Archive

Archive for the ‘FileVault 2’ Category

Yosemite’s paused encryption problem fixed in 10.10.3

June 10, 2015 1 comment

When Yosemite was released in October 2014, one of the changes it introduced was including a new FileVault 2 enablement option in Apple’s Setup Assistant. This option encouraged new users of Yosemite to enable FileVault 2 encryption and had the choice to enable FileVault 2 selected by default.

When the encryption process began, a significant issue then appeared for a number of users where the Mac would report Encryption paused during the encryption process, then never resume the encryption process.

Filevault stuck encryption paused

 

This produced a situation where the Mac could not complete encryption, but would not decrypt either because the encryption process had not completed. The only fix appeared to be deleting the existing CoreStorage volume, which addressed the issue at the cost of deleting everything stored on the boot drive.

Fortunately, OS X 10.10.3 includes a fix that should stop this issue from occurring on OS X 10.10.3 and later. There is also now a procedure that should fix Macs still affected by this problem. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Stopping your Mac from booting to the FileVault 2 Reset Password wizard

May 27, 2015 5 comments

When a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac sits for more than a minute with an account selected at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen, a message like the one below should appear:

If you’re having a problem entering your password, press and hold the power button on your Mac to shut it down. Then press it again to start it up in the Recovery OS.

Screen shot 2015 01 15 at 1 40 50 pm

If the instructions are followed, the Mac will boot from the Mac’s recovery partition on the next startup and go into a FileVault 2 Reset Password wizard.

Screen Shot 2015 05 27 at 7 58 05 AM

In the Reset Password wizard, there are currently three options available.

  1. I forgot my password
  2. My password doesn’t work when logging in
  3. My keyboard isn’t working when typing my password to login

However, if you don’t want or need to use the Reset Password wizard, there’s not an obvious way to get back to the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. There’s no visible way to quit, and rebooting the Mac using the power button will return you to the Reset Password wizard.

Thanks to research by the folks in the ##osx-server IRC room, it looks like there’s a relatively straightforward way to reset the boot process:

  1. While booted to the initial Reset Password wizard screen, press and hold the power button on your Mac to shut it down
  2. Reset NVRAM
  3. Once the NVRAM reset procedure has been completed, let the Mac boot.

At that point, you should be taken to the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen instead of the Reset Password wizard.

Screen Shot 2015 05 27 at 8 05 49 AM

Credit to arrose in the ##osx-server IRC room for figuring this out.

Update 5-28-2015: As elvisizer mentioned in the comments, there is also the option of revealing the hidden menu at the top of the screen and using the Startup Disk preferences to select your hard drive and reboot back to FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. Since this is easier to show rather than explain, I’ve made a short video of the process.

Note: The password used to unlock the drive in the Startup Disk preferences can be the password of any account that appears on the Mac’s FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. If you can log in at the pre-boot login screen, you should be able to enter your password to unlock.

Accessing the FileVault 2 Reset Password wizard via Yosemite’s Recovery HD

May 10, 2015 1 comment

I’d previously written a post about Yosemite’s FileVault 2 pre-boot recovery options and how they can be accessed via the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen. This process uses a Reset Password wizard to help users recover from login problems at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen.

I recently learned that the FileVault 2 Reset Password wizard can also be manually launched while booted from the Recovery partition. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

Managing Yosemite’s FileVault 2 with fdesetup

February 2, 2015 7 comments

With the release of Yosemite, Apple has continued to add functionality to fdesetup, a valuable command-line tool for enabling, administering and disabling Apple’s FileVault 2 encryption. This tool gives Mac administrators the following command-line abilities:

  • Enable or disable FileVault 2 encryption on a particular Mac
  • Use a personal recovery key, an institutional recovery key, or both kinds of recovery key.
  • Enable one or multiple user accounts at the time of encryption
  • Get a list of FileVault 2-enabled users on a particular machine
  • Add additional users after FileVault has been enabled
  • Remove users from the list of FileVault enabled accounts
  • Add, change or remove individual and institutional recovery keys
  • Report which recovery keys are in use
  • Perform a one-time reboot that bypasses the FileVault pre-boot login
  • Report on the status of FileVault 2 encryption or decryption

I’ll be taking you through all of the capabilities mentioned above, with a focus on showing exactly how they work. See below the jump for details.

Read more…

FileVault 2 deferred enablement in Yosemite

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

One of the requirements when enabling an account for FileVault 2 is that the account’s own password must be provided in order for the account to be enabled. This is because the account’s password is used to generate a unique derived key via PBKDF2. This key is necessary for the account to unlock FileVault 2’s encryption, so the account’s password must be provided in order to enable an account.

