OS X Yosemite upgrade FileVault problem

When I upgraded to Yosemite, the installer offered to painlessly switch my hard drive to use FileVault 2 full disk encryption. I said yes.

Unfortunately, the OS didn’t generate the recovery key that it was supposed to. I was left with an encrypted disk, and no recovery key I could file away in case I forgot my password.

After some investigation, I discovered that you can ask OS X to create a new recovery key for you from the command line. In a Terminal window, type:

sudo fdesetup changerecovery -personal

You’ll need to enter your password for sudo, then the fdesetup utility will prompt you again with:

Enter a password for '/':

Enter your password again. The fdesetup utility will then create and display your new personal recovery key.

8 thoughts on “OS X Yosemite upgrade FileVault problem

  1. AMAZING! Thank you for this! Saved me hours of waiting to disable and then re-enable FileVault (thats if it decided to give me a key the 2nd time!) Thank you!

  2. Thanks Mathew. It is worrying when a utility like FileVault that has taken control of your hard drive doesn’t behave as it should.

    1. So long as you have the emergency unlock code squirreled away somewhere safe, I’d say leave it on. That way, if your computer gets stolen, they don’t get all your personal data.

  3. Thanks! Same thing happened to me. I swear I was never given a code. Now I have one. Thank you.

  4. Thanks Mathew. After decrypting a drive to do some maintenance I reset FileVualt and ….
    … WTF??? No key? Not really wanting to wait hours for the new encryption to finish and then decrypting it I searched and found your post. Works.

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