There have been reports that PIV Cards, Smartcards, or Tokens not able to authenticate at the Preboot Authentication screen when plugged in to USB 3.0 ports (xHCI connections). Legacy BIOS (MBR) may also not allow use of USB 3.0 ports at the Preboot authentication screen by PIV cards, Smartcards, or Tokens, which may prevent authentication. USB 1.0 and 2.0 can also run into this limitation if the system is using xHCI connections (USB 3.0) running in Legacy BIOS (MBR) mode. Although there are some limitations to using USB 3.0 ports on systems, this article will provide some guidelines which may allow these devices to function.
NOTE: Systems using only USB 3.0 ports will not allow any USB devices at Preboot, including keyboards.
A Feature Request has been submitted to allow the use of USB 3.0 (xHCI) within the Preboot Environment, out of the box.
The following troubleshooting steps can be attempted to get USB 3.0 working with some modifications in the BIOS configuration:
If Legacy BIOS is being used, and the above guidelines still do not allow the devices to be used on USB 3.0 ports, it may be necessary to switch to UEFI (GPT). Work with the applicable hardware vendor for proper steps to switch to UEFI BIOS (GPT).
Dell, HP, and Microsoft Surface Pro systems typically use AMI, HP, and Surface UEFI firmware for the BIOS. Symantec has tested PIV Cards, Smartcards, and tokens running on various models from these vendors. If the system in question is not using an AMI, HP, or Surface-branded UEFI, the devices may not function properly.
Symantec Corporation is committed to product quality and satisfied customers. This Feature Request was reviewed by Symantec Corporation to be addressed and was addressed in Symantec Endpoint Encryption 11.1.3 and above.
NOTE: In many cases, Fast/Quick Boot may still need to be disabled in order for USB devices to work in USB 3.0 ports at Preboot. Fast/Quick Boot in the BIOS will skip certain POST operations and not all devices may be sufficiently powered on during boot, or even be enabled. If a keyboard continues to to register keystrokes, disable Fast/Quick Boot in the BIOS to help.
A similar Feature Request has been submitted for Symantec Drive Encryption 10.4. For information on this request, see article TECH174550.