USB 3.0 support at POA level in SafeGuard Enterprise and SafeGuard Easy

  • Article ID: 113201
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  • Updated: 03 Mar 2016

Devices connected to a USB 3.0 port may not be recognized in the SafeGuard Power-On Authentication (POA).

Known to apply to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)
SafeGuard Device Encryption 7.0
SafeGuard Device Encryption
SafeGuard  Device Encryption 6.10.0

What To Do

The FreeBSD used at POA level in SafeGuard Enterprise and SafeGuard Easy does not natively support USB 3.0 controllers that do not provide USB 2.0 / USB 1.x backward compatibility. If the USB 3.0 controller / port does not provide backward compatibility, use an alternative USB 2.0 / 1.x port to connect your device.

Note: This only affects the device at POA level - there are no limitations under the Windows Operating System with regards to USB 3.0 functionality.

Some current Intel USB 3.0 controllers contain an integrated USB 2.0 hub. Devices which are attached to a USB 3.0 port can be internally switched to a USB 2.0 port on this hub. Thus, these devices can be accessed using a USB 2.0 driver (e.g. a keyboard in the BIOS). Which ports can be switched depends on the hardware manufacturer and the respective BIOS implementation.

In some cases it can also be possible that the external ports are fixed connected to the USB 3.0 controller and thus not usable in the preboot environment.

As of SafeGuard Device Encryption 6.10, the POA can map switchable USB 3.0 ports to the USB 2.0 hub and with that use attached devices in the preboot environment.

The following Intel USB 3.0 Chipsets are supported as of version 6.10:

PID:      VID:

0x1e31  0x8086

0x8c31  0x8086

0x9c31  0x8086

0x0f37  0x8086

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

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