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sudden "PGP Disk Mount failed because: "item not found" error with Encryption Desktop

Created: 20 Aug 2014 • Updated: 20 Aug 2014 | 7 comments

Hi. Suddenly, and without me changing anything in the settings of PGP or Windows itself (for instance, no restoration of a restore point that could have deleted the keys), I started getting the error ""PGP Disk Mount failed because: "item not found"" when I try to mount a backup .pgd file stored in the C drive, Windows 8.1 Home edition.

Also, in the User Access area, I see "<unknown user> (key ID is xxxxxxx). 

I tried re-creating the username with which I used to access the .pgd file, but I get : " 'USERNAME': there was a problem creating this user". 

Trying to create a new user with any other name gives the same result. 

What could this be ? I need a solution because I have no backup of the encrypted files, and I did not except such a silly thing to happen ! 

Please help 

( I had a look at posts about same problem here and here, but they contain no solutions)

Operating Systems:

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_Adam_'s picture

Hi iceq2,

Looks for me like a key is missing. If you did not backup *.pgd file, did you at least backup your key(s) ?

I would look for the missing key (from own backup)  "<unknown user> (key ID is xxxxxxx)" and reimport back to PGP also adding this key (keyring) to master key list and then try to mount .pgd file. Make sure that the keys are trusted.

This was also written on this forum thread which you provided:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/inaccessible-pgd-disks-another-system

but I don't know if you have tried this so far or not as per your post (it is not user recreation but restoring it from your original backup ) ?

HTH

if/when you consider your issue is resolved, please click "Mark As Solution" on a response
iceq2's picture

Dear Adam, I appreciate your response (although I am annoyed that I didn't get a notification about your post, although I did subscribed for this topic and did not check the "do not notify me..". 

Now, why on earth would the key get missing? I changed absolutely nothing in Windows or in my computer. Do keys just "get missing" like that for no reason?

No, I did not backup my key. I was planning to back it up before formatting or creating a restore point, or before a major change. But I really changed nothing in Windows that could cause this !

1- Is there another solution? Shouldn't the key be automatically backed up somewhere?

2- Why can't I re-add the same username I used before? As far as I remember, the key I created and used to use to access the backup .pgd was created in the simple default way. it consists of a username and a passphrase, nothing more. 

I hope this info would help !  

_Adam_'s picture

Hi, iceq2

Maybe the email notofication is redirected to your SPAM folder (check if this is just a one off issue) .
On your profile Edit your account and check the section "Message and Notifications Settings" and see if the option is ticked called: Autosubscribe also test with "Alternate notifications E-mail address: "

Keys are not being backup up automatically - I am afraid. Backup should be done by customer.

Keys should not get missing as well unless some 3rd party cleaning software (if any) was run which potentialy could remove it or there is a roaming profile in place.

"<unknown user> (key ID is xxxxxxx)" can't be re-add just by re-adding the same username. Two the same usernames are going to have 2 different key ID's.

However I would still check the logs to see if you can get any information.

Also what version of the PGP a.k.a SED do you use. You said Windows 8.1 Home edition OS and if I look to the recent release notes of SED 10.3.2 I don't see that Windows 8.1 Home Edition is in fact supported. I only see support for:

■ Windows 8.1 Update 1

■ Windows 8.1 Enterprise (32- and 64-bit editions)

■ Windows 8.1 Pro (32- and 64-bit editions)

■ Windows 8 Enterprise (32- and 64-bit editions)

■ Windows 8 Pro (32- and 64-bit editions)

Here is the KB:
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=DOC7053

HTH

if/when you consider your issue is resolved, please click "Mark As Solution" on a response
iceq2's picture

Thanks Adam. 

I am using SED 10.3.0 , and mine is just "Windows 8.1"  , which is usually (though un-officially) referred to as "Home" edition to differentiate it from the Pro version. 

How can I check the logs, where, and what to look for? 

Is it stored in a file that I might be able to recover by file recovery software? 

The files are really important to me ! 

_Adam_'s picture

Hi iceq2,

Logs you can check from SED > Tools > View Log. Try to search the logs on a day when problem started looking mostly for some changes related to keys. Check different keys ID's. How many keys have you had. Check the logs when the last time you were able to successfully mount the drive.

By default pgp keys are stored in %HOMEPATH%\My Documents\PGP. If you see some other files there try to import them (drag and drop) into Keys area of SED.

You might try to run any 3rd party recovery tool and try to see if it can finds on a disk a files with extensions like *.pkr (public), *.skr (private/secret) or *.asc (exported)  keys files.
Try to use a freeware version of  http://www.easeus.com/data-recovery-software/ which you can retrieve up to 1GB of data for free.

HTH

if/when you consider your issue is resolved, please click "Mark As Solution" on a response
iceq2's picture

Dear Adam, thank you for following up and for your support. 

1- in the my documents > PGP folder, I found 4 keys pubring, pubring-bak, secring, secring-bak. Trying to import any of them gives " Encryotion Desktop is unable to import any keys, certificates, or groups from the selected file". 

However, if I double clicked on the files of either pubring-bak  or secring-bak, the files are opened successfully and new entries are added in the PGP Keys section. Both contain the same credentials including name and email, they both are verified too. 

I went back to the PGP Disk sectino, clicked on the encrypted drive, and clicked "mount", same error message I used to have. 

I clicked "Add user key", then from the All keys dropdown list I selected pubring-bak, the key appeared with a green tickmark next to it, I double-clicked it, it was copied from the "key source" column" to the "keys to add" column". Then I clicked Ok, but I got the same old error message: " 'USERNAME': there was a problem creating this user". 

2- I checked the logs up to 7 days ago, and they contain NO mention of keys whatsoever. What I see is all or some of the following lines: 

02:26:10            ----- Encryption Desktop stopped -----
02:27:33            ----- Encryption Desktop started -----
02:27:33            Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 (Build 8741) (8741)
02:27:33            Today's date is Friday, August 15, 2014
02:27:33 Email     Warning    Email proxying has been disabled by the user
02:27:33 PGP     Info    Setting logging level to: normal

In the day the problem started, the log is: 

00:04:59 PGP     Info    Initiating daily maintenance procedures
00:04:59            ----- Encryption Desktop continuing -----
00:04:59            Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 (Build 8741) (8741)
00:04:59            Today's date is Monday, August 18, 2014
15:28:39            ----- Encryption Desktop started -----
15:28:39            Encryption Desktop 10.3.0 (Build 8741) (8741)
15:28:39            Today's date is Monday, August 18, 2014
15:28:39 Email     Warning    Email proxying has been disabled by the user
15:28:39 PGP     Info    Setting logging level to: normal
15:28:39 Email     Warning    Email proxying has been disabled by the user
15:28:45 PGP     Info    Initiating daily maintenance procedures

3- I only had one key before, which is the key I see now after I double-clicked the pubring-bak file. 

I hope this info helps 

_Adam_'s picture

Hi iceq2,

Looks for me like we are running out of the possibilities to have this problem sort out as there is more than one problem involved ( "<unknown user> (key ID is xxxxxxx) and " 'USERNAME': there was a problem creating this user". )

Your issue is also written in below forum thread did you have a chance to look

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/pgp-virtual-disk-fails-mount-no-users-listed

Also:
How big is your *.pgd file.
Did you by any chance run any 3rd party tool to defragment the drive where the file was stored or check disk commands.
Does your disk with *.pgd file is OK without any bad sectors as well ?
Did you also try to mount the drive from any other OS
Did you try to move/copy the *.pgd file only from one location to another (for instance from C drive to D drive) and mount again.

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