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Fanbois howl as OS X update bricks PGPed Macs

Disaster averted

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Users of PGP's Whole Disk Encryption for Macs got a nasty surprise when they upgraded to the latest OS X update once they discovered their systems were no longer able to reboot.

It seems that Apple and the Symantec-owned PGP suffered a near-fatal failure to communicate that 10.6.5 ships with a new EFI booter that was incompatible with the encryption software's boot guard. As a result, the update rendered Macs using WDE as little more than expensive paperweights.

“PGP you DO HAVE A FREAKING DEVELOPERS LICENCE FOR APPLE RIGHT???” one outraged user vented here. “YOU CANNOT TEST SYSTEM RELEASES IN ADVANCE???”

Test versions of the update have been available to developers for a while now, but it's not clear if they included the new EFI booter. If not, the fault could lie with Apple. The world will probably never know.

Fortunately, a fix was provided Thursday morning that's relatively painless. It involves booting off the PGP recovery CD and then logging in to OS X. An automatic self-repair process that's part of the Mac bootup sequence will straighten out things from there. A variation on that theme is to put the bricked machine in target mode and boot from another Mac running PGP.

WDE users who have yet to install the update may safely do so by decrypting their systems before running the update, PGP said.

Yeah, preventing and fixing the goof may be a hassle, but at least there's a happy outcome. ®

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