PGP WDE Installation Preparation for Windows
From Provider Wiki
This document discusses important preparatory steps that should be taken prior to installing PGP Desktop's Whole Disk Encryption (WDE) on Windows-based systems. Performing these steps will significantly increase the potential for satisfactory outcome.
Back Up the Data
PGP Desktop's Whole Disk Encryption installation exerts a heavy load on a system's drive, whether hard disk drive or solid state drive. WDE installation subjects the drive to extremely intensive disk I/O; what is likely one of the heaviest loads that the disk will ever have to endure. As such, it is very important that all documents, settings, and programs be backed up should the encryption process fail and/or ruin the drive.
Update the BIOS
Be sure to update the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) firmware of the system prior to installing PGP Desktop. Updating the BIOS will often increase general reliability and/or performance and can make a significant difference while using PGP Desktop.
To update the BIOS, download the update installer from the manufacturer's web site (Dell BIOS updates can be found here and Lenovo BIOS updates can be found here) and follow the installation instructions. At least one system reboot usually is required.
Test the Drive
Perform a S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) test (or a general diagnostics test if a specific S.M.A.R.T. test is not available) on the drive. To test the drive:
- Boot into the BIOS. This is usually done by using a function key (F12 on many Dell Latitudes).
- Select the testing or diagnostic portion of the utility.
- Run a S.M.A.R.T. or general diagnostics test. If the system fails the S.M.A.R.T. test or the drive portion of the general diagnostics test, do not attempt to encrypt the system.
Note that this test is performed to avoid a waste of time while attempting to encrypt. A more complete test is not done, because the amount of time this would take would often be more than the encryption process itself.
Defragment the Drive
PGP Corporation suggests that for drives that are highly fragmented, defragmentation is wise. To analyze your disk and see if this is a worthwhile step, use the Windows Defragmenter Utility (Start, -> All Programs, -> Accessories, -> System Tools, -> Defragmenter Utility.
No Support for Multiple Operating Systems
PGP's Whole Disk Encryption product does not yet support multiple operating systems. If you are in a dual boot or multiple boot environment, PGP's product will not function.
Allot Adequate Time
PGP Whole Disk Encryption's initial encryption process can take up to 10 hours, depending on the amount of data that needs to be encrypted and the relative speed of the drive. RAM and processor speed can also have some influence.
Power Saving Settings
Earlier prep documentation provided a work-around for Windows Vista systems configured for the hybrid sleep Power Options setting. Systems returning from this mode unexpectedly rebooted, then after a series of errors, became unbootable and Windows reported boot sector errors.
This issue was resolved as of PGP Desktop 9.12
Individuals who require access to their desktop from home have typically bypassed power saving settings on their systems since PGP will only authenticate using a password or pass-phrase entered via the keyboard attached to the encrypted device. Organizations subscribing to ISC Support-on-Site's Managed Desktop Service can take advantage of power saving settings by using the wakeup service to remotely wake a system and successfully authenticate remotely.
Make Sure the Hardware is Fairly Current
Chances of encryption success and a good user experience are much better if the notebook or desktop is within the current support cycle (three years for notebooks and four years for desktops).
Not Intended for Server Hardware or RAID Drives
PGP Whole Disk Encryption is unsupported on server hardware/operating systems and on drives in a RAID configuration (either hardware or software based).