BitLocker Makeover

The Windows Vista RC1 release is quickly approaching and I know many of you are eager to hear the latest and greatest news about BitLocker.  Well, wait no more my fervent comrades!


Anyone who is familiar with previous builds may recall walking through separate wizards for the TPM and BitLocker functionalities – and thinking, “wait, didn’t I just do this?”  We realized this was a bit confusing, so in RC1 the TPM initialization wizard functionalities have been integrated directly into the BitLocker setup wizard (on TPM machines).  You now only need to run the single BitLocker setup wizard, although the TPM MMC snap-in can still be used separately.  No muss, no fuss!


But wait, there’s more!  Below you will find additional simplifications that have been made to the BitLocker wizard, which should provide for a straightforward setup experience.  So download now, and get your copy of RC1 today!


TPM by Default


In response to customer feedback, we have made some simplifications to the default user interface for BitLocker.  By default, the BitLocker setup wizard will not run without a compatible TPM; and on those with a compatible TPM, the interface no longer displays the advanced options to create a startup PIN or USB startup key.


But for those who still want these features – don’t fret!  To restore access to the advanced options in the BitLocker setup wizard, just click the following link to review the BitLocker Step-by-Step Guide for RC1.  Note that this document will be updated concurrent to the RC1 release.



System Check Option


The purpose of the BitLocker System Check is to verify that the hardware and BIOS is compatible with BitLocker, and that access to the encryption and recovery keys is possible.  This check is now an explicit option in the setup wizard when turning on BitLocker.


To prevent a setup failure and resolve hardware issues, BitLocker can complete the system check during BitLocker setup.  Choosing this option requires a restart but ensures that encryption is only started if the computer passes the system check.


To access the system check in the BitLocker setup wizard, follow the instructions below:


1)       Click Start, click Control Panel, click Security, and then click BitLocker Drive Encryption. 

2)       If the User Account Control dialog box appears, verify that the proposed action is what you requested, and then click Continue.

3)       From the BitLocker Drive Encryption page, click Turn On BitLocker for the OS volume.

If your TPM is not initialized, you will see the Initialize TPM Security Hardware wizard. Follow the directions to turn on the TPM and restart your computer. After the restart, the BDE wizard will launch itself to continue the setup.

4)       Choose the preferred recovery password storage method from the Save the recovery password page.  After saving the password to the desired location, click Next.

5)       From the Encrypt the selected disk volume page, check the Run BitLocker system check box, and click Continue.

6)       Insert the recovery password USB flash drive (if you saved the password on a USB drive), and click Restart Now.  The computer restarts and BitLocker checks to make sure that the computer is BitLocker-compatible and ready for encryption. If it is not, you will see an error message alerting you to the problem and no encryption is applied to the OS volume.




For a related music selection:


            David Bowie – “Changes” from the album “Changesonebowie” (1976)


-          Valerie Bays


Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    As blogged recently by the Bitlocker crew , the behaviour of BitLocker in Windows Vista RC1 has been

  2. Anonymous says:

    This tool has been made over, simplified and is now far less confusing. While the full capability to

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bitlocker is the feature of Windows Vista that I’m asked about more than any other. There follows a list

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