Wil Limoges tells you how to enable FileVault 2 in Mac Lion and points out a few gotchas to look out for along the way.
Last week, I wrote about securing your Mac with Lion’s Firewall and FileVault 2. In this week's post, I’m going to walk you through setting up and configuring Mac OS X Lion’s FileVault 2.In the previous post, I spoke briefly about what to expect with FileVault, when it’s best to use it, and benefits versus pitfalls.
Before getting started
Back up your Mac before attempting to enable FileVault. There is a moderate risk of data corruption when enabling FileVault so the sure fire way to head off any such danger is simply to back up.If you’re upgrading from Snow Leopard to Lion and you have FileVault enabled you need to make sure that FileVault is completely disabled within Snow Leopard before upgrading and enabling FileVault 2. Not doing so will prevent you from being able to turn the feature on under Lion. Another situation to think about is whether your Mac has multiple users or not. If it does, know that each user will need to be granted access to the Mac within FileVault, otherwise a user with FileVault access will need to unlock the machine by logging in, then logging out so that any other users may login to their account. Also if there is a screen lock, logout, sleep/hibernate setting, or a screen saver password enabled, it will also require that the FileVault password be used to unlock FileVault each time one of these items is invoked. The last thing to note before enabling FileVault has more to do with Lion’s installation process. During installation, Lion creates a “Recovery HD” partition. FileVault requires that this “Recovery HD” be created in order to be enabled. Since it is possible for Lion to fail creating this partition during an installation or upgrade, it would be best to do a quick check and make sure that it has been created. To do this, simply reboot your Lion-installed Mac and press [Command] + [r ] while booting up. You’ll know you’ve succeeded in booting to the Recovery HD when you see a window pane called “Mac OS X Utilities” containing a list of utilities such as Disk Utility and Time Machine after boot. If you don’t, don’t fret, try to reboot the Mac a few more times holding down the [Command] and [r] keys together to make sure that it wasn’t just a timing issue.