boot disc and encrypted PC

pma111 used Ask the Experts™
How, if at all possible, could you get a PC (XP) to boot to alternative OS via a CD/DVD boot disc if its using full disk encryption (in this case pointsec). The alternative boot disc OS needs to be able to read the data on the local encrypted drive. I am struggling to see how this could be done. If you boot the machine normaly it prompts with a pointsec login screen where you enter credentials (fine), then it automatically starts up windows and in this case logs you into the domain. I could do with a way whereby after the pointsec login screen it doesnt boot into windows it boots into the OS on the boot CD? Any ideas if its possible and how youd configure such?
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Can you not just set the boot priority in the BIOS to boot from the optical drive first?

I don't think that you can do it after Pointsec has started, as it loads from the hard disk before the OS; as boot has already started from the hard disk by then, you can only reboot again if you want to start from a different drive or media.


>>Can you not just set the boot priority in the BIOS to boot from the optical drive first?

But in that case no decryption has happened has it? So it may boot into this CD OS, but that OS needs to be able to read the local data on the drive, so unless pointsec has decrypted that, it will just see encrypted rubbish would it not?
That's correct. If you you could get around the encryption that easily, such products would be worthless. The whole point of products like Pointsec is that you can only access the drive's data after the password has been supplied.


Yeah I agree, it was just a genuine post pointsec login request

i.e. pointsec login > boot to CD OS as opposed to straight into windows

so we have the genuine pointsec password to decrypt the data but rather than it boot into windows then we wanted it to boot straight to this CD OS boot disc
If Pointsec doesn't give you the option then you can't do it; in any case, I don't see how it could work, as the boot process has already started from the hard disk, and as far as I know it can't switch to a different drive and/or media partway through.

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