gen-keys hanging in WinXP SP2

Michael McAllister michael at
Fri Dec 17 13:26:14 CET 2004


I have upgraded my machine to use 1.4.0a and the problem is still occurring.
Any suggestions? FWIW, I have pasted below my signature a text capture of
the command and my responses.



C:\>gpg --gen-key
gpg (GnuPG) 1.4.0; Copyright (C) 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions. See the file COPYING for details.

Please select what kind of key you want:
   (1) DSA and Elgamal (default)
   (2) DSA (sign only)
   (5) RSA (sign only)
Your selection? 1
DSA keypair will have 1024 bits.
ELG-E keys may be between 1024 and 4096 bits long.
What keysize do you want? (2048)
Requested keysize is 2048 bits
Please specify how long the key should be valid.
         0 = key does not expire
      <n>  = key expires in n days
      <n>w = key expires in n weeks
      <n>m = key expires in n months
      <n>y = key expires in n years
Key is valid for? (0)
Key does not expire at all
Is this correct? (y/N) y

You need a user ID to identify your key; the software constructs the user ID
from the Real Name, Comment and Email Address in this form:
    "Heinrich Heine (Der Dichter) <heinrichh at>"

Real name: Michael McAllister
Email address: michael at
Comment: Home Address
You selected this USER-ID:
    "Michael McAllister (Home Address) <michael at>"

Change (N)ame, (C)omment, (E)mail or (O)kay/(Q)uit? O
You need a Passphrase to protect your secret key.

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael McAllister [mailto:michael at] 
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 7:43 AM
To: 'gnupg-users at'
Subject: gen-keys hanging in WinXP SP2


(I sent a previous version of this which doesn't seem to have come through
to the list. It was originally in Outlook HTML form email which I've noticed
mailman sometimes filters out - so, I'm resending with more info and
(hopefull!) as a plain text email.)

I'm a newbie user of gpg, and am trying to generate my first key. I have
version 1.2.5 installed on WinXP SP2. The software is installed in the
default directory (c:\gnupg) with the main executables copied into

I started generating my first key (for this address) last night (around
11:30pm?), and as of this morning it still hasn't finished. I did spend some
time registering some keyboard activity as suggested, but that doesn't seem
to have helped. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be going
wrong, and how to fix it? Specifically what happens is it asks me for my
passphrase twice, and then once I've entered that, the generation of keys
hangs. I have done some research and can say:-

- The output of random characters (mainly plus signs?) does not occur after
entering the passphrase, and while doing calculations for the key.

- I do NOT receive any error about not enough entropy being available.
That's because I don't receive ANYTHING ;-)

Oh, forgot to mention - my machine is a 3GHz P4 with 512MB RAM, so I don't
see the machine being a limiting factor.



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