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DMC

What the Hell is Bit Locker ?

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Earlier today I uploaded a couple of photos into my Lenovo laptop which I then uploaded into Village Photos which I then posted on BM on the WIP page.  No problem.  I closed the lid on the laptop and edited a couple of links into the thread using my iPad.  I’ve been using this routine for some time now and I edit in comments, etc., using the iPad because the Lenovo keyboard is, frankly, rubbish and I have to keep going back to correct things.  

 

So, a while ago I opened the lid on the laptop and I am presented with a bright blue page with “bit locker” printed on it and instructions on what I must do to get back into the laptop.  

 

So so I have to ask what the devil is “bit locker” and where did it come from?  My long suffering wife, who is light years ahead of my on IT, has tried everything to get control of my laptop back but to no avail.  She thinks I’ve somehow picked up a virus of some sort but as I literally only use it for BM and Village Photos I cannot imagine where it came from.  Without the laptop I’m going to struggle finding a way to post photos on BM.

 

I am getting to really loath Microsoft and their unwanted updates and improvements.

 

Sorry for the rant.

 

Dennis

 

 

 

 

 

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I had a quick look on google as I too had no idea what this is.

It's a Microsoft encryption tool.

This link tells you how to disable it. it

https://www.manageengine.co.uk/products/os-deployer/help/how-to-disable-bitlocker-encryption.html

Hopefully an IT guru will be along shortly.

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11 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

 ? 

Well, you might be right.  Had a word with Mr Fixit in Currys this morning and I am none the wiser except that I could lose everything, mostly build photos, if a fix was attempted.  So, shelved it and am just letting the battery run down.  

 

Darned annoying.

 

Apologies for the late reply, out early this morning.

 

Dennis

 

 

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We had a bitlocker issue today at College..

6 out of 10 workstations were locked out..

The Administrator declined to comment on it and still wasn't resolved when we left at noon...

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It's been enforced on us for all work's PC's as the ultimate security measure - no one is supposed to be able to read from the hard drive if the PC/Laptop is stolen so early doors when a few 'forgot' or had enforced passwords they were in sweats thinking they'd lost years of data only for IT to access it through the back door. Some security !

 

5 hours ago, DMC said:

just letting the battery run down.   

 

 

Chances are that it'll be back when you power on, but you've probably found that out by the time you've read this

 

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Sounds like an update from MS has turned on hard drive encryption on your Laptop, and I don't doubt that it'll be back when you turn it back on.  Don't let your battery run down completely, as that's not good for them on balance.  I forget what it does chemically to them, but the end result is a shorter life of said battery. ⛔

 

Have a look at this link here on the MS site.  There's a load of blurb and an FAQ, which might be of help.  It should need a password to decrypt when you log in, so have you followed any instructions on the screen?  If not, have a good read of that link and see if you can tell how to get to a screen where you can decrypt and use your device again, as that's the only way you'll be able to switch it off and get your machine back to normal.  As a precaution, have a USB key or external drive handy so that if you get into it once, you can at least copy off all your data from your Docs, bookmarks & such.  It could be an easy fix, or it could ba a nightmare.  Proceed slowly and check your actions at each step to minimise the likelihood of screwing things up, and remember Google.  There will be others that have had this issue, so help is bound to be out there :)

 

Good luck :yes:

 

P.S. The folks at Currys/PC World aren't always very sensible when it comes to diagnosis and fixing of problems.  They usually suggest a new graphics card as the cure to all ills, but from what I've just read quickly on that page, there are tools available to recover passwords if you've lost it.  Chances are you'll remember entering one now you know a bit more about the situation though... hopefully.

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Feel for you mate, I've a small Lenovo convertible laptop/tablet which gets used only in laptop mode & has the most b... awful keyboard I've ever experienced. Hopefully no bit locker though. :unsure: Scared now. :( :

Steve.

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Thank you @Mike, off the shelf now and back on charge.  We’ll (my wife’s the boffin) review the situation tomorrow and see where we are at.  Really appreciate your input.  

 

Well @stevehnz, fingers crossed for you as it’s a real nightmare scenario.  

