My Macbook goes into repair for a day, so I'd like to protect my private folders, infact the the whole secondary partition if possible so its not accessible even when OS X is booted from an external drive. I'd like to know if thats possible and how?

Many thanks


I've not personally done it but I understand TrueCrypt might be an option for you.

Another option may be to create a password protected disk image and copy everything into the image...see this article

I'm not 100% sure on how that would work on an entire partition but I use it for securing files on USB drives.

  • Yep, this is definitely the best way to go especially as you can encrypt it at the same time and it is also built right into the operating system.
    – Cromulent
    Oct 17 '09 at 2:23

Setting permissions that will work in different environments is a difficult subject. When booting into another environment, the permissions may not be honored by that new operating system as they cannot be properly read. Files that were previously set with strict permissions may be read from a bootable CD of a different OS.

I'd suggest encrypting the files temporarily instead of relying on permissions, I'd feel much safer that way personally. Take a look at TrueCrypt.


As noted you have to encrypt everything as the menders will have root access. Also when you get things mended the menders might break the disk or have some other accident so you need to have a full backup.

Given these two it might be easiest to delete all your private data and restore after you get the computer back.

For a Mac the easiest way to encrypt your data would be to turn the included FileVault on -

System Preferences->Security->FileVault

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