search

Windows Encryption

When your department is scheduled for encryption, notifications will start to appear on your computer (Figure 1) informing you of the required software, Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MABM) and installation date.

Figure 1

Once the software is installed you will be prompted to restart your computer (Figure 2).   You will have up to four hours to do so before your computer is restarted for you. In order to give you the most control over the process, when you see the required software notification, we recommend that you install the software and reboot your computer at your earliest convenience.

Figure 2

After the restart above, the software will be enabled and you will need to restart your computer one more time to initiate the drive encryption process.  The drive encryption process will begin within 90 minutes of the second restart.

During the actual drive encryption process, we expect minimal impact and you may continue to use your computer.  During this process if you happen to view your hard drive, it may appear that it is nearly full (Figure 3).   However, this is only temporary while the drive is encrypting. 

Figure 3

Once the drive is fully encrypted, people will continue to login to their computers the same way they always have. 

Lastly, one of the configuration changes we will be making is setting an administrator password for your computer BIOS.   The vast majority of you will never need to make changes to your computer BIOS.   However, if you need to, you may request the password from https://help.cals.cornell.edu   We are setting an administrator BIOS password to prevent an accidental BIOS change from requiring you to enter the decryption “Recovery Key”. Once a hard drive is encrypted, any change to the BIOS will require the BitLocker Drive Encryption Recovery Key (Figure 4) to turn on the computer.

Figure 4

In the rare event, that you are ever prompted for the hard drive recovery key you may obtain it via the self-serve web portal at: https://mbam.it.cornell.edu/SelfService/Home/Notice or by submitting a request to https://help.cals.cornell.edu