Unable to format a hard drive encrypted with Symantec Encryption Desktop (formerly known as PGP Whole Disk Encryption) on Mac with errors
Last Updated July 15, 2013
After a drive has been encrypted with Symantec Drive Encryption for the Mac Operating System, it is not possible to reformat the disk on the Mac OS and will produce the error: "POSIX reports: The Operation couldn't be completed. cannot allocate memory"
Upon trying to erase or re-partition the encrypted disk with Disk Utility, the following errors can be displayed respectively:
"Disk Erase failed with the error: Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed".
"Partition failed with the error: Wiping volume data to prevent future accidental probing failed".
This is expected behavior and is documented in the release notes of Encryption Desktop for Mac:
"Erasing/reformatting encrypted disks: Do not erase or reformat a Symantec Drive Encryption-encrypted disk without decrypting the disk first. [24999/2469951]"
If it is necessary to reformat a drive, first decrypt the drive. If decryption is not possible, but a Windows machine is available, Diskpart can be used in Windows to run a "clean" on the disk. Once this is done, it will be possible to re-partition and re-format the disk.
Check out the following Microsoft KB for information on this:
Other third-party utilities may be used to completely re-build the partitions can help workaround this. Once all the partitions have been removed, use Disk Utility to re-partition the disk, and reformat, and the drive will be usable once again.
NOTE: It may be necessary to follow these steps on a system that does not have Symantec Drive Encryption installed as the BootGuard File System protects the encryption areas on the disk and may prevent proper formatting. If the above steps fail, try on a system that does not have the encryption software installed.
Imported Document ID: TECH165586
Subscribing will provide email updates when this Article is updated. Login is required to Subscribe