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How to properly wipe a WDE external drive?

Created: 13 Dec 2012 • Updated: 23 Dec 2012 | 3 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Ladies and gents, I dun goofed big time.

I had installed PGP Desktop on a Windows 8 to go which is installed on an external USB disk. I had used WDE to encrypt about 16GB of the one TB total space before I came to a horrible realization in this order:

  1. The key pair used is only located on the external USB disk.
  2. How is WDE occurring when the key pair is on the disk being encrypted?
  3. I am unable to boot from the external disk any longer.

Being that I cannot decrypt the disk, is there a way in which I could wipe it? I have tried Diskpart ---> Select Disk ---> 'clean all' for a few hours but the disk is still considered encrypted.

Required info:

PGP Desktop 10.2.1 Build 4940 SDK 4.2.1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

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Tom Mc's picture

Please see this Knowledge Base Article.  You can use the command line usage to assess the encryption status of the disk.  It might just need to be uninstrumented.  You might need to rebuild the MBR.

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Richard the White's picture

Ladies and gentlemen I have found out what was causing this problem and how to fix it. After trying and failing to uninstrument the disk via command line I opened a hex editor and noticed that the boot guard survived nuking! Even when overwritten by the hex editor it would be rewritten!

Here is my steps:

UNINSTALL PGP DESKTOP, stopping services is not enough!

Wipe the disk.


PGP_Ben's picture

I'm glad to know that you found the solution. This sounds like a good tip for those who are looking to wipe their disk and having problems.

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