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Windows 7: BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off


BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off

How to Turn Windows 7 BitLocker To Go On or Off for Removable Drives
Published by Brink
28 Feb 2009
Published by

How to Turn Windows 7 BitLocker To Go On or Off for Removable Drives


information   Information
BitLocker To Go is used to encrypt and password protect any removable external hard drives and USB flash drives. The drives must be formatted using either the exFAT, FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS file system and must be at least 128 MB. This will show you how to turn on or off BitLocker To Go to encrypt or decrypt a entire external or USB Flash drive in Windows 7.
Note   Note
External hard drives or flash drives encrypted by BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go can be used on any computer you connect them to by unlocking the encrypted drive with a password or a smart card.

You can use the BitLocker To Go Reader application to provide users read-only access to BitLocker-protected FAT-formatted drives on computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista. When you plug a removable drive encrypted with BitLocker in to a computer running Windows XP or Windows Vista, AutoPlay might open and give you the option to install or run BitLocker To Go Reader. If you click this option, you’ll be prompted to unlock the drive with it's password. Once the drive is unlocked, you’ll have read-only access to the files. To open the files on the drive, you'll need to copy them to your computer. You can copy the files by dragging them to the desktop or to a folder.

warning   Warning
BitLocker is only available in the Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions.

When you add new files to a external hard drive or flash drive that is encrypted with BitLocker, BitLocker encrypts them automatically. Files remain encrypted only while they are stored in the encrypted drive. Files that are copied to another drive or computer are decrypted.

EXAMPLE: A USB Flash with BitLocker To Go turned on for it
NOTE: This is what you will see when you connect the encrypted removable USB flash drive or external hard drive to any computer. You will then need to select the option you want to use to unlock the drive to gain access.
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OPTION ONE
Turn On BitLocker to Encrypt Removable Drive
1. Decide if you want 128-bit or 256-bit encryption.
NOTE: By default, Windows 7 will use AES encryption with 128-bit encryption keys and Diffuser unless changed already by you previously.

2. Connect the removable hard drive or USB flash drive.
NOTE: I will be using a USB flash drive in this tutorial as an example. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up window, then just close it.

3. Open the Start menu and click on the Computer button, then right click on the drive letter for the removable hard drive or USB flash drive and click on Turn on BitLocker. (See screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-computer-1.jpg

A) Go to step 5.
OR

4. Open the Control Panel (All Items view), and click on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon.
A) Click on Turn On BitLocker for the drive letter for the removable hard drive or USB flash drive that you want to encrypt. (See screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-control_panel_2.jpg
5. Select (check) Use a password to unlock the drive, then type in a password you want to use to unlock the drive with twice and click on the Next button. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: You can select the smart card option if you have this and want to use that instead. I just used the password option as an example in this tutorial.
WARNING: Be sure to write down this password and keep it somewhere safe. The password you enter here will be required to be entered to unlock the drive to gain access to it.
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6. Click on Save the recovery key to file option. (See screenshot below)
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A) Select where you want to save this file at, and click on the Save button. (See screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-step4.jpg
B) It is highly recommended that you save this file somewhere safe, and not on the encrypted drive. You will need the recovery key number to gain access to you encrypted drive if you should forget the password, lose the smart card, or BitLocker locks the drive.
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C) It is also recommended that you click on the Print the recovery key option as well to have a printed hard copy of the file to be extra safe. (See screenshot below step 6)

D) When done, click on the Next button. (See screenshot below step 6)
7. Click on the Start Encrypting button. (See screenshot below)
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8. BitLocker will now start encrypting the drive. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This may take a while to finish.
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9. When finished, click on the Close button. (See screenshot below)
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10. You will now have a Manage BitLocker option in the Control Panel and Computer for the encrypted drive. (See screenshots below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-step7.jpg

BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-computer-2.jpg
11. If you click on Manage BitLocker, these will be the options that you will have below. (See screenshot below)
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12. You're done. The drive is now encrypted with BitLocker To Go turned on.



OPTION TWO
Turn Off BitLocker to Decrypt Removable Drive
1. Connect the removable hard drive or USB flash drive.

2. Type in your password, and click on the Unlock button. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: If you selected to use a Smart Card instead in OPTION ONE (step 5), then you will have that option instead here. If AutoPlay opens a pop-up window, then just close it.
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3. Open the Control Panel (icons view), and click on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon.

4. Click on Turn Off BitLocker for the drive letter for the removable hard drive or USB flash drive that you want to decrypt. (See screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off-decrypt_step1.jpg
5. Click on the Decrypt Drive button. (See screenshot below)
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6. BitLocker will now start decrypting the drive. (See screenshot below)
NOTE: This may take a while to finish.
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7. When finished, click on the Close button. (See screenshot below)
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8. The Control Panel and Computer will now have the Turn On BitLocker option again.
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9. You're done. The drive is now decrypted with BitLocker To Go turned off.
That's it,
Shawn





.

28 Apr 2009   #1
Caddish

Windows 7 x64 RC1
 
 

Will a encrypted drive work on XP, max OSX and Linux ?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Apr 2009   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Caddish,

I have not tested this on those operating systems, but in theory it should since the recovery key and everything that is needed to encrypt and unencrpt the removable drive is stored on the removable drive itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #3
Caddish

Windows 7 x64 RC1
 
 

I tried it on XP and it shows as a thumbdrive with a locker on it and inside there is a bitlocker reader.exe and a internet link. The bitlocker reader ask for the password then there is a small utility which allow to copy file on the PC but writing on the thumb is not allowed although I forgot to check if it is possible to copy file where there is the internet shortcut and .exe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #4
Warfare

Windows 7 x64
 
 

When I click on the Drive it just opens it up, it does not ask me for a password.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Warfare,

Just a few questions.

Is this for Windows 7, did you turn on Bitlocker to go for the drive, and did you select the "Automatically unlock this drive on this computer" option (step 11) or have a copy of the recovery key save on the computer?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #6
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Caddish View Post
I tried it on XP and it shows as a thumbdrive with a locker on it and inside there is a bitlocker reader.exe and a internet link. The bitlocker reader ask for the password then there is a small utility which allow to copy file on the PC but writing on the thumb is not allowed although I forgot to check if it is possible to copy file where there is the internet shortcut and .exe
You might check the internet shortcut to see what it gives you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #7
Caddish

Windows 7 x64 RC1
 
 

It links to Microsoft Bitlocker to go help file on their site with all the Microsoft tutorial. But it's nice to be able to use file on xp without having to install any kind of software
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Apr 2009   #8
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Caddish,

Yeah, you will only have read-only access to the removable drive when it is used on XP or Vista after copying that file over to it. However, you should have no problems with other Windows 7 computers. I'm not sure it will work with any other non Windows OS though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Apr 2009   #9
Warfare

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Warfare,

Just a few questions.

Is this for Windows 7, did you turn on Bitlocker to go for the drive, and did you select the "Automatically unlock this drive on this computer" option (step 11) or have a copy of the recovery key save on the computer?
I have a recovery key saved to my computer.. But I found it out... All i needed to do was unplug it and plug it back in.
Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BitLocker Drive Encryption - BitLocker To Go - Turn On or Off





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