Troubleshooting PGP Error -1 on Mac OSX attempting to Encrypt a Drive


Article ID: 157207


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Symantec Products



Troubleshooting PGP Error #-1 on Mac attempting to Encrypt a Drive


PGP Error #-1



This error occurs as a general failure to encrypt a drive with PGP Whole Disk Encryption 10.2.1 and above and could caused by several different scenarios.



Problem Scenario 1: The drive has been encrypted/decrypted multiple times as a testing scenario.  In some rare events, the PGP WDE files may have been left behind and did not get removed as one of the previous decryption operations.  If these WDE files still reside on the system, then a collision may occur when new files are attempting to be written and cannot, causing the failure to encrypt the drive.

Solution Scenario 1: Check in the '/' (root) directory for the PGPWDE01 and PGPWDE02 and move them out to a different location and try the encryption process again.


Problem Scenario 2: The drive in question uses an unsupported file system or partition scheme.  On Mac OSX, HFS+ (Journaled Extended) is supported by Whole Disk Encryption using the GUID Partition Table (GPT) scheme. 

Solution Scenario 2: FAT32 can be used with the MS-DOS partition scheme, but if FAT32 has been used for Windows/Mac compatibility, it is recommended to take the USB drive to a Windows system, and then format the drive as FAT32 there, then bring it back and encrypt on the Mac.

NTFS is not supported for Whole Disk Encryption on Mac OSX.


Problem Scenario 3: During the Whole Disk Encryption process, the prompt to confirm the passphrase again pops up and the user clicks "cancel". 

Solution Scenario 3: If this pop-up occurs, it is necessary to re-enter the passphrase and clicking "cancel" will cause the problem.


Problem Scenario 4: The installation of PGP has not been successful, or during the installation, the option for the Whole Disk Encryption component was disabled, such that encryption is not possible.

Solution Scenario 4: Uninstall PGP Whole Disk Encryption and re-install.  During the installation, ensure the Whole Disk Encryption component is checked.  During the installation, a "Customize" button is available, clicking this will provide a view of the checkbox to ensure it is checked.


Problem Scenario 5: The drive has had previous drive modifications made to it, such as dual-boot and was not restored back to its pristine state.  In this scenario, it is difficult to understand what exactly has happened to the disk, but a format of the disk does not resolve the issue.

Solution Scenario 5: If the affected drive in question is using a supported file system, and does not contain any unsupported file systems, and no PGPWDE0X files reside on the disk, it may have run into this situation.  If this is the case, re-partitioning the drive and re-installing Mac OSX should resolve this problem.  Using Disk Utility, create 3 partitions to break the current partitions, and then re-assign the disk 1 partition.  Install Mac OSX on the disk and attempt to encrypt the drive.

The solution in Scenario 5 is a last resort if the above solutions does not correct this issue.  This solution has been known to resolve the problems with the disk in every case reported.


Problem Scenario 6: Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.0 MP1HF2 (Build 9162) is being used to encrypt the drive.

Solution Scenario 6: Please see KB TECH207099 for solutions to this issue (upgrade to newer mainline client build).