20 September 2016

BitLocker Orange Screen with White Vertical Lines

That's not right

I powered up my work machine after three weeks and was greeted with an orange screen with white vertical lines in place of the expected screen asking for a password.  Flip - that's not right, perhaps the machine crashed during an update.  Oh well, I will just reboot and everything will be fine - after all it is a Microsoft box.

But the reboot didn't rectify matters and neither did a cold boot with the power removed for thirty seconds.  Time to Google the matter on my phone.  Wow, in contrast with fixing computers twenty years ago the combination of the readily available information on the Internet and the access to another computer has transformed the effort needed to resolve an issue on another machine into a simple affair.  The 'solution' I was glad to learn was that the machine was still waiting for my encryption password under that garish orange veneer and by entering it and pressing Enter the machine would continue to boot as normal.  I was relieved to read this and indeed my machine booted to Windows shortly after.

The next day, today, this didn't approach didn't appear to work and I arrived at the BitLocker Recovery Key screen.  The link shown on-screen: http://windows.microsoft.com/recoverykeyfaq, was of little help so I reboot the machine and entered my password again, but more slowly this time.  The machine booted into Windows, but could very quickly become a hassle and a security risk if I need to remotely guide someone else to use my PC.

More Googling and several sites later I found this working solution which described that the boot font had been corrupted - I wonder what else has been corrupted? - and that reverting from the pretty Windows 8 BitLocker font to the simple text based Windows 7 version would produce a more useable interface.

The command to executed in a CMD window with Admin privileges is:
bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
and to revert back to the, potentially corrupted, pretty screen (change "legacy" to "standard").

The solution was provided by Sholtz and this is the forum thread on TechNet.  Thank you Sholtz.