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Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

  • 1.  Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-19-2014 06:27 PM

    I have a laptop whose hard drive was encrypted using PGP WDE. This morning I woke up to find that the laptop (seemingly) had a GPU failure: it would turn on and boot Windows with the right inputs (I could hear the jingle signifying I'd made it to the desktop) but the screen was black except for the backlight. This was a business computer but I no longer have access to the company that gave it to me.

    I was wondering if it would be possible to connect the encrypted hard drive to another computer via a SATA-to-USB cable and remove the data from it, and what steps I should take to do so if it is possible. I don't know what version of PGP this is, just that it was installed a couple of years ago. The laptop is a Dell Latitude D830 running Windows 7.

    Any help would be graeatly appreciated.



  • 2.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-19-2014 08:09 PM

    Hello,

    Yes, you can slave the drive to another computer and pull the data but the other computer needs PGP Desktop installed.  If you know the passphrase then you can decrypt the drive also while it is slaved to the other computer.

    If you don't know the Passphrase then the drive is locked and you'll have to re-format.

    Thanks

    Anthony



  • 3.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-19-2014 08:21 PM

    So all I need to know is the passphrase I use on the initial bootup screen, nothing else?

    I'm not sure if I can get another copy of PGP desktop (at least not without paying full price for it). Is this something a repair technician could do?



  • 4.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-19-2014 08:40 PM

    The passphrase would be the Bootguard passphrase.  You could call Customer Care for a Trialware for PGP and you can use to decrypt the hard drive.

    Customer Care# 1-800-721-3934 or try the trialware from the website.

    http://buy.symantec.com/estore/categoryDetailPage/productCode/PGP-DRE-EXP-LEM_Vx_12MO_PC/skuType/Product

    Click on Try It Today

    If the software was installed a few years ago then it's propably version 10.x.x

    The hard drive should be able to decrypt with the latest version.

    Thanks

    Anthony

     



  • 5.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-19-2014 10:56 PM

    Thank you very much for your timely responses, Anthony. Just a few more questions:

    1. Are you certain that the trialware is enough for this procedure?

    2. Would it be possible to have someone from technical support walk me through the procedure when I decide to try it? I want to make sure I do everything right.

    3. While trying in vain to revive my laptop I did some hard shut downs, meaning that I think it will give me the choice to boot in safe mode if I try to turn it on now. Will this affect the procedure at all?

    4. Once the hard drive is slaved to the other computer and decrypted, will it behave pretty much like a regular external hard drive?

    5. Will OS compatibility be an issue? I've got Windows 8.1 on the new computer and Windows 7 on the old one, both 64-bit.



  • 6.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Posted 03-19-2014 11:47 PM

    kindly check the link in section 3. hope that it will help you

     

    http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH156339

    thanks



  • 7.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-20-2014 12:06 AM

    Which link do you mean, exactly? I only see links to bootg.iso files. I'm not sure that's the type of solution I'm going for. I'm trying to get my personal data off of the disk, not boot off of it.



  • 8.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-20-2014 01:43 PM

    Hello,

    The trialware will be enough.  It last for 30 days and you should be-able to decrypt the drive.

    If you don't have current support then ask if you can have a courtesy case by a manager.

    I would just stick with the slaving of the hard drive so we can try and save that data.

    Slave the hard drive to the windows 7 machine.

    If for some reason the slaving of the hard drive doesn't work to decrypt then you can try a Recovery CD to decrypt.  This would require your hard drive to be put back into the laptop and boot into the Recovery CD to start a decryption.  Passphrase would be required.

    Thanks

    Anthony

     



  • 9.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-23-2014 10:58 PM

    I don't think you completely understood my situation; the computer with Widows 7 is the one with the broken video card and the encrypted hard drive. If possible I'd like to transfer the data directly to my Windows 8 computer, but I could easily ask someone else with Windows 7 to help me out. My biggest fear right now is that the version of PGP desktop I end up using to decrypt the hard drive is incompatible with the version found on the hard drive itself, somehow resulting in the drive becoming unreadable.



  • 10.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 03-24-2014 01:54 PM

    Hello,

    If you can slave the drive to another computer and has PGP desktop installed and you have the passphrase then you can pull the data off the drive without decrypting to another hard drive.  PGP will prompt for a passphrase and when you enter the correct one then the disk is unlocked.

    Decrypting would be used if you cannot ge into your OS because of some corruption issue like for example when you get past Bootguard and there is only a blinking cursor.

    Thanks

    Anthony



  • 11.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 07-23-2014 10:10 AM

    Have you tried attaching another screen to the machine ? It may just be the monitor that is dead



  • 12.  RE: Accessing data on encrypted hard drive from another computer

    Broadcom Employee
    Posted 01-07-2015 12:07 PM

    I have a slightly different situation that fits the title for this post.

    Note:  My system drive is encrypted using just passphrase.  My system is standalone, not part of a domain, so my account is defined only on the local system.

    I am moving my system disk from HDD to SSD.  I successfully cloned the encrypted drive thanks to Casper Secure Drive Backup.  I switched the drives and booted from the SSD.  All was good to this point.

    Next, I did a bit too much cleanup of old files and needed to pull a couple of deleted files off my original HDD. I mounted that old HDD in the spare drive tray (Lenovo laptop).  The first time started out Okay.  The drive was recognized and I got a prompt for the passphrase -- The passphrase was not accepted and I was prompted to reenter and that was rejected, as well.

    Eventually, I rebooted without the HDD connected, connected the HDD, but now I do not get a prompt for a passphrase!

    Questions:
    1.  Is something cached that I need to clear so PGP will recognize the encrypted drive and prompt for the passphrase when the drive is connected?
    2.  Is there something else that I need to do to enter the passphrase correctly?  I'm logged into the same Windows account as was used to encrypt the HDD, originally.  The only difference is that now I'm booted from the SSD clone of that HDD.  The rest of the HW is identical.

    Obviously, there are other ways to get a few files off the HDD, in this case, but I still a solution, especially for the more general case of encrypting a non-system portable drive from one system then connecting that to and accessing from a different system.