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Hard Drive Encryption: Windows 7 BitLocker

What is BitLocker?

BitLocker is an encryption program that prevents unauthorized users from gaining access to files stored on Windows 7 computers. If a Calvin laptop encrypted with BitLocker is lost or stolen it protects the data stored on the computer's hard drive. This feature, built into the Windows 7 operating system, allows CIT to fully encrypt the hard drive of computer, securing all files and folders from unauthorized access. Only the users with valid Novell accounts will be able to login to the machine and gain access to the files and folders. In the event that the computer is lost or stolen, the data on the drive will be inaccessible without a valid Novell login or the BitLocker encryption key.

Why do we need it?

Having our laptops encrypted greatly decreases the chances of lost or stolen private and confidential information which could results in lawsuits, regulatory penalties, and possible criminal prosecution. 

Will all laptops be encrypted?

Our goal is to encrypt all Calvin faculty and staff laptops with Windows 7 BitLocker. Any newly deployed laptop is now encrypted as part of the reimaging and deployment process.

How it affect you?

The laptop hard drive will be encrypted after the computer is imaged. The encryption process takes about to 3 hours to complete. During this time, the machine may run a little slower than normal, but it will return to normal speeds once the encryption process completes. Also, all encrypted laptops will have a minimum of 2GB of RAM to help with the encryption process.  

Since BitLocker is built into Windows 7, there is only one login. When the drive is fully encrypted you shouldn't notice any difference except you will see a padlock icon over the C: drive in Windows Explorer where you drives are displayed.


If you have questions about BitLocker or encryption please contact the HelpDesk.