PC Pro reports that firmware updates to Microsoft Surface 2 tablets are having issues with the BitLocker recovery key configuration, thus leaving many users with locked devices. For many, the only way to get back into the tablet is to know the lengthy BitLocker recovery key. To find answers, these owners have turned to Microsoft's Community Forums (opens in new tab) to post their problems.
"At the weekend our two Surface 2 devices got a firmware update installed," reads one post from forum member Andrew. "My Surface 2 updated and rebooted fine with no issues. But my wife's Surface 2 (64GB model) asked for the Bitlocker recovery key at boot after the update, and now every time it reboots. Although I have the key this is very poor end user experience. Especially as I am trying to sell her the Surface 2 over an iPad."
"Whenever it reboots - let's say for updates or things like that - I have to enter the BitLocker key. This is really starting to annoy me," said another user, Nsmet.
In a number of cases, many users had no idea BitLocker was enabled, and was forced to find a nearby PC and log into their Microsoft account to recover their BitLocker key. Others have simply decided to write down the lengthy key and stash it into their wallets in case the tablet needs the key again while away from a trusted computer.
"This is the second time this stupid BitLocker has ask me to enter the key. I don't really mind if it is like 10 numbers, but it is like 25," another owner complains. "This is annoying, I may have to return this surface for an IPad if this happens all the time one more time then I am done."
As PC Pro points out, Microsoft provides a support page (opens in new tab) acknowledging that Surface tablets do on occasion ask for BitLocker recovery keys if there are issues during the boot-up process. But currently, there are no instructions on how to deal with multiple key requests. One Microsoft adviser said to turn off BitLocker, but owners claim that isn't possible with Windows RT 8.1.
To see if BitLocker is enabled on your Surface 2 device, perform the following at the desktop:
1. Swipe Right to Left to bring up the Charm.
2. Choose Settings
3. Choose Control Panel
4. Select BitLocker Drive Encryption
5. Verify whether BitLocker is on or off on each device.