Shane Duffy

Mac OS X – File Vault no free space.

Posted on: September 25, 2007

I often get given laptops and computers by friends to sort out because the see me as the “computer whiz”. This time even I had to think about the problem for a while, I was given a Macbook laptop that keep saying it had no free space left on the hard drive anymore, The user had deleted everything the could and did all the usual emptying the trash can to no avail. The only thing I noticed as been different on the laptop was the Home directory was encrypted with File Vault. File Vault is ment to run a clean up agent when you logout to free up the disk space that was used by deleted files on the encrypted file system, The trick however is that this will only run if the laptop is plugged into the power supply at the time.

The other problem is to turn file vault off your require 5x or more free space than what is been used by file vault at the time, So if you have 20GB in your Home directory, and want to turn it off you will need 100GB of free space.

File Vault

So unless your really paranoid about your files and security don’t turn on file vault, as in the end it will be more hassle than its worth.


2 Responses to "Mac OS X – File Vault no free space."

Okay… so now how do I disable it? I have no free space and am having the same problem… do I have to reformat?

thank you!
silly ole me deleted a 5gb iphoto library while networked. When attempting to copy the clean library from one computer to the other, i got the “not enough space” slap! then i went on remembering the file vault is using more space etc…. msg. So i rebooted and nothing!… again nothing!!!! … even went to copying phony data to fill the hard disk… still nothing at rebooting…
never thought i had to be plugged in!!!!
Apple every so often frustrates me -and here it did- yet i kinda like this silly security add on. Glad i found the resolution on your site… Did not succeed on Apple’s. Perhaps after giga diggings.

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