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PGP Encryption/Decryption Laptops with Recovery Partition

Created: 16 Mar 2011 | 6 comments

So we have tested PGP WDE on a Windows 7 Desktop and we had no issues with it encrypting/decrypting (about 4 hours for each).  We installed it on a Windows XP laptop (IBM Thinkpad T400) running XP and SP3 and we have had nothing but issues.  First we encrypted the entire disk and we got the press F11 to enter recovery console. So we had to decrypt the entire disk which took about 50 hours (site says 4 hours).   The fix for that was to only encrypt the O/S Partition, which we did.  Then we booted up and got the blinking cursor error.  The "fix", per PGP, for this one was to delete the recovery partition entirely from the laptop HDD which doesn't seem like a feasible suggestion, but i digress.  Now I am an decryption via recovery CD again and here we are 18+ hours into it and it still has about 47% remaining to decrypt.

I am testing a Windows 7 x64 bit Thinkpad Edge with a recovery partition to see if it is mabye a difference in the age of the laptop, or possibly Windows 7 vs Windows XP.

Anyone who has anything encouraging to add/advise would be much appreciated.

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rtmuller's picture

I recently installed PGP 10.x whole disk encryption on a Compaq laptop running Windows XP and had no problems and it did have a FAT32 recovery partition.

CITCorp's picture

My windows 7 laptop looks to be working no problem, I did have to reboot because it went to sleep during encryption.  I entered my passphrase and the PC booted no problem.  I am going to test it on another laptop (#3 now) that is an IBM thinkpad running XP and a Recovery Partition. 

PGP_Ben's picture

This was a more common issue in 9.x clients. Most of these problems have been resolved in the newer versions, or so I'm told. However, we are seeing Lenovo and Sony laptops that are having problems with a blinking cursor after putting in your PGP passphrase with Bootguard after encrypting the drive. It's typically Windows 7 and PGP Desktop 10.1.1 or 10.1.1 SP1.  If you are having this issue please reply to this thread, we are looking for people to help us with finding the cause.

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

uncch_bb's picture

We are having this issue. Please let me know what informaton we can gather to help figure this out.

PGP_Ben's picture

Do you have Altiris software that you run in your environment? There has been known compatability issues with this ALtiris software and a recovery partition that the software creates. You can see this KB article online to read more about this issue here:


I would also recommend that you try upgrading to our PGP Desktop version 10.2. There was a fix for "Blinking cursor of death with Bootguard printed on the screen". This may fix the problem that you are having. You should be able to download it from the licensing portal. will re-direct you to there. You can register your old LEMS email address for the download or if you already have a Symantec licensing portal account, you can login with that and access the downloads from there.

Let me know if you still have problems with this after the update to PGP Desktop 10.2

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

NotHappy's picture

We are having the same problems with Lenovo laptops.  Windows 7 machines have no problems.  Windows XP machines are failing with the black screen with the blinking cursor left and right.  Decrypting is not always solving the problem, has been shown to corrupt the boot sector, bricking the laptop.  We are using the most current version of the program.