Video Screencast Help

PGP WDE - Restore MBR or get data from an encrypted disk

Created: 12 Apr 2013 | 13 comments

Folks,

 

I am running Windows 7 64 bit on a Thinkpad T420. I booted the machine a few days ago, got the PGP page and entered my password. That worked fine, however Windows did not boot up properly and I got the Windows recovery screen with about 5 recovery options ranging from repairing the system, restoring an image or opening a command prompt.

I opened the command window and entered "bootrec /fixmbr". This may not have been wise. Because when I rebooted I got a"missing operating system" error message. I did not even get as far as the PGP screen.

Reading the forum it looks like PGP WDE replaces the Win7 MBR with its own, and using windows to the "fix" the MBR replaces the PGP MBR with its own.

Ultimately I just want to access the disk and copy my data files off it.

Has anyone experience of this problem ? and a fix for it ?

 

Thanks and best regards, Paul.

Operating Systems:

Comments 13 CommentsJump to latest comment

Tom Mc's picture

Yes, replacing he MBR was not a good choice.  I would try using the WDE Recovery CD to decrypt the disk. 

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

Search the Knowledge Base &

Tom Mc's picture

Are you trying the decryption?

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

Search the Knowledge Base &

PGP_Ben's picture

you can also attach the drive to another system and use the pgpwde --recover command like this:

cmd

c:\program files\pgp corporation\pgp desktop\pgpwde --recover --disk 1 -p "passphrase here"

Obviously change disk 1 to disk 0 or disk 2 depending on what drive number the target disk you are trying to recover is attached to the system as.

What this does is it scans the entire drive, sector by sector, looking for the backup of the user records stored on the disk drive. This can be used to decrypt the volume succesfully using this method.

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

MK48's picture

Thank you! This worked for me!. This allowed PGP to see the disk again and decrypt it which then made the disk visible to the OS.

MK48's picture

I am experiencing a similar problem. I used linux to write a new windows mbr which caused the drive to longer be recognized by pgp. When the computer turns on, it goes directly to a black screen indicating that there is no OS. If I connect the drive as a secondary external drive, Windows indicates that it needs to be partitioned. I tried disk recover tools as well as the pgp recovery disk but nothing has worked. I have since installed a new HD into the same machine and encrypted it using pgp. I used my previous account to setup pgp again on this new hard drive since this is controlled by my company. Would it be possible to copy the MBR from this new hard drive over to the old (bad) drive? I don't know what else to try at this point.

Thanks!

DR52's picture

Hi, I think I have lost my PGP MBR after trying to clone my current hard disk to a brand new hard disk with more capacity. (I used Seagate's DiscWizard and was careful to ensure the target was the new drive but it looks like this software also alters the source drive).

Is there any easy way to repair the MBR?

 

Thanks DR

Tom Mc's picture

I would suggest using the WDE Recovery CD link above to decrypt your disk.  The PGP Bootloader must not be moved from the sector(s) to which it is originally installed, and I suspect this is what has occured.

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

Search the Knowledge Base &

DR52's picture

Tom, thanks very much for you quick response. So it seems like it is critical that the WDE Recovery CD version is exactly the same as the encrypted disk. How can I be sure I have the right version? (And must it be the right level too? I guess mine could be any of these... 10.2.0, 10.2.1, 10.2.1 MP1, 10.3.0, 10.3.0 MP1, 10.3.0 MP2, 10.3.0 MP3)

David

Tom Mc's picture

If you can't determine what version you installed, such as having the original purchase receipt, or having access to fileconnect to see what version is available there for you, you should err on the side of having a newer version, rather than risk using a recovery CD version that is older. 

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

Search the Knowledge Base &

Tom Mc's picture

Any success on this?

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

Search the Knowledge Base &

tt88's picture

Hi everyone,

                  currently using pgp 10.1.2 on a windows xp platform sp3.decrypted halfway disk was crashed when decrypting upto 50% and PGPWDE not able to write marking back to hdd, that's why our emergency disk can't locate PGPWDE marking and continue for the remaining decryption.I s there anyway to continue the decrypting process as it was a hardware failer.Kindly advice thanks.

 

 

 

哈巴克馬's picture

I also met such a problem.got the PGP page and entered my password. however Windows did not boot up properly and I got the Windows recovery screen.

How do you solved it?many thanks!

_Adam_'s picture

@哈巴克馬 - I would first ask myslef If I do have a backup of the data. If not then the first think should be to Slave the drive to another machine, authenticate and copy all data. Then knowing that got the data secure in place I would start decrypting the drive from the command line

c:\program files\pgp corporation\pgp desktop\pgpwde --decrypt --disk 1 -p "passphrase here".

Once the drive is fully decrypted and uninstrumented you can try to use Windows Recovery CD for the OS.

if/when you consider your issue is resolved, please click "Mark As Solution" on a response