Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When using FileVault2's Whole Disk Encryption, does it encrypt a bootcamp partition? If not, does it still allow access from Windows to the encrypted Mac disk? What about Parallels access of bootcamp for virtualization?

share|improve this question
Not sure what the "still" means. Access from Windows to the Mac partition would not have anything at all to do with whether the Windows partition were encrypted. Nothing can access an encrypted disk. Windows can not run on an encrypted disk unless it can decrypt the files it needs to access. If encrypted from the Mac partition, it will not run. – Abraxas Jul 23 '11 at 6:40
Windows can run from an encrypted disk, such as TrueCrypt. Either way, Windows can only access the Mac partition through bootcamp supplied drivers. Would those drivers now include disk decryption? – Hafthor Jul 23 '11 at 6:53
@Hafthor I get blue screens when Windows boots with an encrypted drive, had to remove the HFS drivers. I expect an update is required for this. – Michael Stum Jul 25 '11 at 4:03
An update to Boot Camp 4.0 (…) fixes this. – David Mar 11 '12 at 20:25
up vote 2 down vote accepted

FileVault 2 creates a partition which is then managed by it, kinda how LVM works in Linux (the partition seems to be able to contain more than one "partition" but the file system sees it as only one).

So "Whole Disk Encryption" doesn't touch BootCamp drives at all; it just encrypts its Boot partition. Looking at this CoreStorage stuff, it seems more like a glimpse of things to come (Essentially it looks inspired by Windows Dynamic Disk, LVM and ZFS). It seems like diskutil on the command line can be used to tweak and add more encrypted volumes, but there is no UI and it seems very undocumented/unsupported - for the moment at least.

See this pastebin entry for information about my HardDrive, a single 750 GB Drive with a Mac and a Boot Camp partition. disk0 is a physical drive, containing a "Core Storage" partition. When booting and entering the password, the EFI Loader seems to mount it as disk1, a "virtual" hard drive.

$ diskutil list                                                       
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *750.2 GB   disk0
1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk0s1
2:          Apple_CoreStorage                         549.6 GB   disk0s2
3:                 Apple_Boot Recovery HD             650.0 MB   disk0s3
4:       Microsoft Basic Data BOOTCAMP                199.7 GB   disk0s4
#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:                  Apple_HFS Zinnia HD              *549.3 GB   disk1
share|improve this answer

FileVault 2 Core Storage encryption of the startup volume requires (but does not encrypt) the hidden Apple_Boot Recovery HD partition. This is not the only application of Core Storage.

Core Storage is also applied if, in the Time Machine pane of System Preferences, the user opts to encrypt a backup volume.

Core Storage is also applicable without encryption, and so on.

A highlight from the current diskutil(8) Mac OS X Manual Page (integral to 10.7 (Build 11A511); the page published by Apple is currently limited to 10.6.6):

A Logical Volume (LV) exports a dev node, upon which a file system (such as Journaled HFS+) resides.

If JHFS+ is just one example, then I guess that other file system personalities may be applied, but I have not experimented with NTFS or anything other than JHFS+.

Personally, I should not attempt to use Core Storage for Boot Camp purposes.

As in Windows I know of nothing comparable to


so I should not expect Windows to be bootable from storage that Windows can not recognise.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .