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30. Enable Bitlocker Without TPM

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Bitlocker, available only in Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate enables you to securely encrypt your hard drive and keep the contents safe from prying eyes.

Providing you have a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) it is a simple matter of enabling Bitlocker via Control Panel. However, if you don't have a TPM chip then attempting to enable Bitlocker in control Panel will simply bring up a message telling you that a TPM was not found and the action will then be aborted.

If you do not have a TPM chip on your motherboard then you have to follow an alternative path in order to enable Bitlocker.

To do this proceed as follows:

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. On the Start Menu type: gpedit.msc into the Search box.
  3. At the top of the Search list you should see Gpedit highlighted. Press Enter to open Gpedit.
  4. When Group Policy Editor opens, look in the left hand pane for Computer Configuration.
  5. In the Computer Configuration list, Click the chevron (>) to the left of the Administrative Templates option to expand the menu.
  6. In the Expanded computer configuration list, Click on the chevron (>) next to Windows Components.
  7. The Windows Component directory will now expand.
  8. In the Windows Component list, Click on the chevron (>) next to Bitlocker Drive Encryption.
  9. In the Bitlocker Drive Encryption list, Click on the Operating System Drives option.
  10. Now look in the Right Hand pane of the Operating System Drives options and Double Click on Requires Authentication at Startup.
  11. In the Requires Authentication at Startup window, Click the Radio button next to the Enable option and the Click the OK button.
  12. Now Close down group policy.
  13. Once Group Policy has been closed, Click the Start Button again followed by Control panel.
  14. In Control Panel, Click the Bitlocker Drive Encryption Icon.
  15. When the Bitlocker Drive Encryption window opens, Locate the drive you want to use Bitlocker on and click on the Turn On Bitlocker option.
  16. Windows will now check your PC's configuration before displaying the Set Bitlocker startup preferences window.
  17. In the Set Bitlocker Startup Preferences window, Click the Requires a Startup key at startup option.
  18. Insert a USB flash drive into your USB port and then select it from the list of available drives.Once the USB flash drive has been selected, Click the Save button.
  19. You will next be asked to save the recovery key to a USB flash drive, Save the recovery key to a file, or Print the recovery key. The first option you should choose is to Print the recovery key, that way you always have a hard copy of the key. Next select Save the recovery key to a USB flash drive and, again, click the Save button before finally Clicking the Next button.
  20. Your key will not be saved to your USB flash drive.
  21. The next window will ask if You are ready to encrypt this drive. Click the Continue button.
  22. Windows now needs to reboot to enable Bitlocker to check that your key is working correctly, so make sure your USB flash drive is still inserted into the USB port and then press the Restart Now button.
  23. On reboot Windows will attempt to read the key off your USB flash drive. If all goes well a message will appear in the notification area informing you that Bitlocker is now encrypting your hard drive.