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I have a 2012 Mac Mini running Catalina (10.15.7) that has been suffering Bluetooth issues for the last month or so leading me to try most things on the Internet that I could find to fix a disconnecting keyboard / mouse and crackling sound.

The Mini has one SSD (boot and user space - APFS) and one HDD (old, clunky, Journaled / Encrypted) for file backups and odd files. I do not really want to move the whole Documents folder here (some of the VMs really suffer on the tin disk) so the using System Prefs to move the home folders article may not be a solution in my case.

After many frustrating days, I found a note that Filevault could be the issue and in my case turning this off does seem to have solved my drops over the lat few days but at the cost of leaving my main data unencrypted if the disk is removed from the Mac (user and disk passwords are complex but still an acknowledged weak point in this).

For most of my files this is not an issue but for others (work related / bank etc) this is not good practise and kind of goes against my instincts. The only way around this I could think of is:

  • Encrypt the second disk in the Mac using 'Mac OS Extended' format rather than APFS
  • Create a symbolic link in Documents to a folder on this encrypted disk
  • Store any 'sensitive' documents in here but away from the normal folder structure.

I did wonder about using VeraCrypt but never used it and could not work out if I could encrypt the Documents folder or hard disk as most fo the instructions are for Windows.

Can anyone think of another way?

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I like making an encrypted disk image to store documents. Step 6 covers the choice of encryption. The guide has a selector at the top for Catalina version of macOS.

If you’re not sure which type of image, I recommend starting with a sparse image and avoiding sparse bundle or Read+Write.

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  • I use those on my AirPort drive for the backups as that does not support encrypted disks. It still leaves the 'out of folder structure' problem though. Wonder if I can partition the boot SSD? May be try it in a day or so :-) – Andrew Jan 27 at 13:46
  • This may be the best answer for encrypted data storage in the OPs situation. You can store the password in keychain for quick double click mounting of the disk image. And links nd aliases to files in the image will still work, and will even prompt for unlocking if not yet mounted. Whole disk encryption is hard. Filevault is the best solution on the Mac. I'd stay away from third parties here. – geoO Jan 27 at 14:07
  • @Andrew aliases to files and folders work great for mounting files and blending files. It’s transparent when your volume is mounted and prompts for keychain when it’s not mounted. – bmike Jan 27 at 15:37
  • It begins to look like I spoke too soon.- my music via headphones still breaks up. Now not sure if I back date my OS (time is free for me at the mo) or buy a bluetooth adapter to fix this... I have found sparse bundles can be very slow to open on the Airport disk so I'll play with the sparse image option tonight. – Andrew Jan 27 at 15:47
  • I do not recommend this for any network volume, especially one with such a slow CPU as the capsules or worse Airport to USB. – bmike Jan 27 at 16:24

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