Home > FileVault 2, Mac administration, Mac OS X > Scripted decryption when using a FileVault 2 institutional recovery key with Mavericks’ Recovery HD

Scripted decryption when using a FileVault 2 institutional recovery key with Mavericks’ Recovery HD

Something that has usually been a manually-driven process for me has been FileVault 2 decryption when using an institutional recovery key. In large part, this is because you need to boot to either Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery. When you combine that with this known issue with decrypting when booted from Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery, it made me wish for a scripted process for decrypting when using an institutional recovery key.

Apparently, I should wish for things more often because @ttaniguti has developed a script that does precisely that. FileVault Rescue’s decrypt.sh script is designed to properly decrypt a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac using an institutional recovery key while the Mac is booted to Mavericks’ Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery.

In my testing, the script works fine on a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac running 10.9.5 and it avoids the known issues with decrypting while booted from Recovery HD by running diskutil cs revert twice at the proper times in the decryption process.

To use this script, you will need the following:

1. A FileVaultMaster.keychain file that contains the private key of your institutional recovery key.

2. The unlock password for the FileVaultMaster.keychain file stored in a plaintext file named pass.txt

Once you have both of these, copy the two files along with the decrypt.sh script to something that you’ll be able to access while booted to Mavericks’ Recovery HD or Apple’s Internet Recovery. A USB flash drive would work well here.

A YouTube video is available to show you how to use the script and I’ve linked it below:

Hat tip to Allister Banks for letting me know about this script.

  1. Darrin
    May 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Rich- is this still valid for 10.10 and 10.11? I’d love for our Mac challenged support staff to have this simple means of decrypting when all else fails.

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