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Model A1418 / Late 2013 / 2.7 & 2.9 GHz Core i5 or 3.1 GHz Core i7 Processor

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Need to access a filevault encrypted fusion drive in a dead Mac

My iMac died (logic board and screen and I’m not interested in paying Apple $1000 in repairs) for a 5-year old machine. I have one (large) folder that’s not backed up properly and I would like to get my data off it. The trick is it’s on a filevault encrypted fusion drive.

I know the easiest ways to get the data (replacing the logic board for $350 and booting into target disk mode, or replacing the screen as well for another $180). I want a cheaper, viable alternative so I can spend the rest on a new machine. (Plus, Apple didn’t exactly do a full diagnostic so there could be other parts in need of repair, including the power supply.)

I’ve read that the ssd blade is just a cache, but the HDD can’t be read without it. One post suggested that if I put both blade and hdd in enclosures, a mac would automatically treat them as 1. Another indicated that I could hook up the HDD and use 3rd party software to read it, but it didn’t seem to have a lot of support and wasn’t addressing filevault.

I am trying to avoid spending $100 on an external enclosure for the blade which I’ll only use once, but if that’s what it takes…

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How about letting professionals with no monetary interest help you correctly diagnose your problem? I have seldom seen a logic board fail and the combination of a logic board and a display failure is very remote.


Ironically, I took it to Apple after doing the initial diagnosis myself (over 25 years of tech experience, but hadn't blown a board since 2001). I was hoping they would do a more detailed diagnostic with their top secret Apple toys or part swaps. They didn't.

The screen was my bad (more glue than i remembered).

Either way, old system replaced; now I need to recover a couple of folders with incomplete backups.


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The SSD and HDD are inseparable, in that the bits are spread across both devices, so it isn’t just a simple cache. Therefore, running data recovery on the hard drive alone won’t recover all of your data. You’ll need to attach both the SSD and HDD to another computer to read the data. The good news is, yes they should just appear as a fusion drive when you attach both old drives! Just make sure you know the FileVault recovery key.

If you’re only going to use the enclosure once… I would probably just buy one from some place with a good return policy.

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I'll give it a go and let you know what happens.


I put the HDD and the blade in appropriate enclosures and hooked them up to another Mac. The blade came up as unformatted and the HDD didn't register at all. I couldn't get it to show up on in a windows machine either (to test connectivity).

There doesn't appear to be any activity in the HDD, but the enclosure isn't showing up in any of the system reports, device managers, etc.

I would think that if the drive was fried, I would still see the enclosure or get an error message or something. Ideas?


It probably needs more power supply


It's a 2.5", but I tried it with and without the power adapter.


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