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OS X PGP WDE External drive encryption freeze

Created: 28 Aug 2012 • Updated: 29 Mar 2013 | 24 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Just when I thought things were back to normal...

I have begun encryption on my external 1T HD, with power fail mode enabled.  Encryption has frozen (completely unresponsive) and the rest of the computer works fine.  I had to force close the PGP program.

I tried to reboot, plug back in the external HD.  PGP asks for PW and mounts both partitions on the drive just fine.  PGP desktop shows the drive, and shows that it is back at 66% encrypted.  It says it is encrypting.  The completed portion does not change now, no progress.

I try and click "stop" it asks to decrypt or pause.  I select pause.  It does nothing.

Has anyone had this issue or know what I can do to kick this badboy back into action?  I would really hate to lose all the encryption done thus far.  1+ day's time invested into this already.

Other info: both partitions and the drive as a whole were checked and repaired prior to encryption.  No problems were detected, everything was acting normally.

This device was encrypted without a problem in the past before.

Running: OS X 10.7.4 with PGP 10.2.1 [build 4869] SDK 4.2.1

 

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chanlsrfer's picture

In the interest of time-saving, I just began to decrypt the external HD.  Since this is my CCC clone on one partition I will boot from it and encrypt that drive as it was my home system, thereby making it a bootable clone as well as an encrypted dive.

This will be my workaround for the time being.  Has anyone else had this problem with PGP essentially "freezing" and ceasing to encrypt any further?  Every time I plug the drive in, it recognizes it, asks for the PW and mounts it.  PGP desktop says it is "encrypting" but zero progress is made, pause does not work and the only thing that works in the desktop GUI is the "decrypt" button.

All partitions are good to go, no errors.  This is the second time it has happened to me, and all progress is lost.  

PGP_Ben's picture

Have you tried a hard drive diagnostic utility on the external HD? I usually see this problem with pausing with encryption or hanging due to sector errors on the disk. Another problem can be if the drive is too heavily fragemented. But if this is HFS+ I don't know if there is a disk defrag utility available for that type of filesystem. Does Mac even have a disk defrag utility? If it's fat32, I would certainly check to see if the disk is too fragmented by plugging it into a windows PC and checking with Windows Disk defragmenter. Other options are to use sprinrite on a PC or else the drive diagnostic utility from the drive manufacturer to see what it reports.

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chanlsrfer's picture

I used the disk util on Mac for both partitions (CCC bootable clone partition1 macOS extended journaled, and storage files partition2 FAT32)

The first time I received the hanging issue, there was an irrecoverable error on the Clone partition.  I re-formatted it and ran CCC to re-clone the machine.

This time before encryption, I again checked both partitions with Mac's Diskutility and both checked out as okay.

I am decrypting as we speak, and I will try and check the FAT32 partition on a PC and defrag, even if not necessarry.  I doubt it will be too heavily fragmented, not much is added or subtracted from this drive, but I will give it a shot and report back.

The Mac Clone I seriously doubt will be the problem as this partition was just reformatted and recloned.  

Thanks for the quick reply, I will give an update after trying your suggestions.

PGP_Ben's picture

I have seen *some* cases where the UI will report encryption status incorrectly. The best thing to try is to use pgpwde --enum in an a terminal and see which drive is your 1TB secondary volume. Then run pgpwde --status --disk (disk number from enum output) in the terminal. This will report back the number of sectors and the high watermark. If encryption is progressing you should see the high watermark incrementing after running the status command again.

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chanlsrfer's picture

Ben- thank you.  Those are the kind of 'backdoor' commands I was looking for to establish lack of progress or continuing progress in spite of UI freeze.

Just checked on a PC.  Defrag was already not needed, all one solid block.  Ran anyway for troubleshooting procedure.  Ran disk utilities, no issues found or repaired.

Running encryption again, if it hangs up I will try the above solution in terminal.

Will report back.

chanlsrfer's picture

First time it froze: 45% completed

Second time it froze: 67% completed

Third (current) time it froze: 50% completed.  

In the activity monitor PGP is listed as 'not responding'
I tried the command in terminal you suggested, "pgpwde --enum" and it freezes in the terminal.  Am I to believe this means the program PGP is completely unresponsive?

chanlsrfer's picture

 

The disk was not mountable, and the UI was unresponsive (spinning disk). Had to force quit via activitiy monitor, and unplug HD.
After restarting PGP, plugging in the HD and entering passphrase:
 
 
First attempt in terminal:
Disk 1 is instrumented by bootguard.
  Encryption process interrupted by disk I/O error
  Current key is valid.
Whole disk encrypted
  Total sectors: 1953525168 highwatermark: 1059584812 
Request sent to Disk status was successful
 
Second attempt in terminal (several minutes later)
$ pgpwde --status --disk 1
Disk 1 is instrumented by bootguard.
  Encryption process interrupted by disk I/O error
  Current key is valid.
Whole disk encrypted
  Total sectors: 1953525168 highwatermark: 1059584812 
Request sent to Disk status was successful
 
Any other suggestions?
chanlsrfer's picture

I re-checked both partitions and they are both free of errors and validated OK.

When starting the encryption I did select "power safe" mode.  Might there be a way to successfully restart encryption as if this were caused by a sudden unplanned powerdown?

PGP_Ben's picture

I ceratinly agree. We should be doing something better to report the correct status in the UI. there is open etracks (bug reports) meant to address that UI problem. But I"m more or less confirming that is the issue. If the encryption is indeed proceeding then you should see those high watermarks increasing (in spite of the UI status). If neither are incrementing, then we have a different problem.

