Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I encrypted my regular disks with BitLocker, but I am unable to do so with any USB drive I have. When I select the disk in Windows Explorer, I don't have the right-click menu "Manage BitLocker" on those drives and in the status bar underneath it is stated: "BitLocker status: Not Encryptable" (see screenshot).

I already tried reformatting the drives, deleting and recreating the volumes but nothing helps.ScreenShot

share|improve this question
Windows 7? or Vista? – iglvzx Jan 3 '12 at 19:43
My laptop runs Windows 7 x64 Enterprise – Thomas Vochten Jan 3 '12 at 20:04
@iglvzx - What does it matter? Bitlocker works nearly identical in both cases. Besides base on the screenshot thats Windows 7. – Ramhound Jan 3 '12 at 20:06
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It appears to be the usual suspect: group policies. The following GPO prevents me from enabling BitLocker on removable drives:

Windows Components/BitLocker Drive Encryption/Removable Data Drives/Control use of BitLocker on removable drives was set to Disabled

So no luck for me :) - I'll try an alternative like TrueCrypt, but that isn't as transparent of course.

share|improve this answer

Some drives cannot be encrypted with Bit Locker. Reasons a drive cannot be encrypted include insufficient disk size, an incompatible file system, or a drive is designated as the system partition. By default, the system drive (or system partition) of a computer running Windows 7 is hidden from display in the Computer window. However, if it is not created as a hidden drive when the operating system was installed due to a custom installation process, that drive might be displayed but cannot be encrypted.

Links related to the same:

share|improve this answer
The 3 reasons a disk cannot be encrypted (disk full, incompatible file system, or a drive is designated as the system partition) don't apply to my situation I'm afraid... – Thomas Vochten Jan 3 '12 at 20:09

If this is your own system, you can easily change the Policy setting, so I am assuming it is not.

If you have access to another computer that is able to encrypt portable drives, you can encrypt it there, and then use it with your other system. I have confirmed that you can still open pre-existing encrypted portable drives even when the Group Policy prevents creation of new ones.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .