Removing OSX Encrypted Partitions

This blog is part sharing information found elsewhere and part putting these steps in a spot that’s easy to get back to.

Situation: I use an institutional key to encrypt Mac hard drives. This is great because the key is centrally stored and accessible from a central database. I have a few computers that I don’t know the key for or for other reasons, need to unlock the hard drive in the process of preparing a machine.

Solution: Terminal is your friend

  1. Boot the computer to a recovery partition, boot disk, etc.
  2. Open Utilities > Terminal
  3. Type in ‘diskutil cs list’. This will show the list of volumes attached to the computer
  4. Copy the UUID of the Logical Volume Group (likely the volume at the top of the list)
  5. Type in ‘diskutil cs delete UUID’ Replace the UUID with UUID you just copied

Press ENTER… and voila, you have a fresh hard drive. This does erase the hard drive, but generally when I’m setting up a computer, this isn’t an issue. From this point, do whatever you were planning to do.