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After hard shut down and logging into PGP, only get windows recovery

Created: 17 Apr 2013 | 6 comments

As the title states, I've had 3+ users do a hard shut down, then reboot, enter their credentials at the PGP pre-boot screen.. Then no matter which option I try for booting windows (Last known good/safe mode/boot normally) I eventually get to Windows System Recovery options. Windows attempts repairs but cannot and I end up having to re-image the machine. Any ideas?

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Alex_CST's picture

This doesn't sound like a problem related to WDE.  You successfully authenticate at the pre-boot screen, then the task of booting is handed over to the MBR.  In this case its going directly to System Recovery.  Again, doesn't sound like a PGP problem, but a Windows problem.

If you can replicate this without an encrypted disk however?

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Consure's picture

I should have mentioned some background. I'm doing onsite support for an office of about 300 users/computers. I've had what I have described above happen 5 times now, within 2 weeks of deploying PGP software.

Before this, sure I'd have occasional disk failure, or corruption (where I could run something like chkdsk to repair the drive), but I'd never get stuck in this loop of Windows System Recovery.

I could agree its not a PGP problem, but a problem that seems like it is caused by having PGP.

PGP_Ben's picture

I would suggest trying safe mode. it sounds as though it's encountering a Blue Screen of Death in normal mode and therefore forcing a reboot of the system each time. To attempt to get into safe mode  you have to hit the Enter key at the preboot authentication window (aka BootGuard) and immediately start tapping the F8 key (instantly after hitting enter) if you wait too long you will miss it and have to try again. If you cannot get in with safe mode as an option. i would suggest decrypting the drive by attaching it to another system with Windows and PGP Desktop/Symantec Encryption Desktop installed and attempt to decrypt the drive there. Once the drive is decrypted you can run a chkdsk c: /f and also boot the OS and run sfc /scannow to see if that helps.

If the problem persists. I would be looking verifying that you are on the latest version of Symantec Encryption Desktop (10.3.0 MP1) for Windows before proceeding with the troubleshooting due to a known issue with a legacy kernel filter driver we had on Windows 7.  See KB http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH201447 - notice that the article talks about interaction issue with Symantec Encryption Desktop and Symantec Endpoint Encryption Removable Storage.  But we have seen this same interaction problem with other third party drivers which also have a legacy kernel filter driver such as McAfee Antivirus.

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

PGP_Ben's picture

Did my tips help at all?

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

Consure's picture

Hi PGP_Ben,

Sorry for the late reply. I've tried Safe Mode, along with Last Known good, and Safe Mode with Networking without success.

I've also tried dycrypting the HDD externally on another working maching with PGP, then ran chkdsk /f while the drive was attached to the other machine. Put the drive back in the original system, and was still stuck. I had not tried sfc /scannow as I couldn't get into the OS on the drive.

Your link is interesting and I will have to try the workaround provided the next time I encounter this to see if it can resolve the issue. I'd love to go to 10.3 but might be a while as it usually takes a while to roll out an update in my organization.

Alex_CST's picture

You know you can get a cmd console from System Recovery?  you can run sfc /scannow from there

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