Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

PGP Desktop disks not mounting after OS X 10.7.4 update

While some PGP Desktop installations may stop working, you can clone PGP disks to unencrypted images to access your files.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler
3 min read

Some users of Symantec's PGP Desktop encryption software are finding that after installing OS X 10.7.4, the program does not appear to respond properly and encrypted disks can no longer be accessed. When attempting to mount the drives, nothing happens, and the program states in its logs that the disks are already mounted.

If you experience this problem, then you may find an entry similar to the following in the PGP Desktop log files:

2012-05-12 9:52:38: Setting up PGP Virtual Disks
2012-05-12 9:52:38: Setting up PGP Whole Disks
2012-05-12 9:52:39: Setting up Secure Messaging Services
2012-05-12 9:53:25: (Thread 1971836045) -[CPGPDiskController (0x17CC8B0) mountDiskAtPath:readOnly:] Attempting to mount disk at path: /Users/jsmith/Documents/pgpdrive.pgd
2012-05-12 9:53:25: (Thread 1971836045) -[CPGPDiskController (0x17CC8B0) openDiskAtPath:] Opening disk /Users/jsmith/Documents/pgpdrive.pgd
2012-05-12 9:53:25: (Thread 1971836045) -[CPGPDiskController (0x17CC8B0) algorithmForDiskAtPath:] Determining encryption algorithm for disk: /Users/jsmith/Documents/pgpdrive.pgd
2012-05-12 9:53:25: (Thread 1971836045) -[CPGPDiskController (0x17CC8B0) mountDiskAtPath:readOnly:] Disk already mounted. Ignoring.
2012-05-12 9:53:27: (Thread 1971836045) -[CPGPDiskController (0x17CC8B0) diskCloser:] Closing disk 0xB474970 /Users/jsmith/Documents/pgpdrive.pgd

This problem seems to be specific for users who installed the OS X update when using versions of PGP Desktop prior to the recently released version 10.2.1. If users upgraded to 10.2.1 before installing OS X 10.7.4, then the problem does not appear to surface; however, once the problem has surfaced then upgrading to 10.2.1 after the fact does not seem to correct it.

To avoid this problem, be sure you install the latest version of PGP Desktop before upgrading to OS X 10.7.4, but if you have not done so then this bug will prevent access to files on your PGP encrypted volumes. However, PGP Desktop user James M. Madden figured out a workaround that will at least allow users to regain access to their files from the encrypted disk.

The workaround is essentially to create a new unencrypted disk image clone from the PGP disk by first supplying the keys to decrypt the file and then cloning it using Disk Utility's image Restore feature:

  1. Try to mount the PGP image by double clicking it or using the mount command in PGP Desktop. The first time you do this you should be asked to enter the encryption key for the disk. Do so.
  2. Open Disk Utility. You should see a disk image in the left column with a name something like 'nnn MB Symantec Corporation PGPdisk Media'.
  3. Click in the disk column on blank space so that no disk is selected.
  4. Select New Image from the tool bar on the main window. In the resulting dialog, enter a name for the alternate disk as you want it to appear when mounted, choose a size that's larger than that of the original image and enter a name for the new alternate IMG file. Click Save.
  5. Select the Restore function from the function bar on the main window.
  6. Click in the Source field and then select the Symantec disk from the left column so that it appears in the Source field.
  7. Click in the Destination field and then select the disk image that you created in step 4.
  8. Select Restore to copy the data from the original encrypted disk to the new image.

Special thanks goes to MacFixIt reader "outer" for submitting this issue.

Questions? Comments? Have a fix? Post them below or e-mail us!
Be sure to check us out on Twitter and the CNET Mac forums.