Apple recognized that there would be situations where Mac admins would need to set up FileVault 2 for a person where the admin would not have the password for that person’s user account. To avoid the immediate need to enter a password, fdesetup has a -defer flag in Mountain Lion, Mavericks and Yosemite that can be used with fdesetup‘s enable verb to delay enabling FileVault 2 until after the current (or next) user logs out. With the -defer flag, the user will be prompted for their password at their next logout or restart. The recovery key information is not generated until the user password is obtained, so the -defer option requires a file location where this information will be written to as a plist file.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 12.33.03 PM

The property list file will be created as a root-only readable file and contain information similar to what’s show below.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 12.30.24 PM

Note: For security reasons, the plist file with the recovery key information should not stay on the encrypted system. Please copy it to a safe location and then securely delete this plist file from the encrypted system.

Run the following command with root privileges to defer enabling FileVault 2 and specify the account you want:

fdesetup enable -user username -defer /path/to/filename.plist

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 2.23.07 PM

If there is no user account specified with the -user option, then the current logged-in user will be enabled for FileVault 2. If there is no user specified and no users are logged in when the command is run, then the next user that logs in will be chosen and enabled.

If you don’t want to specify the account, run the following command with root privileges:

fdesetup enable -defer /path/to/filename.plist

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 2.24.49 PM

On logout, the user will be prompted to enter their account password.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 10.57.19 AM

Once entered, FileVault 2 will be enabled and the recovery information plist file will be created. Once the enabling process is complete, the Mac will restart.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 10.57.20 AM

An important thing to keep in mind about the –defer option is that it enables one single user account at the time of turning on FileVault 2 encryption. The –defer option does not enable multiple user accounts and cannot be used to enable accounts once FileVault 2 encryption has been turned on.

In Yosemite, Apple added new options for fdesetup‘s -defer flag. These new options now allow Mac admins to set a deferred enablement with the following options:

  1. Enforce FileVault 2 enablement at logout
  2. Enforce FileVault 2 enablement at login
  3. Enforce FileVault 2 enablement at both login and logout

For more information, see below the jump.

Read more…

Yosemite’s FileVault 2 pre-boot recovery options

January 17, 2015 6 comments

One of the changes that Apple has introduced with Yosemite is a more straightforward way to recover from login problems at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen.

When a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac sits for more than a minute with an account selected at the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen, a message like the one below should appear:

If you’re having a problem entering your password, press and hold the power button on your Mac to shut it down. Then press it again to start it up in the Recovery OS.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 1.40.50 PM

If the instructions are followed, the Mac will boot from the Mac’s recovery partition on the next startup and go into a Reset Password wizard.

In the Reset Password wizard, there are currently three options available.

  1. I forgot my password
  2. My password doesn’t work when logging in
  3. My keyboard isn’t working when typing my password to login

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 8.20.23 AM

Each option will do different things, so let’s take a look at each. For more details, see below the jump.

Read more…

fdesetup sync – fdesetup’s misunderstood command

December 21, 2014 1 comment

Apple’s fdesetup tool includes a number of commands, including fdesetup sync. In the fdesetup manpage, sync is listed with the following description:

Synchronizes information from Open Directory to FileVault

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 10.55.50 AM

Since the description is brief and vague, misunderstandings about what fdesetup sync‘s functions were almost inevitable. Based on my research, here’s fdesetup sync does:

1. Automate the disabling of FileVault 2-enabled accounts

fdesetup sync checks with a Mac’s directory service (Active Directory, Open Directory, OpenLDAP, etc.) to see which accounts have been removed. If an account has been removed from the directory service, running fdesetup sync on an encrypted Mac will automatically remove the account from the list of FileVault 2 enabled accounts. The sync only affects the account’s FileVault 2 status and will not remove the account or account home folder from the Mac.

An important thing to know is that fdesetup is only checking to see if the account is there or not there. It’s unable to determine if an account has been set to be disabled. If an account has been disabled but the account is still there, fdesetup sync will not change the FileVault 2 status of the account in question.

2. Automate the update of accounts’ user pictures

fdesetup sync checks with a Mac’s directory service (Active Directory, Open Directory, OpenLDAP, etc.) to see which accounts have user pictures associated with the account. If an account’s user picture is updated on the directory service, running fdesetup sync will allow the updated user picture to also be displayed on the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen.

In many cases, this information will also have been updated automatically by the OS without the need for fdesetup sync to be run.

With those capabilities in mind, here’s two common misunderstandings I’ve seen or heard of in connection with fdesetup sync:

1. fdesetup sync updates the passwords at the pre-boot login screen

It does not. Based on my research, it appears that this job may be handled by opendirectoryd’s FDESupport module. I haven’t confirmed that with Apple though, so for the moment, treat this information about FDESupport as being my opinion rather than a fact.

2. fdesetup sync can automatically add accounts to a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac.

It does not, and the manpage for fdesetup is explicit about this point elsewhere in the manpage.

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.59.00 AM

NOTE: The manpage for fdesetup has a typo where it refers to a fdesetupsyncusers” command. This is actually referring to fdesetup sync.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 222 other followers

%d bloggers like this: