SafeGuard Enterprise: you need to press a hot key to load the POA

  • Article ID: 108971
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  • Updated: 09 Oct 2015

After installing SafeGuard Enterprise, it is necessary to press a POA hot key in order to load the POA and to boot into Windows.

Known to apply to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)
Sophos Disk Encryption 5.61.0
SafeGuard Device Encryption

Operating systems
All supported operating systems

What To Do

With the release of SafeGuard Enterprise, the pre-boot authentication (PBA) known from SafeGuard Easy, was changed from a 16-bit functional limited "application" to a hardened freeBSD based power on authentication (POA). This change means that SafeGuard Enterprise can now support a wide range of Smart Cards, Tokens and USB devices at POA level, which was not possible before.

The freeBSD that is used to load the POA is a hardware dependent operating system. This means that in order to use all the functionality, you may need to adjust the configuration according to the system you are running. (This process can be compared to a default Windows XP installation that might also require additional drivers in order to support certain hardware components.)

By allowing you, the user, to configure the behavior of the freeBSD, SafeGuard Enterprise can support an even wider range of hardware than would be possible if there was only one default configuration.

At present, you make these configuration changes by using the POA hot keys. Within the SafeGuard Enterprise installation process you can include these via command line switches.

We are currently working on the POA default design so that in future it will support a great variety of hardware setups without the need to change the freeBSD default configuration using hot keys.

Further information about SafeGuard Enterprise POA hot keys can be found in the knowledgebase article Hotkeys and the POA.


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

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