Symantec Drive Encryption (formerly known as PGP Whole Disk Encryption) Does Not Start or Pauses at 0%


Article ID: 157635


Updated On:


Drive Encryption


When trying to encrypt a disk, encryption does not start or pauses at 0%.

This occurs on pre-installed Windows 8 or Windows 7 SP1 systems that have a GPT boot partition enabled or computers that were shipped or preloaded with UEFI mode enabled and GPT partition tables. Currently Symantec Encryption Desktop versions prior to 10.3.1 do not support UEFI boot mode or GPT partitioning.

Warning: Symantec Encryption Desktop versions prior to 10.3.0 are not supported on Windows 8.  See AL1513 for more details on Windows 8 support.



Computers shipped with Windows 8 or Windows 7 SP1 which contain new GPT partitioning and/or have UEFI enabled will run into problems with Symantec Drive Encryption prior to versions 10.3.1.  Even after formatting the drive and installing a supported MBR partition, some information can be left behind on sectors on the disk and cause encryption to stall or not start.  Therefore the previous GPT partition information does not get removed and causes a problem when trying to encrypt the disk.



  • Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.0 and previous did not support computers using UEFI firmware.
  • Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.1 includes UEFI support for Windows 8, but not Windows 7.
  • Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.3.2 has support for UEFI for Windows 7 64-bit and Windows 8.0/8.1.
  • Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.2 and above now supports GUID Partition Table (GPT) formatting on Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit systems and Windows 8.0/8.1 64-bit systems, running in UEFI mode. Systems using UEFI should upgrade to Symantec Drive Encryption 10.3.2 or above to obtain this full support for this new functionality.

Refer to article TECH203071 for more details and requirements on UEFI support and Symantec Drive Encryption.

For more information on Windows 8 Support, see AL1513.


If upgrading to the latest version of the software is not available, and the system being used is absolutely necessary, additional workarounds exist such as wiping the drive completely with a sophisticated wipe utility, such as DBAN to remove all sectors from the disk.  Once the system has been completely wiped, and the BIOS is using UEFI BIOS Emulated, or BIOS mode, encryption should work.  Otherwise, contact Symantec Support for more details if necessary.


Applies To

Windows 7 SP1 with UEFI mode enabled in the BIOS

Windows 8 installed with UEFI mode enabled in BIOS

Legacy Master Boot Record (MBR) Bios support enabled with GPT partition