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  #1  
Old 05-01-2015, 07:53 PM
wildthing wildthing is offline
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Some encrypted backups display username as [Update Needed] when booting

I started using FileVault 2 to encrypt the disks that I'm backing up to. Usually this works fine and I can boot from the backups, even though they're encrypted. There is a pre-boot login screen just like there is when I boot from the original system drive.

However sometimes when I try to boot from the backup disk, the pre-boot login screen contains a weird-looking option to log in as a user called "[Update Needed]" or "Guest User" - and all the other OS X account usernames from my original system drive are missing.

Any idea why this is?

Last edited by wildthing; 05-01-2015 at 08:02 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2015, 09:58 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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It's because it's encrypted. Try booting from it normally, then reinstall the OS to recreate a recovery volume on the backup. That should (hopefully) resolve the issue.
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Old 05-02-2015, 01:54 PM
wildthing wildthing is offline
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OK but now I'm puzzled why some of my encrypted backups have this problem and some don't. I thought I followed the same process to create all of them.

Here's what I did: I used Disk Utility to erase and format the drive as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)", and set an encryption passphrase. The passphrase is random and different for each drive (which is generated by and stored separately in my credential vault application).

Then I used SuperDuper to (initially) Erase then Copy; and used Smart Update the drive. The SuperDuper Erase always seems to preserve the encryption (along with passphrase) that I previously set up in Disk Utility.

When I reboot the drives that work, I am first prompted for the FileVault passphrase, and following this, it boots into the normal login screen with all the users there.

But maybe I'm remembering wrongly, and I in fact followed some different steps to create the encrypted drives that boot correctly.

Another change I've made recently is that I've now encrypted my main system drive as well. I understand that this changes the way OS X boots up, so I now get a pre-boot login screen rather than a post-boot login screen, and it uses the passwords of the OS X users to decrypt the drive before completing the boot process. But I'm sure that post-encrypting my system drive, I've followed the above steps to create a bootable backup and it's still worked as described.

Also in your reply you said "reinstall the OS to recreate a recovery volume on the backup". I don't understand what this means. If I re-install the OS won't that overwrite the backup?

Maybe what I need is step-by-step guide to creating a FileVault-encrypted backup the right way, assuming the original system drive is also FileVault-encrypted, which explains the whole process from beginning to end.

Last edited by wildthing; 05-02-2015 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:08 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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In general, you should format the backup as encrypted, then Smart Update to it. I'd then boot from it (you should be able to if you use the startup disk preference pane), and reinstall the OS on it from the App Store, which will create a recovery volume on the backup.

It should work fine...
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:14 PM
wildthing wildthing is offline
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OK, but I'm sure it's worked on at least one occasion without the last step being necessary.

Perhaps I should clarify: the desired behaviour is that for my system drive, I can boot it using my OS X usernames and passwords, because although the OS X user passwords are weaker, that is compensated by the fact that the computer is in a more secure location.

The backups, on the other hand, are taken off site and transported to and via less secure locations, hence the desired behaviour is that when I boot them up, I am first prompted for the super strong, long, randomized FileVault passphrase that I originally set in Disk Utility (I retrieve this from my credential vault application which is synced to all my devices and various other places). Only after I successfully provide the FileVault passphrase should I see the OS X login screen.

This desired behaviour has actually been working successfully - even *since* I enabled FileVault on my system drive. But it's only worked on some, not all, of my backups.

If the outcome of the steps you suggest are that the backup becomes bootable with the (weaker) OS X usernames and passwords, then this is not what I want.

Sorry for not making this clear earlier. Since I enabled FileVault on my system drive, I hadn't really thought through how I expected this to affect my backups.

Last edited by wildthing; 05-02-2015 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 05-02-2015, 04:02 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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No, it won't become weaker. The point is to try to get the Recovery volume (which is sometimes necessary to boot from Filevault volumes) onto the backup drive.
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