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How to remove PGPdesktopwatcher from HD

Created: 17 May 2011 | 4 comments

I am running PGP WDE on my MacBookPro 3,1 with OS X 10.6.6.  

I was unable to boot after using Update Software to 10.6.7, and then unable to restore using TM from my TC. The so-called Genius told me my HD was failing and needed to be replaced, but I knew he was wrong (because this had also happened after I updated to 10.6.6.) So I wiped my HD and did a clean reinstall of Snow Leopard from the install disk.  Now everything is fine except I'm afraid to encrypt the disk quite yet.  But every time I reboot, a alert window pops up "Encrypting the System Disk" and offers only one option: "OK".  I can drag and hide the window but it is annoying; there is no close option.

So I hunted around and found that in my startup folder is a file called "PGPdesktopwatcher" which I think launches as soon as I boot up. I am wondering if I can just delete this file without corrupting my boot file.  Without that pesky startup app, I can choose to encrypt when I want to and not be forced to do so. 

Meanwhile, to protect myslef from this happening again, I bought a Seagate GoFlex 1 TB ultra-portable HD with FireWire which I plan to use to clone my MBP 500 GB HD so that in the event that PGP and a future update causes yet another boot problem, I can just boot up using my FireWire-mounted Seagate external drive. The plan is to also set it as my TM back up drive so I can use either method (unless that sounds crazy). I also plan to create a PGP boot disk CD as well and keep it with me when I am traveling.


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sperrysymc's picture

If you look more closely at this item you will see that it actually runs on shutdown. Despite Apple calling them "Startup Items" they actually manage startup, shutdown and reset.

This file watches over the PGP boot files and ensures that an encrypted system will always boot up to the BootGuard login prompt. That is all. If you disk is not encrypted this script will do nothing.

slockemd's picture

Thanks, sperry.

But it is still a prblem because I cannot get rid of the alert window that says "Encrypting the System Desk" which is on my desktop all the time and is on top of everything else unless I move it to the bottom of the screen. And if I hit ENTER, it starts encrypting my disk.  How can I get rid of that start-up feature?

sperrysymc's picture

As mallarduck says, if you are reinstalling a system you need to go into Disk Util and repartition the disk back to 1 (or however many you had) partitions. This wipes out the remaining PGP changes.

If you still see this, there is likely a policy enforcing encryption.

mallardduck's picture

How did you wipe your hard drive?  Just erasing isn't enough, you have to repartition the disk to remove PGP completely.