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justification needed -- How does PGP WDE ensure security with Apple Boot Camp?

Created: 31 Oct 2012 • Updated: 06 Nov 2012 | 4 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi Forum,

According to the documentation, PGP Whole Disk Encription is compatible with Apple Boot Camp.

I would like to convince my IT group that PGP WDE is secure with both the windows and mac osx partitions if installed correctly.

Can the forum please give me explanations (ammunition) to take back to my IT guy?

I am also interested in what happens if/when the windows drive is selected as the default boot option.  

Does the PGP password dialogue pop up upon restart regardless of which drive is selected to boot up?



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rte3759's picture

Now I'm even more confused... within the same document, PGP Desktop for Mac OSX User's Guide 10.2 I find the following conflicting text...


Using PGP Desktop with Apple Boot Camp

"Apple Boot Camp is compatible with PGP Desktop ver 10.0 or later.  To use PGP Desktop with Boot Camp, you must install the software and encrypt the disk in a specific order."

and then on 

p. 136

Technical Details About Encrypting Boot Disks

"Caution: Apple's Boot Camp product works only when there are two partitions on the disk: one for Mac OS X and one for Boot Camp.  Because PGP Desktop adds another partition, Boot Camp does not work on a Mac OS X system with PGP Desktop 10.2 or later.  "

Nice job, clear as mud.

rte3759's picture

found this helpful article on the forum...describing compatibilities as of 2 weeks ago.

Mac OS X and Supported Versions of PGP Desktop
Article:TECH174563  |  Created: 2011-11-16  |  Updated: 2012-10-15  |  Article URL
Sarah Mays's picture

PGP does work with bootcamp, PGP requires that there be an osx partition and a windows partition, this is because windows version of PGP desktop doesn't support EFI and has been modified to support bootcamp on macs.

If i remember correctly, apple doesn't let bootcamp to be installed without osx and it has to be on the same drive as osx. I'm sure there are work-arounds.. which might explain why PGP added that comment about partitions.

PGP needs to be installed in a specific order so that both the osx partition and the windows partition are encrypted.

(assuming bootcamp and windows is already installed)

  1. install PGP on osx, reboot do not encrypt.
  2. boot up to windows, install pgp, reboot do not encrypt
  3. boot up osx, encrypt the disk.

Doing this will encrypt the whole harddrive, creating a pre-boot login screen for both osx and windows.

PGP_Ben's picture

One thing to keep in mind when using PGP with BootCamp and Windows. You must keep PGP Desktop up to date on both partitions. This means if you updaet PGP on the Mac OS X side you must update the Windows side at the same time. Failure to do so, can result in an unbootable OS on one side or the other (if changes were made to the disk with a newer version than what's installed for example).

Because of this reason, some enterprise customers choose not to go down this route and use virtualization in Mac OS X with Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion instead.

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