View Full Version : Backing up a Macbook Air that uses File Vault

07-06-2013, 05:23 PM
I've read through the forums and have not seen a definitive answer to this.

I have a MacBook Air, running Mountain Lion 10.8.4, that I travel with. In order to keep my precious data safe in case that Mac is lost or stolen, I use File Vault 2 to encrypt the whole HDD. I'm not worried about forgetting the encryption password; I have it in a safe at home. I don't take the backup drive with me on my travels; I keep it in a fireproof safe at home.

What I need to be able to do is to back up this computer safely before leaving home and at other times while not on the road. If the backup is encrypted too, that would be good, but it's not absolutely necessary.

I have an admin account on that computer. My wife Betsy has a regular user account, mostly so she can check her email while we're traveling together.

What I've been doing for backups is this:

I log out of my account.
I log into Betsy's account
I use SD to backup from there
I log out and shut down

Any comments?

07-06-2013, 05:30 PM
With FV2, the whole disk is encrypted. As such, there's no need to log out.

FV1 was totally different, and encrypted the account by storing it in an encrypted bundle. That's why you had to log out.

Does that help?

07-06-2013, 09:49 PM
Yes it does help. Thank, Dave. Joe

07-07-2013, 08:56 AM
Backing up, with FV2 on, without first logging out of the admin account, appears to produce an unencrypted backup that can be booted on another computer and used without knowing the encryption password. At least, that's how it worked for me.

This is OK with me because I leave the backup drive in a safe at home, but it's important to know for users who might take a backup drive along.

07-07-2013, 09:02 AM
That's right, if you don't format the backup drive encrypted and Smart Update to it, it's not encrypted (because the files, at the file level, are not encrypted when we copy them).