Unable to Load Mac OS X After Encrypting Disk

Article:TECH156926  |  Created: 2011-03-30  |  Updated: 2012-05-21  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH156926
Article Type
Technical Solution



After encrypting a Mac OS X system with PGP WDE, you are able to successfully authenticate at the PGP BootGuard screen, but Mac OS X fails to load and displays a continuous spinning wheel.

During encrypting or decrypting a Mac OS X system with PGP WDE, Disk I/O errors are reported in /var/log/kernel.log.

This issue has been reported on new Mac OS X systems with Solid State Drives (SSD).   Currently the issues appears to be due to enabling "64-bit Kernel and Extensions" in OSX.  New Macbook Pros appear to exhibit the issue as they are now configured to use 64-bit kernel and Extensions at ship time.
  • This issue appears to occur with MacBook Pro laptops configured with any Solid State Drive and also configured with “64-bit Kernel and Extensions”.   When you start encrypting/decrypting the drive Disk I/O errors appear in /var/log/kernel.log when other Disk I/O is present. To determine if you have a 64 bit Kernel and Extensions enabled, see Apple KB article reference below.
  • Spinning hard drives appear not to exhibit this problem – both 500Gb and 750Gb disks have been tested.
  • Even though the Mac OS X systems use the Intel Sandy Bridge chipset, this appears not to be an Intel Sandy Bridge specific issue.  Internal tests with older hardware with OSX 10.6.6  running with 64bit kernel have also reproduced the issue




This issue is fixed in PGP Desktop 10.1.2 SP3 (build 50) and higher which can be downloaded by logging into your Symantec FileConnect account. 

Some customers have reported that the issue persists in PGP Desktop 10.2 and higher. The affected model is model identifier MacBookAir2,1 with an SSD. Other models may or may not be affected. Symantec Corporation is committed to product quality and satisfied customers.  This issue is currently being considered by Symantec Corporation to be addressed in a forthcoming version or Maintenance Pack of the product.  Please be sure to refer back to this document periodically as any changes to the status of the issue will be reflected here.

If you cannot not upgrade to PGP Desktop 10.1.2 SP3, the following workaround can be used .
Fully encrypt or decrypt SSD drive in 32bit kernel mode.  Instructions on how to configure 32 vs 64bit kernel in Apple KB below.
After you fully encrypt the drive in the 32bit kernel, you may go back to starting OSX with the 64bit kernel.  The error only occurs during the conversion process.
Apple KB references
Apple KB article on 64bit kernel: support.apple.com/kb/HT4287
Apple KB article on starting up with 32-bit or 64-bit kernel: support.apple.com/kb/HT3773

Supplemental Materials


Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH156926

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