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BitLocker to Go

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For security reasons all removable media must be encrypted with BitLocker to Go on Windows workstations. The following article will show you how to use a flash drive with BitLocker to Go.

Flash Drives are not backup media! Backup your files before encrypting with BitLocker to Go. I.T. is Not Responsible for any data stored on removable media or local hard drives!

Please note that data on a drive encrypted with BitLocker to Go can only be modified on a Windows workstation. BitLocker encrypted drives are inaccessible in a Mac OS.

Encrypting Removable Media

When you plug in a flash drive or external hard drive you will be prompted with the following dialog box:

Encryption dialog box for Bitlocker

If you click “Don’t encrypt this drive” you will be able to immediately view the files on the drive, but you will not be able
to save new files or modify existing files on the drive. You will need to click “Encrypt this drive using BitLocker Drive
Encryption” to begin the encryption process. The encryption process must be performed on-campus with a network
connection to the College domain. (WARNING: Please make sure to back up any data on the flash drive BEFORE
encrypting it. This process may erase any files on the drive.)

The window below appears for a few moments while the drive is being initialized.

Bitlocker starting encryption

Once the drive is initialized, the window below appears. You are required to enter a password that meets password
complexity requirements (at least one uppercase letter, one lower case letter, and one number or symbol). You may use
the same password that you use to login. Once you’ve typed and retyped your password, click “Next”.

Bitlocker unlock password dialog box

“Are you ready to encrypt this drive?” message appears. Click “Start Encrypting”.

BitLocker ready to encrypt dialog box

The window below appears for a moment while the encryption process is being prepared to start.

Starting encryption progress bar

This window below appears while your drive is being encrypted. This process can take anywhere between 10 minutes and
1 hour depending on the size of your drive (external hard drives could take even longer). Be sure you allow ample time
for this process to complete.

Encrypting progress bar

Once the encryption process is complete, the window below will display for a few moments. Please wait for this window
to disappear on its own.

Encrypting progress completed

After you complete the encryption process, you can access your jump drive as normal from “Windows Explorer” or by
double clicking the “Computer” icon on the desktop.

Encrypted jump drive in Windows Explorer

Using an Encrypted Drive in Windows

Each time you plug your jump drive into a Windows workstation you will be prompted with the dialog box below. Type in the password you used to encrypt the drive and click “Unlock.” Optionally, you have the option to “Automatically unlock on this computer from now on,” but this option should only be used on your workstation, and
only if your workstation is not shared with others.

Protected drive dialog box

In “Windows Explorer” (or double click the “Computer” icon on the desktop) it is very easy to tell whether a drive is
locked or unlocked. When a drive is locked it will display a gold locked lock icon, and when the drive is unlocked it will
display a silver unlocked lock icon.

Gold/silver lock and key

When you double click a drive with the gold locked lock icon, you will be automatically prompted with the dialog box to enter the password to unlock the drive.

Please contact the Technology Help Line at ext. 4357 or 1-877-230-3509 for further assistance.

Published by Enterprise Systems on March 22nd, 2023.