03:36 PM
I used to have File Vault activated for some user accounts on my previous Mac.

This is obviously no longer supported for new accounts set up with 10.9. But I copied one of those accounts and it appears to work.
Can new accounts be encrypted in the terminal or can I create a sparse image and force 10.9 to use it as a home directory? I figure this is probably a bad idea but I thought, I could at least ask this.

The most obvious option would be to copy all the user accounts with File Vault from backups to my new Mac.
Mac OS offers this when the system is freshly installed. I do not necessarily repeat the install. It is just fresh.
But I want those user accounts protected.
Can I simply copy the user accounts into the users folder? Would 10.9 automatically recognize them as legitimate users, show them in the login screen and switch user menu?
That would seem to be the most probable way to proceed.

Another option (although not my favorite) might be to use an external HD attached to the Mac mini via USB, install a separate OS X on this and only there use full disk encryption.
I would have to reboot regularly though, I would have another drive that needs separat backup drives.... not ideal, really.

I am grateful for any information, suggestions and probably other alternatives.
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Aug 28, 2014, 08:37 PM
Is there some reason not to use FDE?

I found that Filevault was occasionally unreliable and saw a few instances of it refusing to accept the correct password rendering it worthless. Never trusted it for that reason. I am considering trying FV2 myself though.

User accounts you copy must still be added in the System Preferences Users pane. It should pick them up automatically if you use the same short name as the name of their folder. Not sure how it will deal with encrypted users though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
anselm  (op)
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Aug 31, 2014, 03:18 PM
Full disk encryption encrypts also the non-confidential files. Encryption in general increases the risk of data loss.
I have multiple backups but will not encrypt my most important files.

I did copy one encrypted user when being asked by OS, when I first turned on my new Mac.
Result: The home folder is still encrypted and you still see the FileVault log-off process trying to clear unused space in the sparse image. So at least for 10.9 it appears to be supported, which could change.

I did never have an instance where FileVault 1 refused the correct password. However, anytime I am logged in and it crashes. I used to re-create the user folder and copy back the files from a backup.

The data I have encrypted is probably not of interest to anybody but me. Still I prefer it encrypted.
I don`t want my entire drive to be encrypted.
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