How to fix APFS encrypted volume not bootable?

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery on December 11th, 2018 |

I am currently in bad situation. The OS has been corrupted while upgrading to High Sierra.
Problems:
Pressing option key on boot-up doesn't list any drive.
When I select restore from backup option in recovery mode, it lists both drives and asks to unlock before proceeding. When I unlock the drive goes away (means hide from the list).
Questions:
Is it possible to boot from APFS encrypted drive?
Is there anyway to recover data from unbootable APFS encrypted drive?

APFS offers encryption at the file system level, not the disk level as was previously in HFS+. It allows to encrypted different data with multiple keys, which ensures the integrity of users’ data. However, every now and then, users will find the APFS encrypted volume not bootable, APFS encrypted not mounted or APFS encrypted volume doesn’t work on macOS. In this post, we will discuss why APFS encrypted volume not mounted and how to fix it.

Why APFS encrypted volume not bootable?

The APFS encrypted volume not bootable issue mainly results from the imperfection of metadata, such as invalid volume header, corrupted catalog file and invalid APFS fsroot tree. These reasons can be due to unsafe ejection, sudden power outage, virus attack, and any other improper operations.

Before we begin: Back up data

The first and foremost thing is to back up important data. Because when attempting to fix APFS encrypted volume, it’s possible to write new data on the volume, making the original data unrecoverable. If you have clicked Time Machine option, you can go to Recovery Mode and restore backup files from Time Machine. If not, you still have a chance to recover lost data from unbootable APFS partition with the help of professional APFS data recovery software.

Here is a video tutorial to recover data from APFS encrypted boot volume:

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the best APFS encrypted data recovery software that enables you to recover data from unbootable APFS encrypted volume/partition, recover data from APFS encrypted volume, recover data from failed internal Mac hard drive, recover data from corrupted APFS boot drive, recover data from unmountable APFS boot volume on macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13.

Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery also supports data recovery from formatted, unmountable, corrupted, unreadable, inaccessible hard drive, SSD, fusion drive, USB, external hard drive, SD card, memory card, pen drive, CF card, etc. It is able to recover 500+ file formats such as documents, pictures, music, videos, emails, etc. from APFS, HFS+, HFSX, exFAT, FAT32 drives.

Solution 1: If you have only one Mac computer

If you have only one Mac computer, please directly run iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable media from iBoysoft Server and recover lost data from the encrypted APFS volume.

Step 1: Click the Power button to turn on the Mac, and immediately press COMMOND+OPTION+R keys until you see the spinning globe. This will boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.

Step 2: Go to Utilities > Terminal from the menu bar to open Terminal.

Note: If your Mac hasn't connect to internet, you need to choose a WiFi network in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Step 3: Type: curl -o /tmp/boot.sh http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh && chmod 777 /tmp/boot.sh && /tmp/boot.sh and press Enter. This will launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery through iBoysoft Server.

Recover Data in Recovery Mode through iBoysoft Server

Step 4: Once you launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, you need to choose the APFS encrypted boot volume and click the "Next" button. This program will start scanning for lost files on the drive.

Recover data from APFS encrypted boot volume

Step 5: Preview the scanning results, and choose the files you want to get back.

Step 6: Click the "Recover" button. You need to specify a different location to store the recovered files.

Recover data from APFS encrypted boot volume

Solution 2: If you have two Mac computers

Step 1: Download iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on another Mac computer.

Step 2: Install and launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 3: Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 4: Insert a USB drive into your Mac computer and select it to create a boot drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 5: Click "Make bootable" and the creation process will start immediately.

Note: This process will erase all data on the USB drive. So please be sure to make a backup if there're important files.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 6: After that, please insert iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery bootable USB drive into unbootable Mac computer, and then press the Power button and Option key (⌥) to start the computer up.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

Step 7: Select iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery from the boot options.

Step 8: Click "Next" and enter password to scan for lost data on the APFS encrypted volume.

Step 9: Choose the files you want to get back, and then click Recover button.

How to fix APFS encrypted volume not bootable?

After recovering data from the unbootable APFS encrypted volume, you can now fix APFS encrypted volume not bootable issue without worrying about data loss.

Solution 1: Use Disk Utility in Recovery Mode

Step 1: Boot your Mac into Recovery Mode.

Step 2: From the macOS Utilities menu, select Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the APFS encrypted volume and click First Aid on the top menu bar.

Step 4: Click Done and restart your Mac.

Solution 2: Erase and reinstall macOS

If First Aid fails on APFS encrypted volume, then the last chance is to erase the volume and reinstall macOS. This operation will erase all saved data on the APFS encrypted volume, so again please make sure you have backed up important data.

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility in Recovery Mode.

Step 2: Select the APFS encrypted volume.

Step 3: Choose Erase, complete name, format, scheme, and then click Erase to reformat it.

Step 4: Return to macOS Utilities in Recovery Mode, and select Reinstall macOS.

Step 5: Choose the erased Mac hard disk and follow onscreen prompts to complete the installation. You can reinstall macOS.

Step 6: Reboot your Mac to check if it can boot into macOS.

Katrina

Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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