Sunday, 20 January 2013

Password protect your drive using BitLocker Drive Encryption

Data theft is most major issue now a days. Most of the time your file will be stolen when you give your Computer for repair or from your old Hard drives thrown to dustbin. The person can easily access your files in your Hard drive and use it for illegal purposes. So it is necessary to password protect and encrypt your files to prevent unauthorized access. For this Windows has provided a in-built feature called BitLocker. It encrypts various volumes of the drive and password protect it to prevent offline data theft.


BitLocker Drive Encryption is available in following versions of Windows.
  • Windows 7 (Enterprise, Ultimate)
  • Windows 8 (Pro, Enterprise)
Now we shall see how to use BitLocker to protect your files

ENCRYPTING A VOLUME 

1. To encrypt a particular volume just Right click on it and select 'Turn on BitLocker'. Here iam using a Volume named "Others".
 
2. From the window select 'Use password to unlock the drive' and Enter the password. (You can also select 'Use my smart card to unlock the Drive'. In this case your PIN number will be used as unlock key). Then click Next.

 3.In the Next window a Recovery Key is generated. Save this Recovery Key in a safe location. This is used in case your password is lost. It is better to save Recovery Key text file in your pen drive. Now click Next.

4. In the Next window select first one if your PC is new. If it is old, it is recommended to select second option. However its always best to select second option regardless of age of computer. Then click Next.

5. Now select 'Start encrypting'.

6. Encryption process starts and the time it takes to complete depends on the size of the volume selected.

7. After encryption is done Restart the PC. Now you can see that the volume is locked.


HOW TO UNLOCK THE VOLUME

When you double click on the locked volume you are asked for a password. Now just type the password you used during encryption. Then the volume is unlocked and you can use it as normal drive.



 What if you forgot your password? 
In such a case you can use the Recovery key produced during encryption. Follow these simple steps.
Double click on the drive->Select More Options->Select Enter the Recovery Key
Now type the recovery key present in the Text file.

 DECRYPTING THE VOLUME

1. First unlock the Volume using the Password or Recovery Key. Right Click on the Volume and select Manage BitLocker.


2. From the Window select 'Turn off BitLocker'.

3. Wait for the Decryption process to complete.

4. Now your drive is decrypted and you can use it as normal volume without password.
 
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