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how to format a fully encrypted hard disk by PGP

Created: 16 Sep 2013 • Updated: 26 Sep 2013 | 5 comments
chikarizee's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

a question by user if let say the want to format their hard disk after we did the PGP WDE encryption. from my understanding, need to decrypt first.

Operating Systems:

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James007's picture

Yes first you can decrypt and after Format your harddisk.Otherwise You can lost your Data.

Alex_CST's picture

If you just want to format the disk and lose the data, any pre-boot "boot and nuke" style app will work.

Please mark posts as solutions if they solve your problem!

chikarizee's picture

is there any disk recovery instead of if i face any problem that i need to take out the hard disk and plug in to  another laptop?

James007's picture
Check this artical Best Practices for Data Recovery using Symantec Endpoint Encryption - Full Disk (SEE-FD)
Article:TECH104300  |  Created: 2008-01-29  |  Updated: 2010-01-21  |  Article URL
Best Practices for Data Recovery using Symantec Endpoint Encryption - Full Disk (SEE-FD)
Article:TECH134766  |  Created: 2010-01-07  |  Updated: 2011-09-09  |  Article URL
Mike Ankeny's picture

Concerning the reformatting, it should be possible to use the typical "boot and nuke" approach.  It would be recommended to decrypt first, however, as occaisionally the partition information is not completely removed during the reformat process, and the drive may still show as encrypted after the OS and PGP are reinstalled.

Regarding the question about recovery options, you should create a Recovery Disk for your version of PGP Desktop or Symantec Encryption Desktop.  You need to use the correct iso for your version.  The iso files can be found here:

Some other basic troubleshooting and Recovery steps can be found here:

Note that while you can decrypt using the recovery CD, it is faster to slave the drive to another machine with PGP Desktop installed.