DDPE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is encryption?

Encryption is a process in which data is “scrambled” using an encryption key in order to make it unreadable and inaccessible to unauthorized users.

How is DDPE different from current encryption solutions?

Dell Data Protection on Windows is file based encryption (as opposed to full disk encryption) which means that it will only encrypt actual data on your system and will not include the blank areas of your hard drive. This makes the encryption processing much faster and more efficient.


Dell Data Protection on Mac uses Apple's built-in FileVault2 encryption so it does not require a separate pre-boot password and you can upgrade OS X without decrypting your computer.

Does DDPE work on both Windows and Mac?

Yes. On Windows systems Dell Data Protection uses its own local client to process encryption.

On Apple Macintosh systems, Dell Data Protection will use the native Apple FileVault2 encryption application to encrypt your hard drive. The Dell Data Protection client will then report the system’s encryption status back to UCSF's management servers in order to manage, track, and report your computers encryption status.

My Mac is already encrypted with FileVault2, why do I need to install DDPE?

DDPE for Mac ensures that your computer remains encrypted and compliant with the UCSF minimum security standard. DDPE also saves a backup of your FileVault2 recovery key so you can regain access to your data if you forget your password. If you do not use one of the UCSF standard encryption solutions, you need to submit a Proof of Encryption form with the encryption recovery key:

Do I need to encrypt a Virtual Machine (VM)?

You do not need to encrypt a Virtual Machine (VM) if the underlying host storage is encrypted. For instance, if you are running a Windows VM within a Mac that is encrypted with DDPE, you do not need to encrypt the Windows VM.


What are the minimum requirements to run DDPE?

Supported Client Operating Systems:

• Microsoft Windows 7

• Microsoft Windows 8.1

• Microsoft Windows 10

Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise are currently the only versions of Windows that are supported by IT Field Services on UCSF-owned computers.

DDPE will run on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, but these versions of Windows are not supported by ITFS and are not recommended for UCSF-owned computers.


• Mac OS X 10.9.5 "Mavericks"

• Mac OS X 10.10.5 "Yosemite"

• Mac OS X 10.11.x "El Capitan"


Mac OS X 10.9.5, 10.10.5, and 10.11.x are currently the only versions of Mac OS X that are supported by IT Field Services on UCSF-owned computers.


Minimum Supported Mac Hardware:


• Intel-based processor


• >20% Free Hard Disk Space


Minimum Supported Windows Hardware:

• Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor; or AMD A series, FX, Opteron, or Phenom II processor
• >20% Free Hard Disk Space

How can I tell if DDPE is installed and if my system is encrypted?

On your Windows system you will see the Dell Data Protection icon in your system tray.

Double click this icon to bring up the Dell Data Protection application and display your encryption status. It will list the compliance state of each hard drive.

On your Mac, open System Preferences and click Dell Data Protection, then click encryption. It will display the encryption status of each hard drive.

Further instructions:

How will DDPE affect my workflow when I am accessing and moving encrypted files?

Dell Data Protection will actively encrypt and decrypt files as you access them. This will be transparent to you. As you create a new file, Dell Data Protection will encrypt and secure this file.

Dell Data Protection will only encrypt data on your local system. If you email a file or move it to a location away from your system, Dell Data Protection will decrypt this file.

Will there be a pre-boot password in order to start my computer?

No. Dell Data Protection on Windows does not require a pre-boot password. Encryption keys for your most sensitive files (such as Office files and PDFs) will be loaded into your system following a successful user login, so you do not need a separate pre-boot password.

Do I need to decrypt my computer to upgrade the OS?

If you have a Windows PC, you will need to uninstall and decrypt DDPE before upgrading from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10, or applying major "build #" Windows 10 updates. Contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or at for assistance with this. Please note that Windows 10 is not currently supported by ITFS and it is not recommended for UCSF-owned computers.


If you have a Mac, you do not need to uninstall or decrypt DDPE before upgrading from OS X 10.7+ to later versions of OS X. We recommend creating a full backup and installing the most recent version of DDPE before upgrading OS X.


How can I receive help with DDPE?

If you have further questions or are experiencing any issues with your Dell Data Protection application, you can call the UCSF IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100 or submit a ticket at

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