BitLocker and Keys on USB Drive

Submitted on Dec 18, 2007, 2:42 a.m.

I posted here a while ago about setting up BitLocker on my PC - without a TPM. Works great.

I've recently been building up a new machine that will become my main development PC in the New Year - having decided to follow in the footsteps of others and build a decent spec Vista Ultimate 64 Bit box.

The spec:

Shuttle SP35P2 Pro
G.Skill 8GB 4-4-4-12 RAM
XFX NVidia GT 8800 Video
WD Raptor 10,000 RPM SATA for OS
SD Barracuda 300GB for Data
Vista 64 Ultimate 64 Bit

Anyway - more on this box later - which of course is going to be way better than others . :-)

BitLocker and EFS are now standard on my PCs and any new notebook I buy will have a TPM in it for sure.

That said - I'll be darned if I could get BitLocker to find the USB flash drive on this new PC to load the BitLocker keys at startup.

There are plenty of threads out there on the topic. Search for 'Bitlocker unable to read USB drive', or 'Bitlocker cannot find keys on USB drive'.

None of these helped me in this case.

Here's the solution (at least for this machine - with a Phoenix Award BIOS - V6.00PG - on an Intel P35 Express Chipset + ICH9R).

1. Be sure to put your USB keyring or flash drive in first!

2. Restart and enter your PC's BIOS (DEL at startup)

3. Go to the Integrated Peripherals menu item

4. Go to your USB Device Settings menu item

5. Set the USB controller to 'Enabled', 'High Speed' and the USB Storage function to 'Enabled'.

6. Here's the trick.... You should see a line like the one below with your USB thumbdrive listed.

*** USB Mass Storage Device Boot Settings***

[Yourdrive MFG name here]   [Auto]

The default is 'Auto'. Change it to 'HDD' and presto - Bitlocker will find the USB drive.


Took me ages to figure this one out...