 

Dennis 

 

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You're scaring me now . I've got a Lenovo LT . It's been good as Gold and, connecting with Oak , hasn't missed a beat in 3 years . If you are locked out your stuff isn't lost . You can remove the hard drive and plug that in to a External Hard Drive Docking Station . If you can't get hold of a External Hard Drive Docking Station ( I have one , under £10 ) any Computer repair  shop can retrieve all the info off there you want to disc or another device using the USB for about £5 ish . That would also mean buying a new Hard drive and all the hassle that goes with that

That works if the Hard drive crashes too , no idea how it works in a  Docking Station but not in the laptop.

Hopefully it will be okay . What a pain though .

Docking Station link . It's ace BTW

https://www.ebuyer.com/229065-startech-external-hard-drive-docking-station-satdock25u

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Thanks @bzn20 for taking the time to post your reply.  This is starting to get really complicated.  It’s already cost us valuable time and it looks as though hard cash will have to be donated to....who knows.  What I’m having a hard time getting my head ‘round is why has it happened?  I don’t need encryption at all.  MS should have to pay the freight on this one.  But of course that’s not going to happen

 

Should have bought a Mac!

 

Dennis

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14 hours ago, bzn20 said:

You can remove the hard drive and plug that in to a External Hard Drive Docking Station . If you can't get hold of a External Hard Drive Docking Station ( I have one , under £10 ) any Computer repair  shop can retrieve all the info off there you want to disc or another device using the USB for about £5 ish . That would also mean buying a new Hard drive and all the hassle that goes with that

 

If the data is encrypted, it's not going to be retrievable without the unlocking code/password no matter where you plug it into.  That's the whole idea of encryption - to render the drive unusable in a stranger's hands.  As @DannyB mentioned, and I alluded to in my first post though, there are tools available for administrators to recover your data, but how that applies to a non-corporate machine I hav eno idea.  I know nothing about managing encrypted drives however as I've never encrypted my drives - not worth it for me as I've got no sensitive data really and never go anywhere so my edge-protection is sufficient, which was why I was a bit vague. :ninja:

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Thanks Danny and Mike.  I’ll admit to being almost totally ignorant about IT so will have to wait until the boffin returns from her swim to find out just what she tried last night.    And, Mike, like you, I would never have even considered encryption at all if it had been offered as all there is on the device are modelling photos and a few research bookmarks.  Nothing sensitive at all!  It’s a mystery to me how I ended up in this mess.

 

Thanks again guys.

 

Dennis

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mike said:

That's the whole idea of encryption

That's a fair cop guv . I'm 100% confused by that Bit Locker thing . Got everything crossed I'm not on here asking the same questions at some point

 

6 hours ago, DMC said:

post your reply

Take no notice wot I waffled ! See Mikes post above #13 !

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Worked on this problem ‘till late last night.  Still not resolved.  Just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone that offered advice and suggestions.  Will get into it later in a little more depth later.

 

Dennis 

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22 minutes ago, DMC said:

Still not resolved.

Sorry to hear that Dennis. Very frustrating, I'd imagine.  If you do manage to successfully fix it, I'm sure someone will appreciate a post giving some info on what you did.  It's bound to be affecting more than just you.

 

I've been pondering this on and off, and can only wonder if there was a screen/dialogue at some point that asked you to enter an encryption key that you may have mistaken for a password request.  Is it possible that the key is your usual password for your machine?  It wouldn't be the first time someone had entered something and pressed NEXT before they'd properly read it. Any of that sound familiar? :hmmm:

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4 minutes ago, Mike said:

a post giving some info on what you did. 

You can be sure of that, Mike.  I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (well, maybe I would) I’ll have a read of your last paragraph and give it some thought.  Busy at the moment putting together an Ikea flat-pack bookcase, of all things. 

 

Cheers

 

Dennis 

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9 minutes ago, DMC said:

 Busy at the moment putting together an Ikea flat-pack bookcase, of all things.

We'll just call you Billy then ;)

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Hi everyone,

 

Not going to harp on this forever, and I appreciate all the help, but we’ve not had any success.  So I’m going to go over some of the things we’ve tried in the event anything like this might happen to you:

 

I’ve had no recent system updates that might be the cause.  One of the troubleshooting options suggests we go back to a previous version if there is a problem but it will not let me do that.

 

It’s not a log-in password or PIN number issue.  We have tried all these.  Nor can I find anything resembling a BitLocker key in my MS account. (Accessed from my iPad.)

 

No DVD drive so reinstalling is not an option.

 

Tried inputting commands via Powershell mode (C:\) etc also tried to get to control panel via this method but no luck with any of that.

 

In short, what it seems to be saying is, to unlock the door to the house, go into the house and get the key.  Not really surprising because anyone stealing my laptop, to look at my unpublished BM photos, could easily get in!

 

If I had even known about BitLocker I could have turned it off before this all kicked off. Plenty of information on the Web about how to go about doing that.  Might be worth looking into.  

 

Just to summarise, following my usual routine, I uploaded photos from an SD card to the laptop, uploaded the photos to Village Photos and then posted them on BM.  I closed the lid on the laptop and after a couple of hours opened the lid, put in the pin # and that blue screen popped up.  That’s it, no Web surfing or anything else.  I only use it as a means of getting photos onto BM.

 

Wish I could be more help but we’ve run out of ideas.

 

Dennis

 

 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, DMC said:

turned it off

I went in to control panel/system and security .. I haven't got Bitlocker , searched control panel ,nothing . I'm on windows 10 . I don't want it but why haven't I got it ? Am I looking in the right place ? I just want to make sure I haven't got a chance of getting this problem .

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We use Bit Locker system for our organisation's laptops. I am given to understand that it very secure. We are a law enforcement agency and I am assured that should I experience a "tapas bar moment", I need not worry about the data being disclosed. Not this side of the security services anyway.... Should we forget our bit-locker key our IT people can bring it back to life over a remote network connection . This requires it to have been setup beforehand and we have to answer some very robust questions to assure our identity!

 

I'm an ex IT professional but left doing that more than ten years ago so I'm now more an informed user. However I would suggest Mike's commentary is accurate, and having read it a couple of times I agree with his thesis that in order to have turned bitlocker on you would have needed to have entered a security key, and that would have had to have been done at least twice for confirmation of the key. Bit-locker presents a blue screen into which you enter the key so I think you are there with an encrypted drive.

 

And as Mike explains it's not your computer that's encrypted but the drive.  Put a new drive into your laptop and it'll be fine; put your drive into another computer or docking station then the data is still inaccessible. Even if you boot your laptop from a network, an external DVD or a USB stick you will not be able to access the data on your drive,

 

So my first thought would be what Mike suggested, that you may have accidentally setup bitlocker and if so it will be a password you know.  But you've tried that.

 

Four things occur to me, all far more unlikely than Mike's suggestion.

 

Firstly you mention that you are able to access powershell? I can't understand why that would be the case as bitlocker kicks in before the boot occurs so you can't run the programs on the drive. The only way I can see this happening is if there is a boot volume that is NOT is encrypted and you have a separate data volume that is encrypted. If that is the case I think there might be a solution, but I'm not going to bother typing it unless you can confirm that you can definitely get a C:\ prompt up - and I really can't see how you would have got there. 

 

Secondly you also mention that you entered the PIN and the blue screen popped up. That's the wrong way round, the PIN is  prompted for after the O/S boots and Bit-locker is prompted before the O/S boots. Not a bit-locker emulator is it? - see my third thought below.

 

My third thought is that this is ransomware and you haven't got the email yet. But they usually put the "ransom note" on the screen. Unless it's a failed, partially implemented ransom attack that got as far as doing the encryption but not as far as asking you for the money.

 

Fourthly if you don't value the data then get another disk drive, install the operating system and off you go. Or do a low level format on the encrypted disk either by putting it in another computer, maybe by using an external dock or by booting the one it's in by means of a network, USB drive or external DVD. I don't know how to do that to be honest, but it will be the modern equivalent of what was called FDISK when I was a lad. But you need access to the kit or give someone some money to achieve that.

 

Hope this is helpful - I'd be in tears if it had popped up on this laptop I'm using now.

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pigpen
Had a fourth thought !

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I'm reading all this and wondering if it actually is BitLocker that caused the issue. I wouldn't put it past the virus people to make one that looked like it.

 

In fact... A little Googling found this (along with others):

 

http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2456969/ransomware-bitlocker.html

 

Might be worth a bit of a look into.

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