Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption (SDE) 4.60: how to perform an emergency decryption and uninstall SDE

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  • Updated: 11 Oct 2013

After experiencing physical disk damage, and using a professional hard disk recovery company to replicate your data to a new hard disk drive, you may need to perform an emergency decryption and uninstallation on the new hard disk in order to retrieve your data.

Note: during an emergency uninstallation, it is essential that the decryption process is not interrupted, as data loss could occur. Therefore:

  • do not shut down or reboot the computer until Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption (SDE) has rebooted itself twice after decrypting
  • if the hard disk is on a laptop computer, ensure that it is connected to the electrical socket (mains power), rather than using its internal battery
  • if possible, before starting the encryption, switch off any BIOS power options that may interrupt the process

First seen in

Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption 4.60.0

What to do

To perform an emergency decryption, you will need to use the Emergency CD.

  1. Place the Emergency CD in the tray and boot the machine from the CD
  2. When the logon screen appears, enter the password of a user who has the right to uninstall SDE for this hard disk. Note: The SYSTEM user always has this right.
  3. Select the option to Uninstall. As described in the notes above, you should make every possible effort to ensure that the power supply to the hard disk does not fail.

After uninstalling Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption, the workstation reboots twice automatically. The hard disk will then be decrypted and SDE will no longer be installed. Before re-installing SDE, see Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption (SDE): preparing the hard disk for installation.

 
If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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