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This document will outline how to unlock a computer that will not boot and is stuck on the BitLocker recovery screen.


  1. Using the Microsoft Edge browser or Internet Explorer on a different computer, visit 
  2. When prompted for credentials, enter your Geneseo Username and password:
    How to unlock an encrypted computer using the MBAM Self Service portal

  3. Once you've logged in, you should see a SUNY Geneseo security notice screen:

  4. Check the "I have read and understand the above notice" box and click Continue. You will then be presented with a "Get a BitLocker Recovery Key" Screen.

  5. On this screen you can enter your Recovery Key ID, choose a reason for the recovery, and then retrieve your BitLocker Recovery Key. Going back to the "locked" computer, locate the Recovery Key ID.
     Enter Recovery Key ID,

  6. On the "Get a BitLocker Recovery Key" web page, enter in the first 8 characters of the Recovery Key ID and choose a reason from the drop down box.
    BitLocker Recovery Key page

  7. Then click the Get Key button. You should then receive a 48-digit BitLocker Recovery Key that you can enter into the screen of the locked system. 
    BitLocker Recovery Key page

  8. Enter this key into the Recovery Key field on the locked computer. Once the key has been entered correctly, the computer will continue booting into Windows.

Why did this happen?

After a computer has been encrypted, if certain conditions occur, you may experience a situation where the system enters a "locked" state. Several things can cause this to happen. Some examples include changing certain BIOS settings, upgrading the BIOS, TPM ownership changes, or partition changes on the hard disk. When this happens, the next time the computer starts, you will see a screen similar to this:

BitLocker Recovery Key

At this point you must enter a BitLocker Recovery Key in the space provided in order for Windows to start. MBAM provides an easy way to find this Recovery Key and to continue using Windows. To find this key, you must use another computer or mobile device, open a web browser, and follow the subsequent steps. 

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More Help

For questions, contact the CIT HelpDesk by calling (585) 245-5588, or visiting our online service desk.