Lenovo Ideapad sent in for warranty repair, returned with Bitlocker and can't use the laptop

dishdude

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I don't think Bitlocker encrypts the drive automatically, you need to turn it on and before it encrypts you must print or save the key, or back it up to your MS account. The service center can't help here, the only option is to reinstall Windows.
 
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I don't think Bitlocker encrypts the drive automatically, you need to turn it on and before it encrypts you must print or save the key, or back it up to your MS account. The service center can't help here, the only option is to reinstall Windows.
Seems to also happen by default when signed into a MS account. Been a while since I've imaged any laptops, but I remember it happening when the TPM was properly configured in the BIOS prior to imaging, they would automatically enable bitlocker once logged in.
 
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No, for a couple of reasons.
...
2. It's your responsibility to make sure you've backed up any important data/passwords before sending them the laptop. And Lenovo, and all other companies will tell you this when you return it. Usually there is a form they want you to fill out.
...
But your sending in a non working computer, how do you back it up before sending it in?
This one might have gotten me if it happened to me. In 25 years (knock wood) never had a computer fail on me that needed to be sent back. (gulp)
 
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Shouldn't the warranty repair company know that the hard disk would not recognize the new motherboard they should have retrieved the bitlock code for the customer and made sure everything fired up
No, for a couple of reasons.
...
Bitlocker did exactly what it's designed to do- disallow someone taking a drive out of a company computer and pulling personal/private data off of it by sticking it in another computer. This isn't a flaw, this is operating as intended. ...
Most computer users don't understand this level of detail, and they shouldn't have to. Some don't even know that Bitlocker has encrypted their drives! This is why any computer repair shop should warn people BEFORE they send in their laptops, that they are going to need Bitlocker keys, refer them to the procedures they need to follow, etc.
 

GON

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A follow up. I can't get the notebook past Bitlocker. I have Bitlocker on my work laptop and know what it is and how to use it. I in no way used bitlocker when I initially set up this Lenovo laptop.

I purchased the Lenovo notebook new in FEB 2021, and set it up with what i believe was the absolute minimum options for security, etc. I was shocked MSFT would not let me setup the computer out of the box without a MSFT account. I am now starting to find out there may be a way around a retail user of Windows 10 bypassing a MSFT account.

Lenovo has not responded to my requests for support on this. I am now looking at installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 on this "bricked" laptop . Only issue I have is driver support using the old OS. The only thing I care about losing is I have many pictures of my grandchildren. Lesson learned....

This event has sparked my interest in Apple and LINUX.

No way I believe MSFT intent was to "protect me" when they required a MSFT account to use Windows 10, and now this bitlocker. It was MSFT intent and plan to restrict what I can do without their oversight. How I wish a law would be that a software provided sold the software, and not allow them to just license it. Bill Gates was one very smart business man.....
 
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A follow up. I can't get the notebook past Bitlocker. I have Bitlocker on my work laptop and know what it is and how to use it. I in no way used bitlocker when I initially set up this Lenovo laptop.

I purchased the Lenovo notebook new in FEB 2021, and set it up with what i believe was the absolute minimum options for security, etc. I was shocked MSFT would not let me setup the computer out of the box without a MSFT account. I am now starting to find out there may be a way around a retail user of Windows 10 bypassing a MSFT account.

Lenovo has not responded to my requests for support on this. I am now looking at installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 on this "bricked" laptop . Only issue I have is driver support using the old OS. The only thing I care about losing is I have many pictures of my grandchildren. Lesson learned....

This event has sparked my interest in Apple and LINUX.

No way I believe MSFT intent was to "protect me" when they required a MSFT account to use Windows 10, and now this bitlocker. It was MSFT intent and plan to restrict what I can do without their oversight. How I wish a law would be that a software provided sold the software, and not allow them to just license it. Bill Gates was one very smart business man.....

