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
- Boot the computer to a recovery partition, boot disk, etc.
- Open Utilities > Terminal
- Type in ‘diskutil cs list’. This will show the list of volumes attached to the computer
- Copy the UUID of the Logical Volume Group (likely the volume at the top of the list)
- 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.