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I have a dual boot system with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 16.04. Windows is installed on sda1 and Ubuntu on sda5. Everything was working fine until I encrypted the whole disk from windows using Symantec PGP Desktop 10.

Now when I boot the computer, I get the Symantec login screen and after entering the username and password, I get the grub entries. I can log in to windows by choosing the appropriate entry from grub but if I choose Ubuntu, it doesn't boot shows the error

uncleared pch fifo underrun on pch transcoder a

I can see my Linux file system if I run ls (hd0,5)/ from the grub command line. This proves that the files are intact. I tried these commands in the grub command prompt:

set root=(hd0,5)
linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda5
initrd /initrd.img
boot

This gives me another error saying

mounting /dev/sda5 on /root failed: No such device

Is there any way to boot Ubuntu without decrypting the whole disk?

  • It's generally a bad idea to utilize Windows software on a disk that contains a filesystem that Windows can't (or won't) recognize. Most commonly used Linux filesystems (ext2/3/4, brtfs, etc.) fall into this category. I would image the drive to avoid data loss and then consider this a learning experience. Sorry, I don't have the right collection of software & operating systems to develop a tested solution for you. You might have better luck at superuser.com with this one. – Elder Geek Jan 12 '17 at 20:46
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Unfortunately, no, you'll have to decrypt your drive.

As mentioned in the manual for the Symantec software, a special kernel module is installed to allow the system to see and otherwise be aware of the fact that encryption is taking place. Therefore, everything throws an error and boot fails.

Windows is unaffected because it's aware that encryption is going on, and can handle it properly due to the proper drivers being installed and loaded in boot-time.

Apparently, Symantec's tools do support full disk encryption, as per their help. However, the encryption programs must be installed on all operating systems before encryption takes place. You may use either OS to actually run the decryption.

Therefore, to resolve this issue, just decrypt your drive. Then, install the Symantec program (same version) on Linux, and then re-encrypt from either operating system. Both OSes will have the required drivers/modules, and boot should run normally.

  • This document says it does include support for dual-boot operating system environment. I am guessing it will work only if I encrypt the disk from Linux. – Rahul Jan 12 '17 at 20:53
  • Thanks @Kaz Wolfe! Unfortunately the Symantec tool is not compatible with Ubuntu 16.04. I will need to downgrade to 14.04. – Rahul Jan 12 '17 at 21:41

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