Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a computer that has checkpoint full disk encryption installed on it.

For reasons I won't go into I can not remove the encryption. However I want to install a new operating system. I don't care about the data loss. But I do care about being able to install the new operating system. One point to note is that when I boot from a linux live cd I cannot mount the disk - is this just indicative of FDE being enabled rather than some additional security being in place?

Am I correct in thinking that repartitioning the disk will revert it to a usable state?

share|improve this question
Do you want to replace the existing operating system, or install it on a new partition in addition to the existing OS? Does the existing OS take up the whole disk as one big partition? – Mike Rowave Sep 9 '11 at 12:00
I just want to replace it but if I could install on a seperate partition that would be nice. – Derek Ekins Sep 9 '11 at 12:10
Does the OS take up the whole disk? If it does, it will be difficult to impossible to shrink the encrypted partition to make space for the new OS while keeping the data intact, unless the particular encryption software has a feature to allow that. – Mike Rowave Sep 9 '11 at 12:22
it does take up the whole disk. I don't have the password for the encryption software so this is not a possibility I don't think :) – Derek Ekins Sep 9 '11 at 12:59
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Try connecting the drive with a USB hard disk enclosure (and not a cheap one). If it fails too, it's possible the drive has an ATA password on it, which isn't too hard to work around, but costs about $100 if you can't do it yourself. (Not that I can.)

Also: please post the error you get mounting the disk.

One further thought: DBAN (Darik's Boot and Nuke).

share|improve this answer
Good tips. I would guess it's an ATA password. – Martijn Heemels Sep 8 '11 at 14:41
Thanks for this - I don't have an enclosure to try but will post error messages. Would DBAN work even with an ATA password? – Derek Ekins Sep 8 '11 at 17:03
booting into fedora from a live image in disk utility I can see the drive /dev/sda1, the size, that it is NTFS but the volumes are unknown. I have the option to edit the partition. Seems like it is good to go. If it had an ATA password I am guessing I would not see this info? – Derek Ekins Sep 8 '11 at 18:47
Yeah, the fact that you can see NTFS means that you can wipe the drive. Happy formatting. – Broam Sep 9 '11 at 14:43


During the installation you will be able to repartition and format the hard drive. Formatting will allow you to wipe all the encryption, making the hard drive usable for you. Because of the encryption, I don't think you'll be able to mount the disk, but you should still be able to see, format and partition it.

share|improve this answer
thanks. I updated the question with some more information - the drive is not available when booting from a live cd - does this mean anything? – Derek Ekins Sep 8 '11 at 13:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .