Windows 8: BitLocker (USB)

Enabling Bitlocker on a Windows 8 Machine with a USB Key

Step 1: Restart the computer. When the Dell logo appears, tap the "F2" key until the message "Entering Setup" appears. This will bring you to the BIOS menu.

 Enter Dell BIOS

Note: The following screen shots show the BIOS of a Dell Latitude D630 laptop. Your computer's BIOS may look very different, but the concepts and locations should all be the same.

Step 2: Open the "General" folder and navigate to the "Boot Sequence" file.

 BIOS Boot Sequence

Step 3: Ensure that "Internal HDD" is above "USB Storage Device" in the Boot Sequence list. If it is not, select the item in the list and use the arrow buttons beside the list to move the selected item up or down the list.

 BIOS HDD Above USB Boot Order

Step 4: Select the "Apply" button, select "Yes" if it asks you to save any changes, then select the "Exit" button. Allow Windows to start normally.

Step 5: Log on to Windows using an NAU domain account with administrator privileges on the computer.

Step 6: 

 Windows 8 Control Panel Search

Step 7: Click "System and Security".

 Control Panel System and Security

Step 8: Click "Bitlocker Drive Encription".

 System and Security Bitlocker Drive Encryption

Step 9: Click "Turn on Bitlocker".

 Windows 7 Turn On Bitlocker

Step 10: Click "Save the recovery key to a USB flash drive". You may also choose to create a backup key using one of the other methods. A copy of the recovery key will automatically be sent to an NAU database.

Note: If you choose to create a backup key, keep it somewhere safe and secure. It should not be kept near the computer it unlocks.

 Save Bitlocker Key to USB Flash Drive

Step 11: Click the "Next" button. The encryption process will begin initializing.

Step 12: Once the initialization process is complete, a new window will appear. Check the "Run Bitlocker system check" checkbox, then click the "Continue" button.

 Run Bitlocker System Check

Step 13: Insert the USB flash drive that you intend to use as the key into the computer and restart the computer. The computer will automatically verify the flash drive and begin the encryption process.

Note: The encryption will likely take several hours to complete. The computer may be used as normal during this time. If the computer is shut down, the encryption process will pause until the computer is turned on again.


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Windows Bitlocker encryption for NAU domain joined laptops.