3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2015 8:02 PM by jwhendy

    How to turn off encryption for a secondary drive?

    jwhendy

      Greetings,

       

       

      I have EEPC installed on a work computer and am trying to create a dual boot setup for use with Linux. I want a partition that is accessible from both Win7 and Linux, and am having a helluva time accomplishing that. It took me a while to realize that McAfee was doing something to every non-system partition I created; it would be either mountable from Linux or Windows, but not vice versa. If formatted with Windows (NTFS), I'm guessing McAfee was auto-encrypting, and thus it wasn't recognizable as NTFS from Linux. The other way around, Windows was encrypting an already formatted NTFS partition and then not recognizing the format, prompting me to format it.

       

      I stumbled on an article that EEPC auto-encrypts the internal disk, so I purchased my own SSD for use in the expansion drive, hoping that would work. No luck (same behavior). I'm planning to encrypt with TrueCrypt to keep things safe... I just can't seem to stop EEPC from tinkering behind the scenes with it. An external USB does not exhibit this behavior, so I'm thinking it has to do with internal drives.

       

      Is there any way to set the drives that are under the reign of EEPC, or is this something my IT team has to do?

        • 1. Re: How to turn off encryption for a secondary drive?
          jhall2

          You are correct in your assumptions here. The external disk was connected via the eSATA port which is an extension of the SATA bus and to the OS is no different than an internal disk. By default EEPC will encrypt all internal lettered partitions.

           

          Linux by default will not recognize a NTFS formatted disk and likewise Windows will generally not recognize a Linux partition format leaving only FAT32 as the common standard. However, even with the disk FAT32, the disk will be encrypted by EEPC.

           

          The best option in your case would be to speak with you IT team to request an exception to the policy to allow for a specific lettered partition to not be encrypted.

          • 2. Re: How to turn off encryption for a secondary drive?
            jwhendy

            Thanks for the quick reply. Mainly I was looking for a definitive answer regarding what EEPC is doing, as for a while I was going crazy wondering why NTFS-formatted partitions (from Linux) were showing up as RAW in the disk utility on Win7. I have ntfs-3g installed, so recognition of NTFS partitions isn't related. I'll get in touch with IT and see what they say. Thanks again!

            • 3. Re: How to turn off encryption for a secondary drive?
              jwhendy

              As a follow up, I just went through hours of frustration after resolving to just use my secondary SSD in an external SATA -> USB housing from a dead drive I had laying around. EEPC doesn't encrypt external drives, right? Well, sort of. I must have tried 8-10 variations last night until almost 3am trying just to get a disk that was accessible from both Windows (encrypted with EEPC 7.x) and Arch Linux. My desired configuration was to have a small boot partition and the rest of the drive (~110G) encrypted with Truecrypt/NTFS.

              - Format Truecrypt/NTFS from Linux, try to open in Windows and Truecrypt says the header is damaged, but still unlocks it. Once shown in File Explorer, though, Windows says it's not formatted

              - Format Truecrypt/NTFS from Windows, and Linux Truecrypt can't even open it (says the password is wrong, but it's not)

              - Remove boot partition... hey, maybe it's a thing with Windows and multiple partitions? Repeat the above. Same behavior.

              - Format straight NTFS (no encryption), as maybe it's a Truecrypt thing? Format from Linux/Windows and neither can open the other's formatted disk.

              - Add in an NTFS format from Minitool Partition Wizard and Windows *still* thinks it's not formatted. Even Windows tools don't agree with each other.


              This is the same behavior I was getting with the internal drive, explained in more detail here. Today, it dawned on me that there are some dedicated equipment computers at work that aren't connected to the network and thus might not be encrypted. Found one. I format with Windows on my laptop and plug the drive into the computer that does not have McAfee Endpoint Encryption installed... it thinks it's not formatted! That was the nail in the coffin for me in terms of at least realizing I wasn't absolutely insane.


              After getting home, I checked another external drive formatted with NTFS and it's recognizable by Windows and Linux... what the heck? Then it dawned on me... I wonder if EEPC can "flag" a drive as under it's realm if it's plugged in to the SATA port (internal)? It was still showing options for eject, so it appeared Windows considered it removable, but it still made me wonder if somehow McAfee had permanently "tainted" it when I had it inside. I use Linux to "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=4" in order to wipe everything before the start of the first partition, then re-partition and format since this also wiped the partition table. Success!


              It now works, but I spent a lot of wasted time mucking around with this. I just searched for references to this, but didn't stumble on any obvious documents/tech bulletins. Do you let customers know that if a secondary internal drive is removed for external use that it'll either be recognized by your McAfee-installed computer/not by any others or vice versa?