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Unlocking or decrypting a FileVault 2-encrypted Fusion Drive from the command line

April 27, 2014 10 comments

Unlocking or decrypting a FileVault 2-encrypted Fusion drive from the command line can be a little different from how you would handle a non-Fusion drive. This is because Apple has created Fusion drives by using the Core Storage volume manager that they first introduced in OS X 10.7.x. Normally when you enable FileVault 2, there is not an existing Core Storage volume on the drive being encrypted and the FileVault 2 process creates it. When a drive is decrypted using the diskutil cs revert command, that CoreStorage volume is then removed as part of the process.

However, with Fusion drives, not only is there an existing CoreStorage volume present before encryption, you want to make sure it’s not being removed as part of the decryption process. Doing so would destroy the Fusion drive setup and potentially result in the loss of all data stored on the Fusion drive.

There’s two tools that you can use to safely decrypt a Fusion drive on OS X Mavericks:

fdesetup

diskutil

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