Updated: April 01, 2023
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by Christine Tomas
Tech Expert & Writer
1461 resolved issues
Verified Expert in:
Smartphones, Networks, Tablets, Computers

I changed the battery in my laptop

and when i try to boot it i get a message please enter the bitlocker recovery key .... i dont have a bitlocker key ... i contacted the vendor Dell and after attempting many boot processes they advised me to contact microsoft.

Hello, thank you for using Howly. I’ll be happy to help you out! May I ask your name?

Customer Replay


Nice to meet you, *****!
Are you sure you didn't set up Recovery Key upon purchase, sir?

Customer Replay

yes im sure

Got you, what Windows do you have?

Customer Replay

the dell has windows 10

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Customer Replay

i have the original bill of sale that includes Windows and Office i also have the product keys for both but can even get that far and the dell does not have a external floppy disk drive and also no external CD Drive

I see, is your computer connected to Microsoft account?

Customer Replay

The only thing i get when attempting to boot up is a screen demanding a bitlocker recovery key
I dont even know if i have a microsoft account
im an old guy and am talking to you on a borrowed laptop.

Alright, got you, sir.

Customer Replay

i am not completely computer savvy.. .
my cell phone has an antenna ad is not internet capable..

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That's okay, we'll try working around it. When you first got the computer, did you already have the Windows 10 installed on it?

Customer Replay

when i bought it, it to me it spoke arabic .... i got it in Saudi Arabia. it is a Dell vostro 5471


Got you, do you remember if it already had Windows 10?

Customer Replay

yes it did and i purchased the software so that I didnt end up with any problems... as i said i have the receipt right here in front of me with the product keys for both office and windows.

Got it, so you use Office frequently, right?

Customer Replay

all the time

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In this case, you do have a Microsoft account, sir. Do you have any other emails besides *****@gmail.com ?

Customer Replay

no that is the only account i have that is active ... i had an old one years ago... *****@yahoo.com dont think its still working

Are you logged into one of your Office programs on another device, maybe your phone? That way, you can check what account you're signed into.

Customer Replay

i dont know how to log into an account i didnt even know i have .... instructions please...

Sure, no problem! Do you use some of the programs on your phone?

Customer Replay

never... my phone is a second generation nokia with an antenna... it does not talk to the internet...

Alright, got it.

Customer Replay

it works what cani say

That's right, I'll check it on the website, then.
Okay, I can see that there's a Microsoft account under this email - *****@gmail.com
In case you forgot the password, we can reset it by sending the security code to the email above. Are you logged into this email, sir? Can you view the inbox messages?

Customer Replay

yes i am logged into the e mail account

Very good!

Customer Replay

i dont understand how my e mail is going to solve the issue with the bitrecovery key
and yes i will need a new password as i do not remember ever setting up a microsoft account.

I understand, here's the deal. As you've found, if your PC meets certain hardware requirements, Windows 10 Home will provide limited support for some BitLocker features under the name "Device encryption" as opposed to full BitLocker.
Some Dell system models that ship with Windows 10 Home ship with BitLocker "pre-staged", i.e. technically the C drive is encrypted, but BitLocker is suspended, so it behaves as a normal partition. The reason is that at this point, the user hasn't backed up a Recovery Key, so enabling encryption would be unsafe. If however you choose to link your Windows account to your Microsoft account, then your Recovery Key is backed up to your Microsoft account in the cloud and BitLocker is fully enabled - which happens instantaneously because again, technically the drive was already encrypted in advance, so at this point BitLocker just needs to remove the plaintext key that was allowing the encryption to operate in suspended mode.
Unfortunately, the users aren't informed about any of this. They're not told that their drive is encrypted, where to get their Recovery Key if they ever need it, or even that there's a Recovery Key in the first place. That's why this issue is so hard to solve, because many people didn't know the even had the Recovery Key ready.
No problem, we'll reset the password!

Customer Replay

ok what do i need to do to get this laptop running

To reset the password, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Visit the Microsoft password recovery page by this link below:
  2. Enter the email address you used to create your Microsoft account - *****@gmail.com and click "Next".
  3. Select "Email *****@gmail.com" option and click "Get code".
  4. Paste or type the code you received and select Next. On the next page, you will be offered to create a new password. Type your new password and select Next.
Customer Replay

ok pw is reset and i am logged in

Great work!
Please follow this link below and check if you can see a recovery key there:

Customer Replay

there are two listed how do i know which one to use?

Do you see a date?

Customer Replay

its the same date on both

Ok, in this case, try the first one first, sir.

Customer Replay

ok will do... the laptop only stays on for a short time not sure how long its going to take me to type in the entire number sequence its very long

I know, sorry about that L
Take your time, and let me know how it goes, please!

Customer Replay

the laptop is only allowing me to enter the first three groups of numbers then itwill not allow any more characters
and now the laptop has shut down on its own...

Is it connected to a charger?
Is this the screen you see, sir?


Customer Replay

yes it is connected to power... as i said i had to change the battery out
nearly but not the same it says to ceck my microsoft acct. at aka.ms/myrecoverykey

Okay, can you try following this link, please?

Customer Replay

and it has timed out and shut itself down again.

Hmm, I see. Sometimes it can shut off due to inactivity, make sure you're typing the code or touching the touchpad from time to time.

Customer Replay

that link took me to the same place we were already at... with the long recovery key
im stumped...

I see, what portion of the code are you able to enter, sir?

Customer Replay

only the first three groups of numbers then it will not take any more characters.. it just changes the last character

Please note that the bitlocker key has two parts - the identifier which you will see as part of the name when you save that as a file - this has letters and numbers. The key itself is in the file and only has numbers.

Customer Replay

i see key id and i see recovery key... i was using recovery key with numbers only

Do you have two fields in which you have to enter the information?

Customer Replay

no only one long one
i am trying again

I see, so when you enter the numbers is stops midway, not letting you type it out fully?
Ok, sure.

Customer Replay

i finally got it to take the long number the top one was not correct but it accepted the bottom number and the laptop is booting now... it says updates are under way and is now rebooting on its own...

Great work, sir! Let's give it some time to reboot.

Customer Replay

i sure hope that has solved the issue..

Me as well, fingers crossed!

Customer Replay

it looks like success has occured... THANKYOU

So happy to hear that! Are you able to browse the computer normally now?

Customer Replay

i dont know yet as the computer is rebooting again on its own...

Okay, let's wait, then! Just to be sure everything is set up :)

Customer Replay


Customer Replay

its working

I am so pleased to see your issue got resolved!

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