I'm trying to access an encrypted partition on an external hard drive. My dad formatted it in OS X Lion before sending me the drive. I am running Snow Leopard with no access to a Lion install... however, I can only access the non-encrypted partition. Supposedly it works fine on Lion, and I'm guessing it has something to do with the switch from FileVault to FileVault 2, but am at a loss as to what to do or if there is any way to access the partition without using Lion.

Output from diskuil list:

#:                       TYPE NAME                    SIZE       IDENTIFIER
0:      GUID_partition_scheme                        *1.0 TB     disk2
1:                        EFI                         209.7 MB   disk2s1
2:                  Apple_HFS WD1T                    43.0 GB    disk2s2
3:          Apple_CoreStorage Incompatible Format     956.7 GB   disk2s3
4:                 Apple_Boot Boot OS X               134.2 MB   disk2s4

When I plug in the drive, the HFS partition mounts fine. However, I'm not able to mount the disk2s3 partition, and just get an "Incompatible Format" error.

Any help appreciated! Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


Sadly, no one has broken the storage format and back ported a working patch to access these volumes through Snow Leopard. You will find it faster to send it to someone with Lion and have them disable the encryption and send the drive back to you. That or find a Lion machine to borrow. Sorry I don't have any other alternatives that I know will work at present.

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