Delete a FileVault Encrypted volume without a Password

Okay I figured out this little trick after much frustration with a forgotten password. A while back I had decided to encrypt a small 4GB partition i used for some personal stuff, I used file vault. Everything was smooth and quick. Now a few weeks latter I have now forgotten what password I used ! – Frustrated I tried every possible combination of every password I have ever used to no avail.

After a while realizing I have a backup already of the data on that partition , I said to hell with it -Lets delete the partition. I openedd DiskUtility and attempted to repartition the disk back to one main partition , effectively removing the encrypted partition – But .. I forgot the password ! , Even DiskUtility would not let me do anything without first unlocking the partition. Damn!

So I tried the command line version diskutil , After some messing around and getting no where fast I found a mention of coreStorage in one of the errors spit at me. I then tried the following:

diskutil coreStorage , this gave me several options for handling filevault disks. The one command that could have saved me hours of frustration was simply this:

Diskutil coreStorage delete UUID-XXX-XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX , Replacing the last part with your CoreStorage Logical Group ID from your machine. This is found by running this command:

diskutil coreStorage list

Hope this helps someone else, plus if you have a better method please feel free to share !


Posted on October 31, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. This helped me! Thank you.

  2. Thank you, this helped me much!

    Never the less I had to contact apple-suppor because the commands had changed as followed:

    diskutil cs delete [Number]*

    * To get the number:
    1. Enter in the terminal: diskutil coreStorage list
    2. Get e.g. Logical Volume Group [Number]

  3. After hours of trying everything, this finally solved my problem. THANKS!

  4. This is exactly what I needed!! Thanks a ton!

  5. Thanks a lot! My wife’s MBAir had some disk problem, then the FileVault obviously went berserk and I couldn’t even unlock the disk anymore. Luckily I had made some sort of backup shortly before!
    The above helped me at least erase the disk, for which I am thoroughly thankful.

  1. Pingback: FileVault: Delete Encrypted Drive | Ingrid Richter

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