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Scenario 3: Upgrading a BitLocker-Protected Computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7 (Windows 7)

Updated: August 26, 2009

Applies To: Windows 7

This scenario describes the process of upgrading a BitLocker-protected computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7.

Before you start

To complete the procedure in this scenario:

  • You must be able to provide administrative credentials.

  • The operating system drive must be BitLocker-protected.

To manually upgrade BitLocker Drive Encryption

  1. On a computer running Windows Vista, click Start, click Control Panel, click Security, and then click BitLocker Drive Encryption.

  2. Click Turn Off BitLocker, and then select the Disable BitLocker check box. Do not decrypt the drive.

  3. Install Windows 7 on the same drive.

  4. After Windows 7 is installed, click Start, click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then click BitLocker Drive Encryption.

    Click Resume Protection. Your operating system drive is now protected with BitLocker. If you want to use the new recovery key protection option—data recovery agents—you must also upgrade the BitLocker version information stored in the BitLocker metadata to the Windows 7 version. This is accomplished by using the Manage-bde.exe command-line tool.

  5. To upgrade the BitLocker metadata so that you can use the new Windows 7 BitLocker features, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and click Run as administrator. If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want, and then click Yes. At the command prompt, type the following command, replacing Volume with the appropriate drive letter:

    manage-bde.exe –upgrade Volume :

By completing this procedure, you have upgraded BitLocker from the Windows Vista version to the Windows 7 version.

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