a Crashed FileVault sparseimage?

Posted on 2004-11-10
Last Modified: 2013-11-17

I've got a client who is running Mac OS X 10.3.4 and he just restarted his Mac, the globe for netboot came up, a flashing questionmark and then it took him straight into his user folder, as per "normal" (apart from that "trying to boot via netboot" part). The only difference was that ALL of his stuff was gone into a "robert.sparseimage" that, following an advice from Apple on how to repair them, fails with error message that the B-Tree is damaged on the image.

Does anybody know of any tools / tips / tricks out there to rescue his stuff? I'd appreciate any kind of help, including instructions for how to bin his laptop in the most nicest way to cause less damage to his physical wastebasket... :-)

Many thanks for a great online service!!

Question by:mafiaBusiness
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Try this first

    # Log in as another user. If you have root enabled on the machine, that will work fine too.
    # Go to /Users/your_username and double click to mount the sparseimage file. It will prompt you to enter your password to mount this image.
    # Go to Applications -> Utilities -> Disk Utility
    # Unmount the sparseimage. Note that the file name will still show up in the list of drives. Click on the sparseimage and chose "Repair Drive."
    # Log out (I suggest rebooting) and try to log into your user again.


    If this doesn't work, shout, and I can reccomend some other disk repair tools.

    Author Comment

    Yepp, tried it, the image won't mount, but and when I first entered the Disk Utility it didn't want to highlight the repair button, but passing DiskWarrior 3.0.2 on the whole harddrive, the repair button woke up and I could run it, alas, the repair tool told me there were errors (B-Tree Node Incorrect) on the image that it could not repair.

    I then opened the Disk Utility, dropped it into restore (running as a different admin on the laptop), selected the Macintosh HD and hit restore (despite knowing that the B-Tree are incorrect on the image) – nothing, "stopped due to error type 1"…

    Thanks for quick responds!!

    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    Could you post the exact error messages you get please.

    Is "stopped due to error type 1" the full error message, also the btree error message please.


    Author Comment

    I have now managed to solve the problem. It was quite a complex one, but basically, the PowerBook G4 with FileVault had become corrup upon shutdown and as such, corrupted the sparseimage. The sparseimage is the file that FileVault creates in which your entire user profile exists. Now, that had become corrupt and could not mount. I finally, with guidance from the experts here, managed to solve it. The way forward was to open Disk Utility, try to mount it, fail, but at least the password had been entered and as such, Mac OS X had officially gained access to it. I then ran ProSoft Engineerings Data Rescue X and managed to salvage the entire content of the sparseimage.

    Quite sweet. My client became a very happy client... :-)

    Many thanks,


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