External (digital) monitor does not activate when Nvidia Optimus setting is enabled in a Docking station

Article:TECH192522  |  Created: 2012-07-06  |  Updated: 2013-04-24  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH192522
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Article Type
Technical Solution


When using Symantec Drive Encryption (formerly known as  PGP Whole Disk Encryption), during boot, the external monitor connected via DVI-D or using another digital cable does not activate to show the Symantec Disk Encryption (formerly known as PGP) BootGuard log on screen.


Dell E Series laptops while docking in the docking station

HP Elitebook series while in docking station with external DVI-D or other digital interface

Lenovo T-420 series while in docking station with external DVI-D or other digital interface

PGP Desktop 10.2 and above

Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3 and above



Incompatible BIOS settings with Symantec Drive Encryption (formerly known as PGP WDE) Pre-boot Authentication screen (BootGuard). This is due to hardware limitations regarding the Nvidia Optimus Technology from the hardware vendor(s).


There are currently no plans to address this issue by way of a hotfix or Maintenance Pack in the current versions of the software or in a future release at the present time. This is due to this being a hardware limitation.

Known workarounds:

  • Connect using standard VGA cable to at least one external monitor 
  • Disable Nvidia Optimus (sometimes called Switchable Graphics) in the BIOS
  • Press Function-F8 on the keyboard (when both DVI and VGA is plugged in, only the VGA cable gets the video signal)

Note: Pulling out the VGA cable while it was displaying to an external monitor and leaving the DVI cable plugged in does not result in sending the video the DVI. You will have to reboot to re-route the signal correctly. The information in this article is subject to change as hardware vendors may introduce new changes to the specifications in the future. At the time of writing this article the reason this does not work is due to hardware limitations with the Nvidia Optimus Technology in its current implimentation from the vendor.

Supplemental Materials


Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH192522

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