Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on System Volumes

To enable BitLocker on a system volume, follow these steps:

  1. Perform a full backup of the computer. Then, run a check of the integrity of the BitLocker partition using ChkDsk.
  2. Open Control Panel. Click System And Security. Under BitLocker Drive Encryption, click Protect Your Computer By Encrypting Data On Your Disk.
  3. On the BitLocker Drive Encryption page, click Turn On BitLocker.
    If your partitions are properly configured and your computer has a TPM (or the TPM requirement has been disabled), you can enable BitLocker.
  4. If available (the choice can be blocked by a Group Policy setting), in the Set BitLocker Startup Preferences dialog box, select your authentication choice.
  5. If you choose to use a USB key, the Save Your Startup Key dialog box appears. Select the startup key and then click Save.
  6. Choose the destination to save your recovery password. The recovery password is a small text file containing brief instructions, a drive label and password ID, and the 48-digit recovery password. The choices are to store it on a USB drive, save it to a local or remote folder, or print the password. Be sure to save the password and the recovery key on separate devices. You can repeat this step to save the password to multiple locations. Keep the recovery passwords safe-anyone with access to the recovery password can bypass BitLocker security. Click Next.
    Note It is strongly recommended that you save your recovery password to more than one location or device to ensure that you can recover it in the event that the BitLocker drive becomes locked. Keep the recovery keys safe and separate from the protected computer. Additionally, ensure that BitLocker-protected volumes are regularly backed up.
  7. Select the Run BitLocker System Check check box and click Continue if you are ready to begin encryption. Click Restart Now. Upon rebooting, BitLocker will ensure that the computer is fully compatible and ready to be encrypted. BitLocker displays a special screen confirming that the key material was loaded. Now that this is confirmed, BitLocker will begin encrypting the drive after Windows starts, and BitLocker will be enabled. If you do not select the Run BitLocker System Check check box, click Start Encrypting.

Encryption occurs in the background; the user can work on the computer (although free disk space and processor time will be partially consumed by BitLocker). If BitLocker encounters a disk-related problem, it will pause encryption and schedule a ChkDsk to run the next time you restart your computer. After the problem is fixed, encryption will continue.

A notification message is displayed in the system tray during encryption. An administrator can click the BitLocker system tray icon and then choose to pause the encryption process if the computer's performance is impacted, although the computer will not be protected until encryption is completed.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Managing Disks and File Systems
  2. Overview of Partitioning Disks
  3. How to Choose Between MBR or GPT
  4. Converting from MBR to GPT Disks
  5. GPT Partitions
  6. Choosing Basic or Dynamic Disks
  7. Working with Volumes
  8. How to Create a Simple Volume
  9. How to Create a Spanned Volume
  10. How to Create a Striped Volume
  11. How to Resize a Volume
  12. How to Delete a Volume
  13. How to Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk
  14. File System Fragmentation
  15. Backup And Restore
  16. How File Backups Work
  17. File and Folder Backup Structure
  18. How System Image Backups Work
  19. How to Start a System Image Backup from the Command Line
  20. How to Restore a System Image Backup
  21. System Image Backup Structure
  22. Best Practices for Computer Backups
  23. How to Manage Backup Using Group Policy Settings
  24. Previous Versions and Shadow Copies
  25. How to Manage Shadow Copies
  26. How to Restore a File with Previous Versions
  27. How to Configure Previous Versions with Group Policy Settings
  28. Windows ReadyBoost
  29. BitLocker Drive Encryption
  30. How BitLocker Encrypts Data
  31. How BitLocker Protects Data
  32. TPM with External Key (Require Startup USB Key At Every Startup)
  33. TPM with PIN (Require PIN At Every Startup)
  34. TPM with PIN and External Key
  35. BitLocker To Go
  36. BitLocker Phases
  37. Requirements for Protecting the System Volume with BitLocker
  38. How to Enable the Use of BitLocker on the System Volume on Computers Without TPM
  39. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on System Volumes
  40. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on Data Volumes
  41. How to Manage BitLocker Keys on a Local Computer
  42. How to Manage BitLocker from the Command Line
  43. How to Recover Data Protected by BitLocker
  44. How to Disable or Remove BitLocker Drive Encryption
  45. How to Decommission a BitLocker Drive Permanently
  46. How to Prepare AD DS for BitLocker
  47. How to Configure a Data Recovery Agent
  48. How to Manage BitLocker with Group Policy
  49. The Costs of BitLocker
  50. Windows 7 Encrypting File System
  51. How to Export Personal Certificates
  52. How to Import Personal Certificates
  53. How to Grant Users Access to an Encrypted File
  54. Symbolic Links
  55. How to Create Symbolic Links
  56. How to Create Relative or Absolute Symbolic Links
  57. How to Create Symbolic Links to Shared Folders
  58. How to Use Hard Links
  59. Disk Quotas
  60. How to Configure Disk Quotas on a Single Computer
  61. How to Configure Disk Quotas from a Command Prompt
  62. How to Configure Disk Quotas by Using Group Policy Settings
  63. Disk Tools
  64. EFSDump
  65. SDelete
  66. Streams
  67. Sync
  68. MoveFile and PendMoves