I have several Mac's that when selecting restart they shutdown instead. (MacBookPro 15 SSD, MacBookAir(new), MacBookPro 15) By that I mean, if I select from the menu restart they shutdown and do not turn back on. The only thing I can think of in common about them is that they have FileVault setup and all have Mavericks installed.

What step can I take to figure out how to change the setups so that restart works to actually bring back the system to a running state?

I am very comfortable with terminal, editing files. I took a look at pmset and don't see anything there. I tried $ sudo shutdonw -r now Same result, turns off stays off.

File vault was setup after initial computer setup. I had to enter the password for each user when I turned on FileVault and I saved the key. I have other computer with fileVault setup "i think" the same. I did it on each of them and they work fine.


Since you didn't list enough technical details about how file vault is set up (for instance if you have auto log in enabled or disabled, whether you are using institutional keys or just having one or more users storing the unlocking keys in the user accounts so that the recovery HD can unlock things) - I'll start with some steps to narrow down what might be happening.

First thing is to check if the machines are capable of restarting by storing the file vault key in RAM:

fdesetup supportsauthrestart

If that reports "false" then your hardware might not support restarts with FileVault 2 enabled. If it's true, does the system reboot if you ask for a controlled restart?

fdesetup authrestart

Also, if you're not comfortable with the fdesetup tool, you might want to review some of the helpful articles from Rich Trouton's blog. You'll want to start with an old article getting the basics covered if the current articles assume too much knowledge of how fdesetup works as dealing with file vault from the command line is a lot like the proverbial "sip of water from a fire hose" to many.

  • I did not know about fdesetup, I added info about my FileVault setup and I will try your suggestions one I finish a few things – Vincent Nov 10 '13 at 1:54
  • fdesetup supportsauthrestart = True – Vincent Nov 10 '13 at 2:00
  • To complicate matters I am working on these remotely. I have to have someone turn them back on and login. – Vincent Nov 10 '13 at 2:08

Since it sounds like the Macs in question have FileVault 2 enabled, here's what happens on a FileVault 2-encrypted Mac when it's restarted without using the fdesetup authrestart command:

  • The Mac boots to the FileVault 2 pre-boot login screen

This login screen loads before the OS does. There's no remote access to this login screen, since remote access tools need the OS to be running.

  • If nobody logs in within a few minutes, the Mac shuts off.

This auto-shutoff is a safety feature. Since the OS is not running at the pre-boot login screen, there's no way for the Mac to determine and regulate its own temperature. To prevent any issues with the Mac getting overheated, the Mac will turn off.

  • If someone logs in with their FileVault-enabled account, the OS on the Mac then boots and the account is logged in.

If the Mac is rebooted using the fdesetup authrestart command, here's what happens:

  1. fdesetup stores at least one additional copy of an unlock key in both system memory and (on supported systems) the System Management Controller (SMC).

  2. On reboot, the unlock key is fed to the disk encryption to unlock it and allow the OS to boot.

  3. The reboot process clears the unlock key from memory and (on supported systems) the SMC.

  4. The OS boots and goes to the OS's regular login window.

  • Is there any decent way to run fdesetup authrestart systematically so that I can emulate the "auto log in" for an account to get server running at reboot time? I'm happy to ask a new question if that's best. – bmike Jun 12 '15 at 21:53

Get your mac to the nearest service center and get it repaired because sometimes we cannot deal with every problem sitting at home sometimes technicians are really helpful but still the question here is of software issues so you can try to re install a new mac os that can help you out.

  • 1
    Although there could certainly be a hardware issue at play, I'd encourage you to not personalize a question here as demanding support from you in particular or the collective we. If someone doesn't do a good job troubleshooting a problem, there are constructive ways to communicate that. – bmike Nov 9 '13 at 20:40

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