Monday 17 September 2007

Windows Vista - Fresh Install BitLocker Drive Prep

This process was pointed out by Chris Knight in our previous post: Windows Vista - BitLocker caveat - Or maybe not?.

From the TechNet article - Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption Step-by-Step Guide:

Partition a disk with no operating system for BitLocker

In this procedure you start the computer from the product DVD and then enter a series of commands to do the following:
  • Create a new 1.5 GB primary partition.
  • Set this partition as active.
  • Create a second primary partition using the rest of the space on the disk.
  • Format both new partitions so they can be used as Windows volumes.
  • Install Windows Vista on the larger volume (drive C).
You must create a second active partition for BitLocker to work properly.

Your drive letters might not correspond to those in this example. In this example, the operating system volume is labeled C, and the system volume is labeled S (for system volume). In this example, we also assume that the system has only one physical hard disk drive.

To partition a disk with no operating system for BitLocker
  1. Start the computer from the Windows Vista product DVD.
  2. In the initial Install Windows screen, choose your Installation language, Time and currency format, and Keyboard layout, and then click Next.
  3. In the next Install Windows screen, click Repair your computer, located in the lower left of the screen.
  4. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, make sure no operating system is selected. To do this, click in the empty area of the Operating System list, below any listed entries. Then click Next.
  5. In the next System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.
  6. Use Diskpart to create the partition for the operating system volume. At the command prompt, type diskpart, and then press ENTER.
  7. Type select disk 0.
  8. Type clean to erase the existing partition table.
  9. Type create partition primary size=1500 to set the partition you are creating as a primary partition.
  10. Type assign letter=S to give this partition the S designator.
  11. Type active to set the new partition as the active partition.
  12. Type create partition primary to create another primary partition. You will install Windows on this larger partition.
  13. Type assign letter=C to give this partition the C designator.
  14. Type list volume to see a display of all the volumes on this disk. You will see a listing of each volume, volume numbers, letters, labels, file systems, types, sizes, status, and information. Check that you have two volumes and that you know the label used for each volume.
  15. Type exit to leave the diskpart application.
  16. Type format c: /y /q /fs:NTFS to properly format the C volume.
  17. Type format s: /y /q /fs:NTFS to properly format the S volume.
  18. Type exit to leave the command prompt.
  19. In the System Recovery Options window, use the close window icon in the upper right (or press ALT+F4) to close the window to return to the main installation screen. (Do not click Shut Down or Restart.)
  20. Click Install now and proceed with the Windows Vista installation process. Install Windows Vista on the larger volume, C: (the operating system volume).
In our case, we always setup a small partition at the end of the disk for the Swap File. So, we will format as follows:

  • BitLocker Partition T: (Active)
  • System Partition C:
  • Swap File Partition: S:
We are in the process of setting up one of our high performance workstations in the office with a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate x64 with the intent of setting up BitLocker and running a few drive scans after the fact.

We will be using this x64 based station as a litmus test for the extra memory capabilities of Vista x64 and Adobe Create Suite CS3 performance among other things.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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