I'd like to encrypt the system drive on my desktop computer, but I routinely use it remotely so I don't want to be stuck putting in a password or USB stick on boot. My primary concern is with someone breaking in and stealing the computer, I'm not really concerned about a targeted attack or my roommate trying to hack into it when I'm not there or something like that.

My thought is that I can store the key somewhere outside of the computer but still automatically accessible inside my apartment. That way if it leaves the apartment it no longer has access to the key and it can't be unlocked without manually entering a PIN.

Bitlocker Network Unlock seems like it would be perfect for this, but it requires a TPM.

My current best idea is to get a long USB extension cable and put the key on a USB stick that's glued to the inside of the wall or something. Someone that knows the setup could easily just grab it along with the computer, but odds are the average thief would just yank all the cables and walk away.

Are there any better options for what I'm trying to accomplish? I'm running Windows 8.1.


Yes, you can suspend Bitlocker using the Suspend-BitLocker command. Pay special attention to the RebootCount parameter, or you'll get locked out again.

If you do this on an SSD you have no way to reliably erase the key from the SSD in the future, unless you wipe it entirely (ATA Secure Erase).

  • 1
    Isn't that effectively the same as just disabling bitlocker entirely? – Screndib Jul 29 '14 at 1:44
  • Well, it's a ton quicker than decrypting your whole drive and re-encrypting it again later. Instead it just writes the key to the HDD in plain text. – Sophit Jul 30 '14 at 22:47

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