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Removing McAfee Endpoint Encryption before reformatting HDD

Tags:
  • McAfee
  • Encryption
  • Storage
  • Hard Drives
  • External Hard Drive
Last response: in Storage
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April 3, 2014 4:26:32 PM

What is the correct procedure for removing McAfee Endpoint Encryption from an encrypted HDD formatted via eSATA?

My work laptop's lease ended, and my IT helpdesk said that I should just transfer my files using an external HDD (the network share is almost full).

So I grabbed my brand new SSHD (trying to be 'good' and use a 'known clean' drive), and my HDD dock, hooked it up via an eSATA cable and formatted the drive like I normally would.

Turns out, the McAfee software treats internal & external drives differently and automatically encrypted the drive without prompting to do so. Apparently ITS configured McAfee to treat all eSATA drives as internal, and apply McAfee Endpoint Encryption when you format the drive.

Also, it seems like the encryption is linked exclusively to the laptop that I now have to send back, so my new computer can't even read the drive. (the workaround was to use RDP to transfer the files)

Now, I'm done transferring data, but I don't want to brick the drive when I try to reformat / wipe it (or when I send the laptop back). I still have access to the laptop for another day or two, but then it has to go back. McAfee's "Decrypt Drive" option doesn't work (I guess b/c it thinks it is an internal drive).

What is the 'right' way to go about getting the encryption off of this drive. Again, I can still access the drive for a couple of days, so if there are keys to export, or somehow a setting that would 'allow' this to be read at a minimum on another machine running the corporate encryption key that would at least buy me more time to figure this out.

Also, I asked my system admin / IT POC, and said he has the same issue one of his drives, so if I figure it out, let him know (go figure). So 'corporate assistance' is an option either.

Thank you in advance!




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a c 99 G Storage
April 3, 2014 6:40:09 PM

Hi,

Try to install the Microsoft hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979344 for eSATA drives issues . I hope it will solve your problem.
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April 3, 2014 11:05:02 PM

trekzone said:
Hi,

Try to install the Microsoft hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979344 for eSATA drives issues . I hope it will solve your problem.




Trekzone, You NAILED the issue, and I was super excited for a while...but that was short lived.

Apparently KB979344 was included in Service Pack 1

Found this article from 2011 when searching on the the error I received when I tried to apply the hotfix:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-U...

Unfortunately, it looks like he had the same issue with the same encryption software, and it doesn't appear to have been resolved. I really appreciate the tip though, maybe that'll get me going in the right direction...tomorrow!
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a c 99 G Storage
April 3, 2014 11:52:47 PM

Just follow the important registry information provided in using the hotfix and I think you'll be good. Best of luck.
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April 4, 2014 7:51:27 AM

trekzone said:
Just follow the important registry information provided in using the hotfix and I think you'll be good. Best of luck.


Followed it to the letter, and it didn't work (double-checked it 5x too). From what I've been able to find, the reason it's not 'applicable' is because this hotfix was included in SP1. I think it's an issue that is either being caused by McAfee's software itself, or some group policy setting that's telling McAfee to do it this way...but I'm striking out everywhere, so i wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong on that too. Thanks again!
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