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Windows Encryption

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

MBAM-installer highlighted

The drive encryption process will begin within 90 minutes of when the installation completes. 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 at your computer at your earliest convenience. To install optional applications simply:

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Type "Software Center" (without quotes)
  3. Click on Software Center

To see the status of your drive, open Windows Explorer and review your C: drive. If C: has a padlock on the icon (see both of the below screenshots) you have MBAM installed and are either already encrypted or your drive is being encrypted. During the actual drive encryption process we expect minimal impact and you may continue to use your computer. If you view your hard drive during encryption, it may appear that it is nearly full. However, this is only temporary while the drive is encrypting. 

Figure 3

Once the drive is fully encrypted, you will continue to login to your computers the same way you always have. Below is what your hard drive will look like after encryption.

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 to turn on the computer.

Windows 10 Bitlocker Recovery Screen

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