BUG REPORT:Slow drive encryption on new Intel i5 and i7 processors with Power Failure Safety Mode enabled


Article ID: 155819


Updated On:


Drive Encryption


The time to encrypt a drive on MacBook Pro computers and Windows computers with Intel i5 and i7 processors is taking longer than normal.  This can occur when using the Power Failure Safety mode in PGP Desktop or the --safe option when using the pgpwde command.


Symantec Engineering previously discovered a problem in the shared code (cross-platform) which causes slow encryption times on computers with Intel i5 and i7 processors when using Power Failure Safety mode.

There still seems to be a problem on certain hard drive models however (listed below in the table) with regard to certain Advanced Format drives and the encryption times of our Drive Encryption software.


This issue of slower than normal encryption times is fixed in PGP Desktop 10.2 MP4 for a majority of Mac and Windows systems with Intel i5 and i7 processors.   However, some systems may still be affected due to issues with the hard drive installed on the computer (see the note below).

To download the 10.2 MP4 version of PGP Desktop, log in to your Symantec File Connect account at https://fileconnect.symantec.com
Note: Some users have reported that even after updating to PGP Desktop 10.2 MP4 or higher, the encryption time improves somewhat, but it is still significantly slower than expected.
If you experience this, check the hardware table listed below and see if your drive is one of the affected hard drive models.
Here is a list of the drive models that support has identified as still having a problem:
Drive Size/Type
Firmware Version(s)
APPLE HDD - HTS727575A9E362
750 GB 7200 RPM SATA II (3Gbps)
APPLE HDD - HTS547550A9E384
500 GB 5400 RPM SATA II (3Gbps)
Hitachi - HTS725050A9A362
500 GB 7200 RPM SATA I (1.5gbps)
500 GB 5400 RPM SATA II (3Gbps)
750 GB 5400 RPM SATA II (3Gbps)


First, use the Mac OS X Disk Utility to repair any disk permissions on the system. This can be beneficial to use if permissions are incorrect on certain files in the Mac OS X operating system which can cause performance issues when trying to perform data intensive tasks on the computer.

See the following resources on repairing permissions using Disk Utility:


To repair disk permissions:

1. Confirm the disk permissions are correct by clicking Verify Disk Permissions.
2. If errors are shown, click Repair Disk Permissions.

Below are some other options that may help when disabling Power Failure Safety and enabling Maximum CPU Encryption:

Option 1)  Disable Power Failure safety mode during Encryption while encrypting via pgpwde command line. This can be done by not specifying the --safe parameter. This option also works on Linux computers.

Instead of using the --safe parameter during encryption e.g. pgpwde --secure --disk 0 --user "username" -p "passphrase" --safe, use --dedicated mode (encrypts the drive faster by using more CPU cycles) and without the Power Failure safety mode.  If using this feature, make certain that you have a reliable power source and disable power options in the operating system to prevent the system from hibernating or going to sleep.  Avoid performing any system updates during this time.


pgpwde --secure --disk 0 --user "username" -p "passphrase" --dedicated

Option 2)  If the disk is being encrypted manually in the User Interface of Symantec Encryption Desktop,  place a check mark next to Maximum CPU Usage and remove the check mark next to Power Failure Safety.


Option 3)  If using Auto-Encrypt via Consumer Policy, confirm you do not have Power Failure Safety enabled for the policy.

1.  Log in to the Symantec Encryption Server (formerly known as PGP Universal Server)

2.  Click Consumers > Consumer Policy.

3.  Select the name of the Consumer Policy that you wish to edit (typically Default).

4. Next to Symantec Encryption Desktop, click on Desktop.

5. Select the Drive Encryption tab.

6.  Place a checkmark next to Force maximum CPU usage and make sure that Force Power Failure safety is not checked.

7. Click Save.

Symantec Corporation is committed to product quality and satisfied customers.  This issue is currently being considered by Symantec Corporation to be addressed in a forthcoming version or Maintenance Pack of the product.  Please be sure to refer back to this document periodically as any changes to the status of the issue will be reflected here.

Applies To

PGP Whole Disk Encryption v10.2 Build 1950 or newer 

Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3

Mac OS X 10.7 and 10.8

Windows XP and Windows 7

Intel i5/i7 Apple MacBook Pro models (mid-2011, 2012, and 2013 revisions)

Intel i3, i5, or i7 PC models (HP and Dell have been the most common to see the problem)

Encrypting with Power Failure Safety mode