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This page describes how the external media encryption works using BitLocker on Windows computers. SOMTech is implementing BitLocker EME to replace the Dell encryption solution (DDPE EME). BitLocker EME only works on Windows computers.
DDPE-EME is being phased in slowly during 2021. The information on this page does not apply to all SOMTech-managed computers. Please read this FAQ for more details.
Bitlocker Activation requires you to be on a university internet connection or VPN to activate. This is so we can backup your recovery info in the event the password is forgotten or lost.
When using external storage devices you will be required to encrypt such devices before saving to them on a SOM computer. Upon the insertion of a unencrypted USB Storage Device into the computer you will be prompted with the screen below. This will provide the option the Encrypt the drive if you wish to save data to it or you can reject the encryption if you choose to use the drive in a read only mode. Read only will allow you to read the data on the device but your will not be able to save or modify any files on the drive. Once you click the "Encrypt Option" the BitLocker Encryption Setup will begin.
Password Creation & Recovery Key Backup
Once the BitLocker Encryption Setup has begun you will be presented with setup options. The first of those options will be to configure a password. Current password requirements require a 12 character password. Next if you would like to create a personal backup of they're encryption key which is not mandatory you can. If not you can simply click next and you recovery key will be automatically backed up to our backup server for safe keeping. This backup will happen regardless if you make a personal backup or not.
Next you will be presented with the option to fully encrypt the drive or only encrypt saved data. If this a large device (external HDD) it may be recommend to encrypt only the saved data as encrypting potentially terabytes of black space can be time consuming. After that selection you can simply click "next" and then start the encryption process.
Lastly you will be greeted with a final screen for starting the encryption. You can click "Start" and it will begin the encryption process.