Vista includes two encryption technologies: Encrypting File System (EFS) and BitLocker Drive Encryption. As with most technology, once you implement either encryption technology, you might encounter some common problems. In this series of articles, we will take a look at some of the common issues that can arise with both technologies.

If you cannot enable BitLocker Drive Encryption on your computer, you need to check if your motherboard is TPM compliant. This is not so much as a problem but more of a configuration issues. Without a TMP, BitLocker will not be enabled by default and you will see a message indicating that a TPM was not found.

You can still take advantage of BitLocker without a TPM compliant motherboard. The workaround is to get an external USB key to store the encrypted keys. Each time you boot the computer, you will need to insert the USB key into the USB port.

On the topic of configuration issues, if your hard disk is not configured properly (refer to the Lockergnome article called ‘Planning For Encryption In Vista’), you will receive the following message:

The drive configuration is unsuitable for BitLocker Drive Encryption. To use BitLocker, please re-partition your hard drive according to the BitLocker requirements.

To use BitLocker, your hard disk needs at least two partitions. The first partition contains startup information and the second contains the operating system and user data. You can download and run the BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool to prepare your hard drive.