Mac OS X 10.6.5 may render Mac with PGP disk encryption unbootable

PGP Corporation advises:

Mac OS X PGP WDE customers should not apply the recent Mac OS X 10.6.5 update. Compatibility issues may prevent the system from successfully booting.

In the interim, customers can accomplish the upgrade safely if the PGP Whole Disk Encrypted system is first decrypted, then apply the MAC OS X 10.6.5 update and then re-encrypt. We will provide a detailed update how to upgrade a PGP Whole Disk Encrypted system to Mac OS X 10.6.5 as soon as a solution has been identified.

For customers who have already upgraded to 10.6.5 with PGP WDE encryption in place and thus stuck in an unbootable state, we recommend booting from the PGP Recovery CD.

More info here.


  1. It never ceases to amaze at just how slow MDN can be to get out news stories at times. This being something critical to those that use PGP disk encryption makes it even worse. This ‘news’ story actually broke within hours of the release of 10.6.5 on Wed, but if you relied solely on MDN as your news source then you wouldn’t have know until 2 days later and possibly too late. The good news is if you have or can make a PGP recover CD you should be able to quickly resolve the issue.

  2. A bit off topic…

    I have some problems with the latest system 10.6.5 update.

    Clicking on an image file (tif, psd, jpg, etc) does not open Photoshop. The only way to open a file is to drop it onto Photoshop.

    Anyone else have this problem?

    Also, when using the Calculator to find the latest currency exchange rate between two currencies, the exchange rate update does not work.

  3. @bad man,
    Have you tried going to “Get Info” on one of those files and then selecting the program to open that file type? You only need to do it once for a given file type. Maybe the MIME settings were reset with 10.6.5.

  4. @bad man,

    Updating the OS reset your file associations. You need to select one file of each type that is affected (.jpg, .psd, etc.) and do the following:

    1) Choose “Get Info” from the File menu.
    2) Set the “Open With…” selection to the application of your choice.
    3) Click the “Change All” button.


  5. I updated my MacBook Pro which is running PGP WDE before I saw this article. Fortunately, there were no ill effects. Contrary to some other posts, the PGP software has always been solid and trouble-free. And I’m not a privacy freak, I have corporate intellectual property on my laptop, and policy requires it to be encrypted. I would recommend PGP to anyone who needed whole-disk encryption on their Mac (yeah, you can create encrypted disk images, but WDE is totally seamless).

  6. Yes, you are right. And the FBI/CIA/NSA want the ability to decrypt any communication (presumably with a court order). As usual, this is a case of closing the barn door after the horse is out. Robust encryption algorithms are well know and internationally available – they bad guys will still communicate privately while everyone else forced to comply (and many technologies cannot be so easily adapted – Skype is one example).

    Keep an eye on this, write your Congressmen, and donate money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation for the inevitable court challenges.

  7. I downloaded the combo update three times, but my machine refused to open each of them because, according to the window that appeared, the machine could not recognize it.

    So I’m staying put at 10.6.4 until Apple fixes that disaster.

  8. I’ve used PGP for 15 years and would never be without the software. It’s superb, necessary in this troubled world, and performs flawlessly every time.

    The company itself is a different story!

    The company and its web site are total shit. I’ve never had such trouble. I actually want to upgrade from PGP Desktop to Whole Disk Encryption. Try to find a way to give the company some money. Impossible! Looks like it was good news in disguise.

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