Replacing the motherboard on a Vista computer that has BitLocker enabled.

Say you have a laptop running Vista that has BitLocker enabled, and your motherboard needs to be replaced. What should you do to avoid getting locked out from your OS and data on your hard drive?

You have three choices:

  1. Disable BitLocker (but don’t decrypt your drive), replace your motherboard, and then re-enable BitLocker.
  2. Decrypt your hard drive, replace your motherboard, and then re-encrypt your hard drive again using BitLocker
  3. Make sure you have your recovery password first. Then replace your motherboard and use the Recovery Console to unlock your drive. Finally, create new BitLocker new keys for the new TPM chip on your system.


Mitch Tulloch was lead author for the Windows Vista Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, which is the book for IT pros who want to deploy, maintain and support Windows Vista in mid- and large-sized network environments. Mitch was also the author of Introducing Windows Server 2008 and technical project lead for the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit, both books also from Microsoft Press. For more information on these and other books by Mitch, see

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