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I wanted a way to encrypt my user folder e.g. (/User/sid/*) and have Mac OS X auto mount it based off my login credentials. Since that folder also contains profile info, I suspect it would need to be decrypted, mounted right at login time itself.

My guess is truecrypt would work but

  1. No idea about autologin
  2. Truecrypt may require the entire 50GB allocated at the start and may kill timemachine by backing up all 50GB each time I change even a single byte inside the encrypted volume.

Honestly, I wish Apple has left in FileVault 1 and 2 and allowed users to pick their choice.


I know Lion has FileVault2 but that encrypts the entire system. I've got the macbook setup to dual boot into Windows 7 (which is whole disk encrypted with Truecrypt). Since I had to do that, I had to revert from a GPT style to a MBR style for the hard drive and FileVault2 cannot work on MBR systems. Had to say that because someone would throw a fit and say "turn on FileVault2".

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Install OS X Snow Leopard, activate FV1, and install Lion? You keep what you have as "Legacy File Vault". Worked for months for me. – Daniel Beck Nov 25 '11 at 23:02
Wow! I've got a 'setup' Lion system, would hate to undo, install 10.6 and THEN install 10.7 and THEN setup Lion all over again! But thanks, that's one way out, just a very steep slope on that one :( – DeepSpace101 Nov 25 '11 at 23:23
It's all (except some weird stuff perhaps) just files. I restored only my user profile from Time Machine a few times over the years, and was working again after installing very few programs. You'd have to copy the data over manually, but unless you use some unusual permissions or metadata it should be no problem. Depends on how you organize your data somewhat of course. And how much you want it :-) – Daniel Beck Nov 25 '11 at 23:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Sigh! Didn't really answer the exact question but solves my deeper issue of "run lion, run windows, keep both secure". Here is what I ended up doing,

  • Moved my physical Windows 7 system as a VirtualBox machine inside Lion (details below)
  • Deleted the Truecrypt'ed Windows 7 partition -> single, large Mac partition
  • Turned on FileVault2 inside Lion

I get the same end result of having everything on the laptop encrypted but had to compromise on running Windows 7 a bit slower as a virtual machine instead of a physical machine.

Migrating Windows 7 physical -> Virtual machine:

  • I used EaseUS backup software to make the backup to an external hard drive
  • Booted into Lion, created an empty virtual machine
  • Used EaseUS's "restore to dissimilar hardware" feature

It took time, but it was mostly unattended so wasn't that unproductive.

Also, I noticed that Windows 7 32 bit was running a lot faster (50% faster compiles in visual studio 2010) than Windows 7 64 bit. My laptop is a core2duo and a total of 4GB memory - I suspect memory is the bottleneck as the Win7 32bit machine requires a little less memory than it's 64bit counterpart.

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Actually, you could have solved this with FileVault 2 (without using a VM), because it encrypts just a partition - not the whole disk. FileVault 2 and BootCamp play nicely together - here's a more detailed explanation why. You do need to update Boot Camp drivers if you're not already using Boot Camp 4.0. This solution does work with TrueCrypt or BitLocker.

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Did you test it with Truecrypt? Because when I tried it it never worked because Truecrypt system encryption requires an MBR partition table type while FileVault2 required a GPT partition table. :/ – DeepSpace101 Mar 12 '12 at 21:02

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