Tuesday, 31 January 2017 18:13

How to encrypt a bootable clone in macOS Featured

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Tony Padgett uses FileVault in macOS to encrypt his startup volume. However, it occurred to him that because he routinely updates a bootable clone of that drive, his clone remains unprotected at rest.

After cloning my internal drive to an external, I can take that external clone, plug it into another Mac, and see and read the contents.

This “hole” is not very obvious to the average person. I somehow assumed because FileVaut has encrypted my iMac, an encrypted version of it was being cloned the external drive.

I agree! I understood this because of extensive testing of FileVault, but it’s certainly not immediately obvious if you don’t know how a seemingly identical clone is managed at a low level by macOS.

Tony consulted the folks behind SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner, and they had similar advice, which I paraphrase here, as it works with any cloning solution:

  1. Change your startup drive to the cloned backup or select it at startup by holding down the Option key after restarting.
  2. Reinstall macOS in place (not an erase-and-install) on the cloned drive.
  3. Boot from the clone.
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SPEEDEE spends his day searching the internet for the information you need to better use your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and all else Apple.

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