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

Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
3,919
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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.
There is a key(file) and it is the user's responsibility to back it up. I Google'd "bitlocker enabled by default on new machine" and the first hit was this:

https://support.hp.com/ca-en/document/c06458046

My ***guess*** is that a new Win10 user who is first logging in to their machine is greeted with (something to the effect of) "By the way, your entire HDD or SSD is encrypted and tied to your motherboard. Back the key up or risk losing everything if/ when these two things are de-coupled" and is one of about 1,000 ridiculous screens and prompts a user gets and absent-mindedly clicks through, like a EULA. I've never bought a new computer with Windows pre-installed so I am not certain to what extent a user is warned and (hopefully) warned again; but I know that when enabling BitLocker it is made reasonably clear that YOU THE USER are the sole steward of this key. I treat these kays with the same care and paranoia as I do SSH and PGP keys.
 

Pew

Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Messages
2,254
Location
IL
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.

I've never known there to be a default password nor do the passwords sync up online automatically - although I've only done domain-joined computers. If I recall correctly, BitLocker used to not be turned on by default until probably around version 1807 (although it could be manufacture-specific.)
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2005
Messages
960
Location
Indiana
Because I have 2 machines running W10 Pro (I installed the OS without a microsoft account) and never turned on bitlocker, I did a few searches online yesterday. As best as I can tell, the recovery key is created when it is first enabled. Also saw several accounts of people with the same issue as the OP - mostly from Dell owners.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
339
Location
TN
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.....
If you are considering reloading from scratch why not try installing Windows 11. I would not expect driver issues with Win 11.

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11
 

GON

$100 Site Donor 2023
Thread starter
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
3,770
Location
Steilacoom, WA
GON - did you solve your issue?
AG,

Lenovo never responded to my e-mails or on-line support requests.

I have a unopened copy of windows 7 professional, I plan on trying to load that to see what happens (If I can get the Lenovo laptop to see a external DVD player). If that doesn't work i will buy a copy of windows 8 and try that.

Huge lesson learned from people in this thread- if one buys a new laptop, during startup do not connect to the internet so MSFT does not get a vote in the control of that laptop.
 
Joined
May 31, 2006
Messages
3,919
Location
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
AG,

Lenovo never responded to my e-mails or on-line support requests.

I have a unopened copy of windows 7 professional, I plan on trying to load that to see what happens (If I can get the Lenovo laptop to see a external DVD player). If that doesn't work i will buy a copy of windows 8 and try that.

Huge lesson learned from people in this thread- if one buys a new laptop, during startup do not connect to the internet so MSFT does not get a vote in the control of that laptop.
Possibly another takeaway form this is that IF your system came encrypted already, or WHEN you choose to use BitLocker, it is critically important that you back up the encryption key file and be aware that the encryption is dependent on the HDD or SSD's coupling with a chip on the device's motherboard. Do not de-couple them without careful consideration.

I am not sure what connecting to the internet or Microsoft have to do with anything. My only concern would be: Is BitLocker active or inactive? If active, have I backed up the key file?
 

dishdude

$100 Site Donor 2023
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
14,202
Location
Phoenix
AG,

Lenovo never responded to my e-mails or on-line support requests.

I have a unopened copy of windows 7 professional, I plan on trying to load that to see what happens (If I can get the Lenovo laptop to see a external DVD player). If that doesn't work i will buy a copy of windows 8 and try that.

Huge lesson learned from people in this thread- if one buys a new laptop, during startup do not connect to the internet so MSFT does not get a vote in the control of that laptop.

You can create a bootable USB drive with W10 or W11 and reinstall Windows. It'll activate without the need for a product key since you already have a Windows license on this machine.

Know your BitLocker setting and back the key up if you want to use it or turn it off.
 
Top