Dell Preboot Authentication: Deleting smartcard associations

Laptops from the new Dell Latitude E series come with an OEM version of Wave Embassy Trust Suite. This software can be used (amongst others) for configuring BIOS and hard disk “passwords” based on smartcard authentication.

This is a nice feature, but what if you try to turn this off again after trying it out? There is just no such option; once configured, the smartcard login can no longer be turned off properly. The FAQ tells us to unset some passwords which just does not work as described, at least when using a hard drive password: The laptop still requires the smartcard before booting.

I wrote to the Wave Systems support and got a valuable hint, which finally worked:

  1. Open a command line window (right click on the command prompt application and select “run as administrator” when you are running Windows Vista or 7)
  2. Change to the following directory (cd): C:\Program Files\Wave Systems Corp\Dell Preboot Manager
  3. Type the following line: PrebootEnrollmentUtil.exe x <SystemPassword>

In step 3, <SystemPassword> needs to be replaced by your system password.

This will delete all credentials in the Credential Vault. Who would have thought of a Windows application providing a command line mode mightier than the graphical counterpart? 😉

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