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PGP_Ben's picture

One thing to look at - check under /var/log/system.log and see if there is any errors. I would also use activity monitor to check the system. On one machine I am testing with. While using power safe mode. I saw a spike in the MDS process (100% cpu) and checking the system log it looks like the spotlight indexing keeps crashing. I excluded my whole system volume for the timebeing to see if that makes any difference. I'm wondering if you are getting simliar results. I'm testing for bad ram, because I suspect taht could be th cause. But i'm wondering if anyone else using PGP WDE is seeing the same problem on their hardware?

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chanlsrfer's picture

Ben,

I did look under the log you suggested, there are a lot of different logs in there.  All of this is very foriegn to me however. 

I have de-crypted USB HD and checked all partitions again for errors.  None found.  Should I re-attempt or do anything differently this time?

Providing that there is not any potentially sensitive data disclosed in the logs, perhaps I can clear the logs, re-attempt the encryption and post logs if encryption fails again?

I would need instructions on how to accomplish this, due to my intermediate computer science knowledge and being new to the OS X platform.

Please advise, thanks!

chanlsrfer's picture

Ben, at your suggestion I tested RAM for errors.  I was able to isolate over 300 errors on one memory card, so I have ordered new memory to replace it.  After it arrives I will attempt re-encryption once more and post results.  This seems like it could be the cause of all the problems, and it would also explain some recent program crashing that has occured to me.

PGP_Ben's picture

Thanks for the update chanlsrfer. Please let us know how you fair out with the new ram stick replacement :)

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chanlsrfer's picture

Memory installed, RAM test completed twice with no errors.  Re-attempting encryption now.  I will update in a day or two (1 day 6 hours left).

chanlsrfer's picture

No luck.  Locked up at 67% this time.  I have the drive still attached, I am leaving PGP open and 'encrypting' to pray for a miracle change in status.  Entering pgpwde --enum into the terminal does not respond at all...the cursor moves to the next line and returns no status.

PGP is only 1% in activity monitor.  No process is completely consuming the cpu.

Any ideas from the community?

Tom Mc's picture

I'd let it continue running and hope for success.  If it doesn't complete this time, try some third party disk checking software.  There have been times when errors not found by Windows were found by SpinRite, which then allowed encryption to complete - seems likely to be possible here as well.

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chanlsrfer's picture

Left it overnight.  No luck.  Running SpinRite after decryption completes.

chanlsrfer's picture

Huh.  This is new.  Now PGP is freezing on the decryption as well.  I already had to force stop and reboot the machine twice.  On the shutdown, I am getting the endless pinwheel after the desktop turns grey.  

Could this be a PGP process still running and keeping the machine from shutting down properly?

Does this sound more like a hardware issue?  I am out of troubleshooting options, but will run the SpinRite after the decryption (finally) completes.  After removing the HD and force stop the PGP, it doesn't sound like the external HD is to blame.

chanlsrfer's picture

Just happened again.  Frozen while decrypting (third time now). Forced stop, reboot.  Stuck in pinwheel on reboot.

Memory is 100% okay.  These freezes are occuring while the computer is asleep, not on standby.  This feels like a SOFTWARE issue.  Confirmation will be if there are no errors on HD after SpinRite.

chanlsrfer's picture

Currently running SpinRite on a PC for the external.  Also running TechTool Pro on the Mac.  Will post results.

Sidenote: There are a TON of PGP Engine crash reports in my Console>user diagnostic reports.  Would anyone be able to pinpoint the problem by lookin at these?  I have many examples to provide (unfortuniately).

PGP_Ben's picture

I would be interested in seeing a copy of them. If you can email them to me. Click on my name PGP_Ben and you should see an option to email me :)

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chanlsrfer's picture

@Ben- emailed the report.

Upgraded to ML last night and MP4.
No major problems.  Re-encrypted computer HD.  No issues.
Got 50% done with external HD (again).  This time, PGP paused the encryption (no crash).  Told PGP to resume, it asked for passphrase.  Passphrase was entered.  PGP did not respond for some time, came back as passphrase wrong.  

Tried to eject drive.  Would not eject, PGP goes unresponsive again.

I have run every possible diagnostic test on this HD.  SpinRite found nothing.  Seagate diagnostic software, nothing.  I am certain this is a software issue, not a hardware issue.  

PGP is not crashing anymore, so no new logs in console.  Just not working on external.

PGP_Ben's picture

We have a bug logged for a known issue where if you cancel the passphrase window initially when an external drive is inserted it will cause pgp engine to crash I did find that. I'm still going through your crash logs you sent me.

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chanlsrfer's picture

 

I was working on the latest version of OS X Lion with PGP MP3 installed during the unrecoverable crashes.  Nothing I could do would allow the disc to continue encrypting.  
I checked my memory and found a bad stick that I replaced.  I checked both my main HD and external for defects using both SeaGate software, and SpinRite and found no errors on either HD.  I did a hardware check of the computer, and nothing stood out.  I tried using a new firewire, I tried using a USB attachment instead.  Same problem every time.
 
Suddenly after upgrading to the Mountain Lion and PGP MP4 a work around was possible.
The crash still occurs, (3 times while encrypting 2 TB).  This time, I force eject the external drives (this removes it from the desktop, but NOT from PGPdesktop)
I still have the warning to "unmount" after I detatch the HD.  If I now reboot the computer I can plug the HD back in, and re-enter the passphrase.  With the new Lion MP4 combo, I am now allowed to re-start the encryption.
 
PGP never registers the 'crash' because it is still trying to encrypt.  I can not access the drive using "pgpwde --status --disk x" because it is stuck.  So, I never get a crash log to report.
 
Still getting the crash, workaround is doable. 
SOLUTION