Can Deep Freeze protect Fusion Drives or CoreStorage (File Vault) volumes?
Posted by Adam Zilliax on 07 January 2016 10:55 AM

Apple introduced the concept of CoreStorage volumes in OS X 10.7 (Lion), and currently most hardware shipped by Apple will ship configured with a Core Storage volume enabled.

Deep Freeze Mac currently does not support CoreStorage nor Fusion Drive. If you are attempting to install Deep Freeze 5.6 on OS X Lion or Mountain Lion and get the following error: "This version of Deep Freeze cannot be installed on a Mac with FileVault turned on.", or Error 0xE00002c2 when attempting to use the product there are three possible scenarios.

Please note: The steps listed below have the potential to cause data loss. Do not attempt these unless you have a working backup of any information stored on the computer in question.

A. FileVault is turned on
Resolution: turn off FileVault before installing Deep Freeze

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click "Security & Privacy" and select the FileVault tab
  3. Click the lock icon on the lower left corner and enter the administrator password to make the change
  4. Turn off FileVault by clicking the Turn Off FileVault and follow the instruction

B. The startup volume is a CoreStorage volume
To verify that this is the case, open Terminal and type "diskutil cs list" (without the quotes). The output will tell you if CoreStorage present or not. A sample of the output is attached below.
Resolution (to remove CoreStorage volume and reinstall OS):

  1. Start the Mac and hold down Option key to select the startup disk, and Choose the Recovery HD. Alternatively you can hold down Command and R keys to start from the Recovery partition. For more info, refer to Apple’s support document: OS X Recovery.
  2. From the Utilities menu, select Terminal
  3. On the prompt, type "diskutil cs list" and copy the UUID of the Logical Volume Group (see the highlighted section in the image)
  4. Type "diskutil cs delete <UUID>" to remove the CoreStorage volume. Note: the OS will be deleted after this step and you will need to reinstall it later
  5. Once the operation has completed, quit Terminal and from the OS X Utilities window, select Disk Utility to reformat the hard drive.
  6. After formatting, run Terminal again and execute the command newfs_hfs to construct the HFS file system. The goal here is to create HFS volume with allocation block size set to 4096 bytes, so use the following parameters: "newfs_hfs -b 4096 -J [-v volume_name]", where -J tells to create a journaled HFS+ volume, and -v is optional if you want to specify a volume name (default is Untitled).
  7. quit Terminal and from the OS X Utilities window, select Reinstall OS 
  8. Follow the instruction provided by Apple to reinstall the OS: OS X Mountain Lion: Reinstall OS X

If you have more than one Mac to process, you will need to perform steps 1 - 4 on each of the Mac. You can then create a disk image of the freshly installed OS (using Steps 1 to 6), and use your favourite deployment method/software to install the OS on all your Macs.

C. The Mac has Fusion Drive
The process used to remove a Core Storage Volume will work to break the Core Storage volume into individual disks. This is a destructive process and will result in the loss of any data held on those volumes.

Please note that on some systems removing the Fusion Drive will prevent you from being able to use the Apple BootCamp Assistant to configure the workstation to dual boot OSX and Windows as Core Storage is required to support the BootCamp Assistant. The drive can still be configured to boot manually however the configuration will have to be done manually by the user and the Windows partition must exist entirely within the first 2.2tb of drive space.

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