Thursday, 29 December 2011

Dual-Booting McAfee Endpoint Encryption

I've just spent the best part of two days getting my laptop back up and running. I foolishly installed Kubuntu 11.10, which overwrote the MBR and then I could not boot to Windows, which is what I use at work and because the Windows partition was encrypted there was little I could do to get back in.

After a bit of time wasting with the help desk, I decided to bite the bullet and reinstall everything to get back my dual-boot setup, hoping that I had backed up everything of importance.

In essence the process is fairly simple:
  1. Install Windows
  2. Install Kubuntu (Linux)
  3. Ensure that you can boot to both OSs
  4. Install McAfee Endpoint Encryption
Once all that is done, I get the Endpoint Encryption logon prompt, before the Grub menu, so that I can now boot to either Windows or Kubuntu.

We use McAfee Endpoint Encryption 5.2 so I don't know whether this will work for other versions.

Today I found this post which provides a good tip on how to back up the MBR, using the trusted DD command in Linux ( and a different (better?) way of doing the dual boot dance with McAfee EE):
dd if=/dev/sda of=/your_usb_drive/safeboot.mbr bs=512 count=1
If only I've read this before I started.

Note to restore MBR copy safeboot.mbr to /boot from Linux and then you'll need to add an entry to the grub menu, see this how-to for instructions.

2 comments:

  1. I think that the 'better' instructions you link to leave you with an encrypted Windows partition and unencrypted Linux partition - meaning that you can't read the Windows partition from Linux.

    With the method you used, can you mount the Windows partition from Linux?

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    Replies
    1. You can't mount the windows partition from Linux if it's encrypted, as far as I know.

      I'm fine with this solution as it's my work laptop and I just wanted to have a separate OS for personal use without the need to lug around two laptops.

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