Video Screencast Help

Backup copy of PGP - can I just copy the app?

Created: 08 Mar 2011 • Updated: 10 Mar 2011 | 3 comments
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I have my startup drive encrypted with PGP WDE and recently encrypted my external Time Machine backup drive as well. In the event of a system meltdown, I will need a copy of PGP in order to decrypt my backup drive. How will I get this copy?

Can I simply copy the PGP application file to an unencrypted drive, and then use that copy of the app to decrypt my external drive (encrypted with password only option)? Is this an effective way to back up the app? I printed out my license number, as well, in case I need it.

Or do I need to keep a copy of the installer app? Sadly I can no longer download an installer app after the Symantec transition; the Symantec license portal doesn't show my product even though I have a current license and maint. contract. I am worried I will be hosed if my system crashes. How will I get a current copy of PGP?

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Sarah Mays's picture

you'll need the full installer, WDE portions of PGP desktop are installed in other locations other then the applications folder.

Call customer care, they'll be able to resolve your issue about not being able to access licenses and downloads.

International: 407-357-7600
United States & Canada: +1 800 342 0652 or 407 357 7600
United Kingdom: 44 (0) 870 606 6000
France: 33 (0) 155 69 50 70
Germany: 49 (0) 69 95 08 62 93

mallardduck's picture

Restoring from an encrypted Time Machine backup is complicated.  You'll have to have a OSX install, with PGP running to decrypt the backup.  Time Machine isn't all that reliable for full restores anyway, so I'd suggest an encrypted clone in addition (see other threads for making bootable encrypted backups).

However, I strongly recommend that you maintain at least one unencrypted backup of any critical data. 

All this may be moot with the release of Lion (10.7), which should support time machine and cloning much better than PGP (PGP doesn't officially support clones at all), but you may have requirements (like centralized key management, or separate OSX and encryption passwords) that Lion doesn't provide.  Even with that though, I'd still recommend at least one unencrypted backup of your data.

ryantate's picture

Hey, Thanks but -- In my experience, Time Machine is great for backups. Not only is it the vendor approved first party solution, but it's worked absolutely flawlessly for me four times in the past. Maybe not for "full restores" but I usually like a fresh OS X :-)