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PGP WDE - Killed Secure Bootloader after installing Win7 on 2nd HDD

Created: 27 Dec 2012 | 3 comments

Hi everyone,

due to lack of knowledge it seems that I killed my WDE HDD.

The case:

I placed a second HDD in the UltraBay-Slot of my laptop an installed Win7 on this HDD.

After the installation I ejected the second HDD and tried to boot from the WDE HDD. As I said, lack of knowledge, now I know that Win7 overworte something on the WDE HDD.

After reading a lot of articles I downloaded the PGP Recovery Disk. When I boot from this disk it takes quite a while until a PGP record is found. But by entering my passphrase it only takes me to a screen "No operating system found.".

So I've booted from the second (non-WDE) HDD again. In the Windows Disk Manager the WDE HDD is shown as an NTFS HDD and as 100% free.

When I use a data recovery tool I get the result, that it finds on nearly 100% of the HDD data in raw format.

After that I installed PGP Desktop into the Windows 7 on the second HDD to decrypt the first HDD, but PGP Desktop doesn't find any PGP Volume. It also sees the WDE HDD as empty.

My question now is:

What are the next steps I can do?

Is it useful when I try to restore the MBR on the WDE HDD?

Kind regards,


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mdkhxc's picture more information:

Just booted again from the recovery disk.

After finding a PGP record I go to "Advanced" and get the information

disk2: HDD/USB, 465 Gb, not encrypted

disk2 is the WDE HDD.

So what do you think, is there a chance that fixMBR helps?

Do I need to restore the encrypted data with an third pary recovery tool?

I mean, the encrypted data is on the HDD, it seems that it is just marked a deleted.

Tom Mc's picture

You don't want to fix the MBR if the disk is actually encrypted.  In your original post, you indicate that you installed PGP, but do not indicate that you WDE encrypted it.  If you did, please indicate when in the process this occured.

Except for "I placed a second HDD in the UltraBay-Slot" you appear to be referring to the original disk when you mention a second disk - is this correct?

It sounds like your original disk was a bootable disk.  When you installed Windows 7 to the UltraBay slot, did you do this as a dual booting setup?

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mdkhxc's picture


thanks for your reply.

Sorry for my bad explanation. Before I screwed things up:

  • HDD1: encrypted with WDE, primary HDD with Windows 7 and all my data.
  • HDD2: a second HDD placed in the UltraBay Slot without any data

My mistake began by shutting down the system and installing a second OS (Win7) on HDD2 because I needed to test a few things but didn't wanted to do this in my daily used Windows. While installting Windows to HDD2 I didn't though about PGP on HDD1.

After finishing the testing in the new Windows on HDD2 I ejected HDD2 and replaced it with my DVD ROM.

From that point on I wasn't able to boot Windows on the encrypted HDD1 - I only get an error message from the Windows-Start-Manager that the necessary device couldn't be found. So I don't even get to the Secure Bootloader.