Bitlocker as set up for enterprise is different, there's a lot more granularity in the configuration for it in Group Policy. They can require passwords at boot, etc. Bitlocker as configured on consumer laptops by default doesn't require anything except the TPM. Lenovo cannot help you here really. I'd install Windows 10 again but make sure to either back up the bitlocker recovery key on paper, or ensure that its connected to your MS account and check that its uploaded there. This is also why I recommend backing up photos using onedrive, google drive, etc.

The MS account thing is you're correct not to protect you, its to get you in their ecosystem so you use more of their products. Bitlocker on the other hand is in fact for protection. Encryption is important and your average consumer (as we've discovered) is unaware of encryption in the first place. I think encrypting by default is the correct move, however I think Windows should be more upfront about the need to save recovery keys. That being said, your average consumer probably will just click OK through it without reading it, so...
 
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dishdude

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Bitlocker is absolutely there for your protection, if that laptop gets stolen the drive can be removed and files can be read. The last thing you want are your tax returns and other documents getting into the wrong hands.

If you don't want to set a new laptop up with a MS account, it's as easy as not connecting to the internet until after you've walked through the setup process.
 
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A follow up. I can't get the notebook past Bitlocker. I have Bitlocker on my work laptop and know what it is and how to use it. I in no way used bitlocker when I initially set up this Lenovo laptop.

I purchased the Lenovo notebook new in FEB 2021, and set it up with what i believe was the absolute minimum options for security, etc. I was shocked MSFT would not let me setup the computer out of the box without a MSFT account. I am now starting to find out there may be a way around a retail user of Windows 10 bypassing a MSFT account.

Lenovo has not responded to my requests for support on this. I am now looking at installing Windows 7 or Windows 8 on this "bricked" laptop . Only issue I have is driver support using the old OS. The only thing I care about losing is I have many pictures of my grandchildren. Lesson learned....

This event has sparked my interest in Apple and LINUX.

No way I believe MSFT intent was to "protect me" when they required a MSFT account to use Windows 10, and now this bitlocker. It was MSFT intent and plan to restrict what I can do without their oversight. How I wish a law would be that a software provided sold the software, and not allow them to just license it. Bill Gates was one very smart business man.....
I'm worry about that Intel CPU newer than gen6 may not support win7 anymore, which means no drivers for the chipset, sensors, iGPU, WiFi and a whole bunch of on-board devices. Plus wipe the disk would also lead to the lost of all precious pictures on the disk.

If a mobile hard disk is available, I suggest install a new system on the mobile hard drive and start from that disk as temporary solution. It is their fault and they need to take up the responsibility. If possible try contacting the shop owner directly, since
"If someone else helped you set up your PC, the BitLocker keys you're looking for might be on their account."- Microsoft

For the recovery code, After log in your MS account, in the "Device" section, click "view detail" under your laptop, then in the "Bitlocker data protection" section, click "Manage recovery keys". I sincerely hope you will find it under there.
 
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... Lenovo cannot help you here really. ... Bitlocker on the other hand is in fact for protection. Encryption is important and your average consumer (as we've discovered) is unaware of encryption in the first place. I think encrypting by default is the correct move, however I think Windows should be more upfront about the need to save recovery keys. ...
If the drive wasn't encrypted when the OP sent it in for repair, Lenovo should not have returned it encrypted. No repair shop should ever encrypt a drive that wasn't previously encrypted.
If the drive was encrypted when the OP sent it in for repair, Lenovo should have warned the customer about the encryption to ensure he had the needed keys to recover his data.
Either way, Lenovo could have prevented this.

Sure, Bitlocker encryption is intended for protection. Yet it requires extra work to keep track of keys, and introduces the risk of losing your data if anyone makes a mistake. So it should be up to each user to decide whether the risks & hassles are worth the benefits.
 
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If the drive wasn't encrypted when the OP sent it in for repair, Lenovo should not have returned it encrypted. No repair shop should ever encrypt a drive that wasn't previously encrypted.
If the drive was encrypted when the OP sent it in for repair, Lenovo should have warned the customer about the encryption to ensure he had the needed keys to recover his data.
Either way, Lenovo could have prevented this.

