Tech Support: BitLocker failure on a dual-boot ThinkPad

Thank you, Mike Ober (Mike400), for sharing the solution! I want to share my tech support solution for the next person trying to figure this out by searching the amazing knowledge repository that is the Web.

Background:

  1. I have a nice new Thinkpad X1 Extreme.
  2. I installed Pop!_OS as a dual-boot Linux option. I can’t remember, but I believe I had to disable a setting or two in the BIOS/UEFI to allow Linux to boot.
  3. After using both OSes successfully, I decided it was time to enable disk encryption, and I turned on BitLocker for my Windows partition.
  4. After rebooting to Windows, I got the following error:

BitLocker error message

I searched the Web for “The data drive specified is not set to automatically unlock on the current computer and cannot be unlocked automatically” to figure out why “BitLocker could not be enabled.” It wasn’t great and there was no obvious answer in the results.

Mike400‘s answer to a question on a site I’ve never heard about struck me, because it sounded like the solution to so many Windows problems (off/on, uninstall/reinstall, disable,enable).

For posterity, here are the steps when the problem is the Microsoft TPM driver:

  1. Disable TPM in the BIOS.
  2. Boot to Windows and open an Admin command prompt.
  3. Run the following to open Device Manager showing the absent TPM:
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
    start devmgmt.msc
  4. In Device Manager, go to “View” and enable “Show Hidden Devices.”
  5. Under “Security Devices” is the “Trusted Platform Module”. DELETE IT.
  6. Reboot to Windows again. Just to be sure.
  7. Shutdown and enable TPM in the BIOS.
  8. Boot to Windows and try BitLocker again.

It worked for me!

Tech Support: BitLocker failure on a dual-boot ThinkPad

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