Disable BitLocker Active Directory Dependency

Let’s imagine that you have a Windows 7 system that was imaged.  Let’s imagine that the image is designed to easily connect to your infrastructure’s domain.  Let’s also imagine that you don’t want to add this particular system to your domain; you just want to use this system for a separate purpose, but save time by using your primary Windows 7 image.  Let’s also imagine that you want this system to have BitLocker enabled.  Your system meet’s all of Microsoft’s BitLocker requirements, but when you try to enable BitLocker, you get a nasty: BitLocker could not contact the domain.  Ensure that you are connected to the network or contact your system administrator error.

At this point, you have done a ton of research on how to turn off the Active Directory dependency for BitLocker, but have yet to find a solution.  Before you jump off the roof of your building, read below as I have your solution:

  1. Open gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Trusted Platform Module Services.
  3. Disable the setting: Turn on TPM backup to Active Directory Domain Services.  This is probably the evil setting that is causing you all the problems.  But, just in case, continue on to the steps below anyway.
  4. Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > BitLocker Drive Encryption.
  5. Disable the setting: Store BitLocker recovery information in Active Directory Domain Services (Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista).
  6. You may need to disable 1 more setting.  Navigate to: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > BitLocker Drive Encryption > Operating System Drives.
  7. Disable the setting: Choose how BitLocker-protected operating system drives can be recovered.

Once all those Group Policy settings are disabled, your non-domain connected PC should have no (AD related) problems setting up BitLocker.

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