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Need Help setting up BitLocker

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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I am trying to setup BitLocker on my PC and need some help.
I ran the Preparation tool and then enabled BitLocker for my C: drive.
The computer reboot and then I got the following message from BitLocker..
"The system firmware failed to enable clearing of system memory on reboot."  and that the BitLocker setup would be canceled.   Any Idea how to get passed this?  

If this gets complicated I'll increase the points, for now I just want to know if I can even use BitLocker on this PC.  Thanks
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justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
Hello Burntout, I presume that your PC has a TPM chip correct?? Also, please give more detail on how you enabled BitLocker (For Ex. Did you store the key, print the key, or try to put it on a USB device). Also, did you enable encryption and did you have any errors when you enabled Bitlocker before you rebooted.


Justin

Author

Commented:
I do not have a TPM.  I followed some instructions I found online to enable a setting in the MMC so that I can use it without a TPM.  
OK..  I ran the Bitlocker Prep tool which added a 1.5gb partition and set it to active.
After that I enabled encryption for drive C: and it asked me about what to do with the key which I saved on a USB drive.  Next it told me it needed to reboot to make sure everything was going to work before it actually encrypted the drive.  Once the computer booted back up and I logged into my account I got the message above in my first comment.

Hope that helps
justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
Have a look at this. Also, make sure you don't have the USB Key plugged into a hub or PCI/USB card. Try to make sure that it is plugged into a USB Port that is on the system board.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistasecurity/thread/b1e5b867-1b3c-4aae-9ac7-87d17df7d028/


Hope this helps,


Justin

Author

Commented:
I thought you had it for sure with this one.  I was plugging it into an extra USB port on a card reader built into my PC.  I tried it Directly on the mother board and on a 5-port USB PCIe expansion card I have.  Unfortunately it didn't make a difference.

I wonder if it could be the firmware on the USB drive I'm using, some how I don't think the error is talking about the BIOS on my mother board as the other post suggests.

I decided to back up all my important stuff and try encrypting the drive without having BitLocker do it's system test.  Guess I'll just cross my fingers.  I'll let you know what happens.
justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
Have you checked to make sure that the USB Devices is first on your boot list in the Bios (This of course means you will need to plug the USB Key into the USB port on the System Board). Hope this helps.

As for the Firmware on the USB drive it shouldn't be as long as it is a USB 2.0 device.


Justin

Author

Commented:
I tried setting the USB to boot first but there are no system files on it, only the key file and my computer for some reason tries to boot from it and locks up.  I was able to encrypt the hard drive but now I have to type in the 48 digit recovery password every time I reboot.   I'll try updating my BIOS tonight.

Even if the problem is that the BIOS doesn't support clearing the RAM for security reasons, I don't see what that has to do with me using a USB drive to enter the key.  It is still allowing me to use BitLocker even with this memory clearing issue.  I guess that's Microsoft for you.
justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
I don't think that in your case the (Bios clearing the Ram for security reasons) is the issue for you. However, it very well may be a problem if your computer is locking up when you are trying to boot off the USB Key. The USB key wont have any system files on it. It should only really have the two hidden folders that BitLocker puts on it, but this should not lock up your computer. You updating the Bios could fix this issue though, so it will be interesting to see what happens after you do that tonight. Hope this helps...Keep me posted :)


Justin

Author

Commented:
Just wanted to let you know I haven't forgot about this.  I updated my BOIS which went badly and my computer is now useless.  I'm going to buy a new motherboard, hopefully it will solve all of my problems.
IT Manager
Commented:
Your fine, thanks for posting back and letting us know. It is nice when Experts keep you informed.

Anyway, back to business, you said (BOIS which went badly and my computer is now useless) could you elaborate a little more. In other words, in the older days (And still some today) if you flashed your Bios and it went south it fried your system board so to speak. Now a lot of them have a feature built in to prevent this and will either allow you to revert back to the other one or re flash it with the original again. That is why I ask.

I assume you have already purchased another motherboard?? Just keep me posted on your progress when you have time.


Justin

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Author

Commented:
I had an older ASUS board which seems pretty dead.  I get no beep and no video on power up.  I can probably order a new pre loaded bios chip but I figured my problem is probably because of this board anyway.  I got a new ASUS M3N78-VM with crash free bios so I can recover next time.  It also has a TPM port where I can add a TPM module if I can ever figure out where to get one.  However I'm not sure what the benefit would be to have the TPM as the USB works fine now.  Did you know how cheap processors have become?  I also got an AMD Phenom II 3ghz 4-core processor for only $230.

There is something strange about the new board and vista ultimate 64.  For some reason when I go to install the chipset drivers it tells me that the drivers for my device were found but cannot be installed because access is denied.  This happens right from the CD or from a folder on the HDD with drivers downloaded from ASUS.  The drivers all install ok except for the SM Bus Controller and Coprocessor which give me the access denied message but this is probably a whole other EE question.
justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
Hello Burntout, so if I understand you correctly, the new board fixed your issue and you have Bitlocker working well and the way you wanted it to??

Yes, technology is getting very cheap because of the economy, and the fact that one thing is in today and out the next day.


When you are installing the driver that is telling you access denied are you logged in as an administrator?? Also, did you right-click on the setup file and go to run as Administrator (Even if you are logged in as an administrator some apps still require that you right-click on them and select run as administrator). Hope this helps.


Justin

Author

Commented:
Yes The new mother board fixed my bitlocker issue.

As far as the drivers go...  I'm logged in as administrator.  I ran the driver installation file from the CD which looks like it just copied them to my hard drive in the folder where windows searches for them when new hardware is detected.  Basically windows started detecting all kinds of new hardware and finding the drivers for it.  All the audio, video, USB, network, etc driver loaded without issues but I keep getting a pop-up from the task bar saying some hardware was not setup correctly.  When I go to the device manager there are two items under "Other Devices", "SM Bus Controller" and "Coprocessor" which both have a yellow "!" next to them.  If I open them up and look at the problem it says no drivers are installed for them.   I right clicked on each and selected "Update Driver" and then pointed it to the driver folder on my CD that came with the board.  Windows searches and then tells me that the driver for my device was found but was not installed due to an error.  The error message was "Access Denied".

I have tried downloading a new copy of the drivers and installing them (even though my CD had the latest version)
I have tried disabling User Access Control, rebooting and loading them.
I've searched the net and found a lot of people having similar issues with mostly printers, some hard drives and USB devices but don't see anything exactly like my issue.

It's strange that "Coprocessor" is even coming up because in device manager under processors it shows all four of my processors are installed correctly.  My computer works fine, it just bugs me to see these hardware messages.  I tried deleting them from device manager but they just instantly get detected again.

Author

Commented:
figured it out.  It was my virus scanner....duh   lol
Even though I ended up buying new hardware to fix my problem
I appreciate all your help, Thanks Justin.

Chris
justinmoore14IT Manager

Commented:
Chris, don't you just hate when that happens. :)

Your welcome, I am just glad that you got it all worked out in the end.


Justin
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