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10.7: Enable Time Machine encryption on Lion
Authored by: Crazor on Jul 22, '11 01:14:15PM

Time Machine uses the same technology to encrypt the backup volume that File Vault 2 uses to encrypt the system's disk(s): Core Storage.

Unfortunately, Lion is required to read Core Storage volumes...

I went another way to encrypt my Time Machine backup volume, since encrypting it like the hint describes took ages (even on an empty volume, before the first backup; I canceled the encryption after 20 minutes). Using Disk Utility to reformat the volume as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted)" resulted in the very same Core Storage volume, but this time it was "instantly" encrypted. Don't know what was going on there.
The only difference: Formatting normally and checking the encryption checkbox converts the volume to Core Storage, which is reversible later. The same with File Vault 2: If you check the checkbox, the normal volume gets converted and encrypted, but if you create an empty, encrypted volume and install Lion there, you won't be able to convert it back to unencrypted.

BTW: You can watch the encryption status by running "diskutil cs list" in a terminal.



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10.7: Enable Time Machine encryption on Lion
Authored by: Crazor on Jul 26, '11 02:55:09AM

Update: Even when you create an encrypted volume with Disk Utility, the encryption can be removed. Just select File => Disable encryption in DU.

But from what I've read in diskutil's manpage, it is only possible to convert Core Storage volumes to normal volumes that were created by converting a normal volume in the first place. So I guess that disabling encryption on a volume that was created by formatting a partition as "Mac OS Extended (journaled, encrypted) will result in an unencrypted Core Storage volume.

I'm trying this right now and will report back when decryption is finished.



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