Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Carbon Copy Cloner as a disk and FileVault aid Apps
Summary: how to use Carbon Copy Cloner as an extra check on your file system and to help resolve a FileVault sparsebundle issue.

While I use Time Machine I also clone my MacBook drive weekly to an offsite backup. I need to log out of my normal FileVault enabled account to do this.

This week Carbon Copy Cloner completed the clone but reported an error. I looked at the log and it reported that it was having an input/output error on my FileVault sparsebundle. I ran Disk Utility's First Aid on my MacBook and backup disk and both passed. I then tried to mount the sparsebundle, which worked, and then ran First Aid on its volume. It also passed.

Thus the first hint, Carbon Copy Cloner (and the rsync utility it uses) can identify disk issues that First Aid and Time Machine miss/ignore.

Then I noticed the error mentioned that it did not delete the info on my clone so, silly me, I thought that meant my clone disk was bad. So I erased the disk, hoping to map out bad sectors, while remembering that I have Time Machine backups.

Unfortunately, the reason it didn't delete the sparsebundle on the clone was because it was the sparsebundle on my MacBook that was bad, as was the disk. The disk died within the next 30 minutes.

It turns out the disk had been going bad for about a week so many of my Time Machine backups were bad but, in the end, I found a good one. Unfortunately Migration Assistant and Restore Full Disk (on the Snow Leopard Install disc) were not able to work without crashing because of the bad Time Machine backups. I was able to move an older good backup sparsebundle using ideas from this article. I just used sudo rather than root.

Finally, all was well. But, just to be sure I wanted to turn off FileVault on this account and then turn it back on to end up with a fully fresh and clean sparsebundle. The process began just fine but then would exit about 30% through decryption with the oh-so-helpful message that there was an error and decryption couldn't proceed so FileVault could not be turned off. I ended up with a few folders in a /user/myuser.fv folder including a partial library folder. Couldn't find any log to help explain why it stopped.

I logged into another account and mounted my backup sparsebundle and ran First Aid. It passed. Then I decided to pull out Carbon Copy Cloner again and clone the sparsebundle volume to another disk just to be sure I had the data backed up. This worked fine but, when it finished, it again reported an input/output error. This time the error was on a log file inside my FileVault user account's ~/Library folder.

I logged back in as the FileVault user, navigated to ~/Library and deleted the named offending log file. Then I again tried to turn off FileVault and decrypt my home folder and this time it completed.

Hint 2: Carbon Copy Cloner can help identify a file *inside* your sparsebundle that prevents decrypting your sparsebundle and thus turning off FileVault.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I have to say I just avoid FileVault and use regular encrypted disk images for securing data.]
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (5 votes cast)

Carbon Copy Cloner as a disk and FileVault aid | 0 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Carbon Copy Cloner as a disk and FileVault aid' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.