VMware Fusion 6.0 VMs and FileVault 2
As part of my FileVault 2 testing, I do a lot of work with OS X VMs running in VMware Fusion. With 10.8.5’s release yesterday, I built a new OS X VM using this process. Once it was built, I tried enabling FileVault 2 and hit an odd issue. FileVault 2 was reporting that it was enabling, but on reboot I was not getting the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. Instead, I was passed onto the regular login window.
This is not the correct behavior for FileVault 2, so I was concerned that something in Fusion 6 had broken my ability to work with FileVault 2. After some work though, I was able to get FileVault 2 working again in VMware Fusion 6.0. See below the jump for details.
After looking at VMs that I had previously built in Fusion 5, then a new VM that I built in Fusion 6, I noticed one difference between my older VMs and the new VM. Fusion 6 introduced a virtual SATA bus and virtual disks for Fusion 6 OS X VMs are set up by default as as Bus type: SATA.
The Fusion 5 VMs were set up as Bus type: SCSI.
To see if the virtual disk type was the issue, I set up a new OS X VM in Fusion 6 that was otherwise identical to the one I was having trouble with. The only change I made was to switch the Bus type from Bus type: SATA to Bus type: SCSI. Using SCSI fixed my issue and I was able to encrypt my VM again with FileVault 2.
If this affects you, I recommend making this change when you’re first building the VM, before the OS is actually installed. That allows the OS to automatically use the new Bus type: from the start and avoid any compatibility issues that may come from trying to switch it later.
To make the switch from SATA to SCSI:
1. Go into the Hard Disk settings for your new VM
2. Click the arrow next to Advanced Options. This should allow the Bus type to be visible.
3. Click the Bus type: drop-down menu.
4. Switch Bus type: to SCSI. Once set, click the Apply button.
Your VM’s hard disk should now be listed as (SCSI). At this point, proceed with building your VM normally.