Sure, Bitlocker encryption is intended for protection. Yet it requires extra work to keep track of keys, and introduces the risk of losing your data if anyone makes a mistake. So it should be up to each user to decide whether the risks & hassles are worth the benefits.
I'm 90% sure there is a section about this on the form you fill out when you ship the laptop to them. Also, users in general cannot be trusted to make smart decisions. I've worked in IT for quite a while now and that's pretty much a universal truth. There are some smart people out there, but by and large users have no idea what they're doing.
 
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I learned long ago that any HDD or SSD will be wiped or destroyed at any moment without notice. I'm sure most warranties out there only covers the part and not the setting or data you have on the system. You're probably short of luck if they swap something and you cannot get your old stuff back. May need to reinstall windows.

HP, Dell, Lenovo, I had them all and so far they aren't any better or worse than each other. I like that some of them are willing to try config that others won't normally build (i.e. currently HP with AMD Ryzen, and in the past Lenovo with 17" screen on i3 for old people).

p.s. Apple is no better. My screen was not responsive so I cannot turn on / unlock the phone. In order to backup before send in for warranty I have to either go to a repair shop to do an out of warranty repair or to just lose all the photos on it and send in to warranty repair. I was lucky I found a repair shop to lend me a screen to unlock, backup, and return the screen back to them, only paying them labor. Obviously the apple fanboys told me it was my fault instead of apple having no way to unlock the phone from iTune even to backup phone encrypted.....

Yeah, I keep a lot of stuff on USB external storage now, then lock them in box. I trust this better than on the cloud with bitlocker or other always on device.
 
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^^^ I have moved into the Apple world exactly for the reason you described. I understand your frustration though being the special mention of Apple and Apple fanboys you sound jaded vs Windows fanboys.

I just dont know why you didnt have an iCloud account? Im not being a smart A__ just curious, I only went into the Apple world a few years back now and everything out of the box almost was set up so I would never lose a thing if I lost my phone.

Now years later and fully in the Apple world.
Everything I do on my phone is accessible on my desktop and laptop, everything I do on my desktop and laptop is accessible on my phone.
I take photos with my phone and instantly they are available on all my devices. I can lose one device or have one device crash and I dont lose a thing.
 
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2 words: Macrium Reflect (or any other backup software) - it's free and is great for so many reasons. Now if the mobo change/bitlocker issue persists, that would stink - I'm going to look into this for my own installs.

Secondly, you can install w10 without creating a microsoft account. I never create such an account. The trick is to do the install with no internet connected. The setup will then give you the option to create a local account. After you've cleared that hurdle ypu can reconnect for activation, updates, etc.
 
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In 25 years (knock wood) never had a computer fail on me that needed to be sent back. (gulp)
I had 2 laptops from a well known manufacturer fail or fail to boot up within a few days of receipt. I hadn't even sent the first one back when the second one arrived - and it didn't work either. Had a phone consultation with their tech support with me swapping parts between the two of them to try to get one working laptop. Couldn't do it.

The 3rd laptop was fine. Worked well for many years.
 

Pew

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If you have BitLocker, then you have Windows 10 Pro, which does allow for offline accounts (picture below.) Windows 10 home will even allow it if you do not connect to your wifi during initial setup. Anyways, you are 100% SOL and will have to reinstall Win10/11 from the downloadable ISO online. I've had to do this to several work laptops after changing out the motherboard - to my dismay.

1642218696817.png
 
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If you have BitLocker, then you have Windows 10 Pro, which does allow for offline accounts (picture below.) Windows 10 home will even allow it if you do not connect to your wifi during initial setup. Anyways, you are 100% SOL and will have to reinstall Win10/11 from the downloadable ISO online. I've had to do this to several work laptops after changing out the motherboard - to my dismay.

View attachment 84442
So, that leaves one question: if you install w10 pro and never enable or use bitlocker, is there a default password? If so, it sounds like if it is enabled later and you've never used a microsoft account to back up the mystery password youwill never be able to unlock it? Or, when bitlocker is enabled for the first time will it then ask you to create a password. Very curious about this if you know the answer.
 
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