Boot Camp and Lion’s FileVault 2 full disk encryption

So I decided that this weekend was the time that I’d finally get around to applying Lion’s FileVault 2 full disk encryption to my Macs. Yeah, I know, I should have done it a LONG time ago, but hey–better late than never. The hurdle I had to clear was the Boot Camp partitions on my Macs.

When Lion first came out, I did some research and couldn’t find a definitive answer on FileVault 2 and Boot Camp, so I decided to wait. Turns out, it’s not a big deal.

All you need to do is make sure that your Boot Camp partition, which is to say Windows on your Boot Camp partition, has the latest Boot Camp drivers (v4) installed. The caveat is that you can’t find them on Apple’s Boot Camp Support site. You have to run Boot Camp Assistant in Lion and select “Download the latest Windows support software from Apple”.

Once that’s finished, and you’ve had the Boot Camp Assistant either burn the software to CD or save a copy to an external drive, why you can simply run Windows (I did this through VMware–you don’t have to reboot and start up Windows natively), and install the Boot Camp v4 drivers. Once that’s finished, you’re ready to setup FileVault 2.

To set up FileVault 2, just go to System Preferences, select Security & Privacy, and choose the FileVault tab. From there it’s a snap. Just follow the prompts, or, if you’d like to read a little more about it on the front-end, check out this document from Apple.

Piece of cake. Now, I have FileVault 2 full drive encryption, and I can run Windows either through VMware or by rebooting and starting up via my Boot Camp partition to run Windows natively.

The whole process couldn’t have been easier. Plus, FileVault will start the encryption process, then force you to reboot, and then it will continue the encryption in the background so that you can still use your Mac while the drive is being encrypted. Awesome!

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