_(Updated 25 November 2016 with updated link.)_ If you have an older IronKey flash drive, you might be surprised to notice it won’t let you launch the decryption app under OS X 10.8 (“Mountain Lion”). If you have “basic” IronKey like me, you can’t upgrade the firmware either, so you’re out of luck if Imation ever fixes it have to wait for a “restore file” (via Imation’s comment, though their website currently disagrees).  Fortunately, you don’t have to give up your flash drive quite yet.  Follow these steps for a workaround.

  1. Plug in the IronKey and launch /Applications/Utilities/Terminal

    1. In Terminal, figure out which device maps to your IronKey

      $ diskutil list IronKey
      0: CD_partition_scheme *236.0 MB disk4
      1: CD_ROM_Mode_1 IronKey 205.2 MB disk4s0

      • The IDENTIFIER is disk4s0, so the device is /dev/rdisk4s0 (add /dev/r to the IDENTIFIER).
    2. $ sudo chmod +r /dev/rdisk4s0
    3. Type your OS X password and press return

The IronKey decryption app will now open, but you must repeat this every time you plug in the IronKey.

UPDATE: As of 30 January, Imation issued an update to use the the IronKey S200 and D200 devices under Mountain Lion without having to follow the above steps.  To apply the patch, you must be _running Windows_ (who thought that was a good idea?).

Update your IronKey for OS X...via Windows...

The good news is that, after running the “secure updater,” unplugging, replugging, and unlocking under Windows, the IronKey does in fact work correctly under OS X 10.8.2.  I don’t see Imation linking to the patch through its website, but you can download it directly and follow the instructions.

UPDATE 2: I’m pretty sure another 10.8.x update killed this. Seems like we’re sitting on bricks again.

UPDATE 3: I’m now running Mavericks OS X 10.9.1 and plugged in my Iron Key that had been patched as shown above just for giggles. It…worked without a hitch. Moral of the story: upgrade to Mavericks.  It’s free and your Iron Key will likely work again. Note that I’ve since been forced switched to an Aegis Secure Key that uses a hardware-based PIN for encryption instead of a software-based passphrase, but it’s nice to have this hardware back.

UPDATE 4: At some point, my Iron Key stopped working with Mavericks again. Luckily there is another firmware update that fixes it. Download firmware from the Iron Key website (or, direct download). You again need a Windows installation to install the firmware update.

UPDATE 5: Updated direct download link for from DK in the comments.