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Old 11-23-2022, 08:14 PM
Kosjer D Kosjer D is offline
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How to best encrypt an external SSD for backup

I've searched and browsed through the existing threads and blog posts. But I am still uncertain what the best approach to take would be. My setup is the following. I have a m1pro with 2TB SSD (running still on Monterey 12.6.1) and i've bought a Sandisk Extreme Portable V2 USB-C with 2 TB. My computer is encrypted with Filevault. The two options i see are as follows:

1) format the sandisk with the GUID partition scheme and APFS file system and create a bootable backup. when the initial backup is done boot from it and activate filevault for the Sandisk?

2) format the sandisk with the GUID partition scheme and APFS encrypted file system and create a backup (that way no data gets written in an unencrypted way - the downside there wont be any bootable backup that way(?) )

which variant would be the less error prone and secure one? from my understanding booting from an external drive is only possible via a thunderbolt connection - impossible with the usb c one of mine? and also in case of a system recovery macos is utilizing the hidden system partition that is downloading the latest version of macos. writing back a 1:1 copy from the external drive isnt intended anyway anymore isn't it? i would restore my system and then write back the backed up personal data from my "backup - all files"? so would variant 2) be the advisable approach? Still a bit uncertain and wanted to make sure i take the most advisable approach in my case. thank you in advance!

Last edited by Kosjer D; 11-23-2022 at 08:15 PM. Reason: I forgot to add the version of MacOS i am using in case that is relevant as well
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Old 11-24-2022, 06:49 AM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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Well, if you feel you need an encrypted backup, I would do option 1 first.

If that doesnt' work, then I'd do option 2.

And no, it's not impossible to boot from USB - that information isn't correct.

With an Intel Mac you can restore in full, including the OS. With Apple silicon you would need to clean install the OS and restore when prompted to do so during first boot.
--Dave Nanian
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