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Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8698
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I've gotten the dreaded "your home folder, which is protecte

Customer Question

I've gotten the dreaded "your home folder, which is protected by FileVault, didn't open" message. I was able to log on thru another user and have been poking around to try to fix the problem. I've tried repairing the disks and got a lot of permission fixes on my Macintosh HD disk. But that didn't fix the problem. Also tried the Flash the PRAM solution about 5 times and that didn't work either. I don't feel confident enough to go into the root and try anything there. Don't know what else I can do before taking it into an Apple store.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
This has worked for some users:
Step 1
Start up in Recovery mode. The OS X Utilities screen will appear.
Step 2
Select
Utilities ▹ Terminal
from the menu bar. In the window that opens, type this:
resetp
Press the tab key. The partial command you typed will automatically be completed to this:
resetpassword
Press return. A Reset Password ***** opens. Select your startup volume if not already selected. Pull down the menu labeled Select the user account and select
System Administrator (root)
Follow the prompts to set a password. It's safest to choose a password ***** includes only the characters a-z, A-Z, and 0-9.
Select
 ▹ Restart
from the menu bar.
Step 3
At the login screen, click Other... Enter "root" (without the quotes) in the Name field, and enter the password ***** set in Step 4 in the Password ***** You should now be logged in. Do nothing while logged in as root except as indicated below.
Open the Users & Groups preference pane. Create a new user and check the box marked
Allow user to administer this computer
Restart and log in as the new user.
Step 4
You should now be able to log out and log in as the FileVault user. Your files still won't be available. FileVault is inactive.
Locate the disk image file named "fubar.sparsebundle" or "fubar.sparseimage" at the top level of your home folder. Again, these are only examples, not the actual name of the file you're looking for. Substitute the short user name for "fubar".
Step 5
Try to open the file. If it won't open, try to repair it in Disk Utility. If it still won't open, restore it from your most recent backup. Keep trying older backups until you find one that works. If you don't have a backup, the data is lost, perhaps beyond any hope of recovery. There's a slight chance that you might be able to repair the disk image using an expensive third-party application called "Disk Warrior." If possible, go to a "Genius Bar" where the software is available for use by the "Geniuses" at no charge.
Step 6
Copy the files from the mounted disk image to the corresponding subfolders of your home folder. The Library folder is invisible in the Finder. Open it by holding down the option key and selecting
Go ▹ Library
from the Finder menu bar. Open the copy on the disk image by selecting
Go ▹ Go to Folder
and entering something like
/Volumes/fubar/Library
in the text box that opens. Again, substitute the correct name for "fubar".
Log out and log back in.
If there isn't enough disk space available to complete this step, unmount the disk image, copy the disk image file to an external storage device, delete the original, and try again.
Step 7
Back up all data, then delete the disk image file.
Step 8
Delete the user you created in Step 3, if applicable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I mentioned in my initial question, I do not feel confident enough to mess around in the root. I don't feel comfortable trying this solution. Is there anything else I can try that is more simple?
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
OK I'm afraid you have to log in as root to fix it you are only doing one thing in root.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
I assume you Verified Disk with the Disk Utility too correct?
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
If so you can try restarting the computer and immediately hold the Shift key until you see the Apple Logo. This is called Safe Boot and it will attempt repairs. If you get to the login screen put in your user/pass then when it boots up, restart the normal way. Let me know what happens after.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
You can also try this which does not require root: https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/using-disk-utility-to-unlock-or-decrypt-your-filevault-2-encrypted-boot-drive/
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't feel comfortable with attempting the solution. I will take my computer into the shop and have them work on it. I would like to be reimbursed by Just Answer since I mentioned initially that I didn't want to get involved with the root.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
My last suggestion does not require root
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
I have no access to your account please click the Help link at the bottom of the question page or email***@******.*** and the Customer Support department will correspond with you directly to assist you. Good luck
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes - I did the Fix disk in disk utility and saw that many permissions were "fixed". But my problem persisted. As for the link you just sent -- my backup is on Carbonite. That being thee case, should I attempt that solution?
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
No I meant this solution: You can also try this which does not require root: https://derflounder.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/using-disk-utility-to-unlock-or-decrypt-your-filevault-2-encrypted-boot-drive/
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
It won't say Lion of course but the procedure is the same.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the end of that solution it says to boot from another 10.6 or 10.7 boot drive, utility drive, etc. I don't have an external drive that holds a backup of my files. I only have Carbonite. Maybe I'm confused between booting and restoring my files. Would I need anything outside of my Mac to attempt this boot? I don't think I have anything.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
Are you booted from the Recovery HD when you do that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was booted in Recovery mode when I went into disk utility and ran the repair disk.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
OK if Unlock/Decrypt was successful try rebooting normally first
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't tried the unlock/decrypt yet. I will do that now.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
OK that was for users who could not boot at all you might be able to boot after you decrypt
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for being such a coward...but if I decrypt, it looks like I need a utility drive to boot. What is that? I don't think that I have one.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
No that was for users who could not boot at all you might be able to boot after you decrypt
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
If you have any unused or erasable external drive you can install a system on it directly from the Recovery HD if we need to.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't have an external drive.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
OK then just try to unlock/decrypt then reboot normally
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
If that doesn't work your only other choices are using root so you would have to take it in to Apple
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm going to take it to Apple. Thank you for your time.
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I assume it would not decrypt?
Expert:  Mike replied 1 year ago.
If you are in the USA Happy 4th!!!