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2,862 Tutorials

How to: Get to grips with BitLocker

Lock down your laptop using Microsoft's tool

Thousands of laptops are lost or stolen every year, so protecting your data is essential.

Thousands of laptops are lost or stolen every year, so protecting your data is essential. Here, we show you how to protect your hard drive using BitLocker and BitLocker To Go.

Step 1. Thousands of laptops are lost or stolen each year. Lock yours down to prevent data being siphoned off it without your knowledge. USB flash drives and other portable media also pose a significant risk. Password-protect and encrypt the drive, and use a biometric fingerprint reader for access.

BitLocker step 1

Step 2. Vista and Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate users can make use of BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. BitLocker encrypts internal drives, while BitLocker To Go protects external storage. You'll need the BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool to ensure your volumes are properly configured first.

BitLocker step 2

Step 3. Once your drive is properly partitioned, you can encrypt it. Click on BitLocker Drive Encryption in the Control Panel. The console will display the available drives and indicate whether BitLocker is currently protecting them. Note that the display separates the internal and external drives.

BitLocker step 3

Step 4. Click ‘Turn On BitLocker' next to any unencrypted drive to begin the encryption process. Choose a password or opt to insert your smartcard for authentication. BitLocker then offers an opportunity for you to save the BitLocker Recovery Key - a failsafe for a forgotten password.

BitLocker step 4

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