I've got a mid 2011 MBA with Windows 7 running via Bootcamp. In Lion, i've enabled Filevault 2.

Normally, when I turn my laptop on, I first enter the filevault password before the laptop boots into OS X.

If I am trying to boot into Windows, I hold down alt/option, select the Windows partition and let the laptop boot. However, what seems to happen is, the filevault screen that normally shows when I first turn my laptop on shows, I enter the password and I seem to end up in OS X! I then need to restart, hold down alt/option and select the Windows partition again. This then gets me in.

Is this normal behaviour? Or is there something I need to change?


I think it's a timing issue, you need to ensure that you press the option key early enough in the boot process to stop the normal boot and subsequent Fielvault login. The best way to do this is to ensure you have not muted the machine to you get the "bong" noise when you start/restart your machine. You need to hit alt/option immediately when you hear this, and keep it pressed for 5 seconds or so.

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  • The thing is, it is happening AFTER Windows loads for the first time... In-between the animation and the login screen, it shows the Filevault login. When I enter the password, I end up in OS X and have to restart, hit alt/option and then I can get into Windows. – anthon Aug 16 '11 at 11:22
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    So you are getting something like the following: Grey screen of reboot, Choice of disks to boot from (Select Windows), Windows start animation, Filevault Login, Boots to Mac OS X. IS this right? Seems most unusual, just trying to imagine what you are seeing. – stuffe Aug 16 '11 at 11:28
  • Yep! Thats the combination! – anthon Aug 16 '11 at 23:26

I agree with stuffe, timing is the key. Alternatively you can select the desired boot volume in System Preferences > Startup Volume. That might save you some of the hassle.

And I do hope you have a backup in place with TimeMachine and you have your FileVault recovery key set in a safe location. I fear FileVault more than I fear data loss. I love Apple and I love security but I can never recommend FileVault to standard users. (My 2ยข)

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