Dell: New BIOS is causing Bitlocker issues

[German]Just a brief note for owners of Dell devices using Bitlocker under Windows. Dell has released a BIOS update that can cause issues with Bitlocker encryption. 


A few days ago, I became aware of this from a tweet, @PhantomofMobile has published. 

More Details

Within the Dell community there is this thread with more details. After updating the BIOS, a user noticed that his Dell XPS 9365 was asking for a recovery password for his Bitlocker drive. Bitlocker was never activated on this laptop. The user can no longer access his computer.

He tried to use the command prompt to either disable or stop Bitlocker. But of course it also needed the recovery key. The whole thing is not an isolated case, within this Dell forum thread there are 6 pages already discussing this behavior. And other users also report as affected.

Some workarounds?

Within this post someone describes how he fixed this issue – I don't know, if this works. Within the threads linked above it looks more like it won't work and Dell and Microsoft blame each other.


Another user describes here two workarounds, he used successful for two devices. I can't say whether this works in general. And in another post, a user describes that he could retrieve the recovery key from the Microsoft Azure Portal with the help of Microsoft support, although he never used Bitlocker.

At all it seems not very transparent. Currently I can only advise to avoid a BIOS update until the whole thing is cleared up by Dell. Any of you affected? Is there any other known working solution?

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2 Responses to Dell: New BIOS is causing Bitlocker issues

  1. Kristen says:

    Ridiculous that they blame each other while all these customers have lost access to their files etc., with no telling if they will EVER get them back. Both those companies need to get it together and find a solution before they end up facing a class action lawsuit.

    What I can tell you about this situation:
    I lost access to my laptop after the update that locked me out without ever having created a key (didn't even know it was a thing until locked out). I am a graduate student, so I called my IT service and they told me that they can fix this. The way they described it was to use another OS (Linux) to go into the computer and go around the bitlocker and reset things. I live 2 hours away from my school so I have no tried this yet, but they sounded very confident that this would work, but granted it was a novel problem (at the time).

    It might cost money, but the professionals should be able to fix this…and if anyone has a friend, relative etc., who is in school and has IT services for free, it couldnt hurt to call in and ask about this particular issue.

    Hope this helps. Totally disgusted with Dell and MS and their mishandling (or unhandling) of this extremely problematic issue we are facing through no fault of our own.

  2. Robert Snedden says:

    I am trying to clone a Dell Inspirion 1751(?) and find the C: partition is BitLocker encrypted. This is for a friend who has never done anything to do with BitLocker. I've done most things with PC's going way back to Windows for Workgroups but this one has defeated me. Would be interested to find out if there is anything I can do. Looks to me like a reformat and reinstall.

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