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pgpwde Found an empty barrier:... We might crash here

Created: 19 Dec 2012 • Updated: 19 Dec 2012 | 1 comment


I just installed pgp whole disk encryption a bit ago and I am now having a problem which seems to be associated with the /boot partition on the encrypted disk. 

The system will hang on boot with a message along the lines of:

pgpwde: Found an empty barrier: ffff8803e2c44b40.  We might crash here

I bring the system up with an alternate (un-pgp encrypted /boot partition) and I can run fsck on everything but the problematic /boot partition.

similarly, running parted on that physical disk also hangs

There are other  pgpwde messages which seem to happen a on shutdown and startup, but don't seem to be associated with hanging:

pgpwde: Not sure what to do with action "change"

The system booted fine from this partition before, and I booted successfully a few times after full encryption w/o issues, but now there does seem to be a problem with this partition.

One additional peice of information, this did occur after doing a grub-install on this partition.  That seemed to work correctly but I mention that in case this should not be re-run once the disk is pgpwde encrypted. 


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PGP_Ben's picture

You should never run another boot loader utility which modifies the MBR on the disk when the drive is encrypted. This can cause problems with the PGP WDE encryption and unlocking of the session keys used to access the encrypted data on the disk.  Do you have an image of the drive that you obtained, prior to installing grub? If not, I would suggest booting a Windows Recovery Image for PGP and attempting to boot from that. If you can at least get windows into a bootable state, you can then decrypt from inside the OS and then reinstall grub boot loader and then re-encrypt the drive at that point.

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