Windows 7 / Getting Started

Requirements for Protecting the System Volume with BitLocker

To enable BitLocker to protect the system volume on a Windows 7 computer, the computer must meet the following requirements:

  • Unless you plan to rely solely on a USB startup key, the computer must have a TPM 1.2 module (revision 85 or later), and it must be enabled. (TPM chips can be disabled by default and can be turned on using the computer's BIOS.) The TPM provides bootprocess integrity measurement and reporting.
  • The computer must have a version 1.21 (revision 0.24 or later), TCG-compliant BIOS with support for TCG specified Static Root Trust Measurement (SRTM) to establish a chain of trust prior to starting Windows.
  • If you plan to use a USB startup key, the BIOS must support the USB Mass Storage Device Class2, including both reading and writing small files on a USB flash drive in the preoperating system environment.
  • The computer must have at least two volumes to operate. Windows 7 setup automatically configures volumes to meet these requirements. On computers running Windows Vista, you can use the BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool, available at, to modify existing partitions to meet these requirements:
    • The boot volume is the volume that contains the Windows operating system and its support files; it must be formatted with NTFS. Data on this volume is protected by BitLocker.
    • The system volume is the volume that contains the hardware-specific files needed to load Windows 7 computers after the BIOS has booted the platform. For BitLocker to work, the system volume must not be encrypted, must differ from the operating system volume, and must be formatted with NTFS. Your system volume should be at least 100 MB. Data written to this volume-including additional user data-is not protected by BitLocker.

You can have multiple instances of Windows Vista or Windows 7 installed on a computer with a BitLocker-encrypted volume, and they will all be able to access the volume if you enter the respective recovery password every time you need to access the volume from a different partition. You can also install earlier versions of Windows on volumes not encrypted with BitLocker. However, earlier versions of Windows will not be able to access the BitLockerencrypted volume.

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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