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I have a corporate laptop with a slow 5400 rpm C: drive, and I want to clone the drive to an SSD drive to improve performance on the laptop. The plan is to replace the original drive with the new SSD inside the laptop. However the original drive is encrypted using McAfee Endpoint Encryption 6.1. So I need to do a raw partition copy (bit-by-bit) of the encrypted partition(s) for any hope of this to work.

The operating system is Windows 7 Enterprise 64 bit. I have access to the laptop, meaning I can boot inside the Windows 7 OS, log into Windows as a user, and even install software. However I am not capable of decrypting the drive.

These are the stats on the source drive (spinning) and the new target drive (ssd).

Original Source Drive (spinning 5400 rpm drive):
Physical Size:  300 GB
Partition 1:  100 MB 
Partition 2:  102 GB (encrypted using McAfee)
Empty space:  197 GB

New Target Drive (OCZ Agility 3 SSD):
Physical Size: 240 GB
Empty Space: 240 GB

I tried booting from a recovery CD using Macrium Reflect version 5.0 to do a "Forensic Copy" of the encrypted partition, but the clone failed with no error explanation. The smaller partition 1 worked fine and cloned successfully since the smaller partition 1 is not encrypted, but the encrypted partition did not work. This product support thread said it should work, but I get the message clone failed when I try.

Is there another product which is more likely to be successful at cloning these partitions to the SSD? Is cloning an encrypted partition a bad idea, and should I simply avoid doing this? Has anyone successfully cloned a Win 7 partition which is encrypted with McAfee Endpoint Encryption v6.1?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I work with thousands of McAfee endpoint encryption computers both Mac and PC. Without having access to the EPO server or the EETech tools or user XML recovery file, you are out of luck. Any modification to the encrypted MBR or PreBoot file system will break the ability for it to boot into the OS. This is intentional. Without the tools, you cannot decrypt it.

If you can still boot into the OS on the encrypted disk, do so. Then move all the data to somewhere else and reformat the drive.

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Ok thanks. It was typical corporate IT not motivated to help someone install an SSD on their corporate laptop. We ended up just bypassing the corporate laptop with a personal one. The corporate laptop sits on the shelf at home with a KVM over IP for remote access. User only uses the corporate laptop when absolutely necessary now by remoting in using the KVM over IP. It's a real shame when laziness causes good hardware to go unused. –  steampowered Aug 22 '12 at 20:14

You can do this without any special tools from IT if the destination Drive (SSD or HD) is the same size or larger than the source drive. Use a utility such as Clonezilla (open source) to do a disk to disk copy. The software doesn't need to decode the decryption, it just copies the entire encrypted partition over, even if you only have like 2gb stored on the source disk, the ENTIRE (say 250gb) partition is copied, which is why the destination can't be smaller.

If the destination is larger than the source you end up with unused space, I've used Samsung's "Magigian" software that comes with their SSD's to resize the partition. In the "overprovisioning" section you will find an option to turn overprovisioning to 0, this will resize the partition to the full size of the SSD. I don't know if this software works on non Samsung drives....

I do this often with McAfee EEPC encrypted computers for SSD upgrades, but the only sticking point is the disk size...

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I was told this is risky with encrypted drives because one flipped bit could cause big problems. What do you think? –  steampowered Jul 11 at 3:48

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