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PGP freeze at login screen

Created: 14 Aug 2012 | 5 comments


I have a weird problem. Yesterday I was going to enter my passphrase at the login screen (on battery power) when my sony vaio fw21e suddenly completely shut down. Well I thought it was probably because of the battery being empty. So I plugged in my ac power adapter and restarted my laptop and I got this error message showing up multiple times:

"disk error press any key to restart"

But regardless of which key I pressed nothing would happen, so I manually shut down my laptop again. When I restarted it, it would go as far as showing "SONY VAIO" but then only a black screen appeared with nothing happening. I turned it off, plugged it off the ac and waited for 30  minutes for the harddrive to cool off (this was my first guess, something happened to the harddrive). When I restarted my laptop again, this time I reached the PGP login screen but the weird thing was that it looked like someone typing a passphrase (the white pipe went from left to right automatically), and I couldn't do anything as nothing would happen when I pressed a key on my keyboard.

So I restarted my laptop again, and tried to access the BIOS, which I successfully could do by holding down the F2 button. BUT AGAIN even at the BIOS screen the picture froze and I couldn't do anything there.

I tried using the PGP Recovery CD 10.1.2 & 10.0.1 as I can't remember which version I had installed, but nothing would happen at boot screen. My boot screen looks like on the picture attached to this post, maybe someone knows which version it is.

I'd appreciate any kind of help before I buy a new harddrive because this is my main guess or is it really just PGP locking the harddrive & the whole system?

Thank you.

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Alex_CST's picture

You say that the cursor automatically goes to the right as if something's typing.  Are you use the keyboard is broken in someway? Can you boot to something to test the keyboard functionality like a LiveCD or something?

You will be told if you try to decrypt with a version that you don't have, can you even get into the BIOS?  and try to automatically select to boot from the CD?

Please mark posts as solutions if they solve your problem!

cript's picture

thanks for your reply

I'm not sure about they keyboard being broken, how can I test this? I tried booting a windows cd but nothing happens...still black screen, I can get into the BIOS by holding F2 (maybe a hint that the keyboard is ok after all) and see the screen where the system time is running but I can't move the curser or do anyhting...

Alex_CST's picture

seems to me there's hardware problems with it as opposed to PGP problems.  PGP won't interfere with the BIOS whatsoever, so if you cant even navigate within the BIOS properly, something is very wrong.  Try plugging in another keyboard or something see what you get?

Please mark posts as solutions if they solve your problem!

cript's picture


so it really seems that the keyboard is the problem, I cleaned it a little by blowing off the dust...and I started my laptop with the windows cd in it....and it finally did BOOT the cd! But here is the problem: When chosing the installation language the cursor always moves up as if the up button on the keyboard is being pressed...I somehow managed to troubleshoot this by holding the button myself....and now I'm about to install windows again....I will keep you updated


PGP_Ben's picture

cript, this certainly sounds like a hardwaer issue with your keyboard. It sounds like you opted to reinstall the operating system? Reinstalling without wiping the drive first, will leave portions of the encrypted disk instrumentation intact preventing you from re-encrypting the drive sometimes.

The best thing to do in that case is once the windows operating system is reinstalled and you have PGP Desktop back on there, then try to encrypt. If it fails, you may need to run a fixmbr using the windows install disc to wipe out the data in the Master Boot record and then reattempt again.

Another option is to boot a wipe utility such as DBAN and do a full wipe of the hard drive before reinstalling the OS again.

In regards to your question about being able to tell what version of PGP you have installed. You would need to select the option that says "Advanced" and this will tell you the PGP WDE version installed.

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