How to fix a Bitlocker fatal error during startup

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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BitLocker failed to encrypt drive

Are you a Windows user experiencing Bitlocker fatal error with code 0x00000120? This (Blue Screen of Death) BSod error pops up resulting in automatic shut down and/or system restarting. Today, we will show you how to solve this error problem.

BitLocker is a full disk encryption feature which protects data by providing encryption; hence, it is a Windows security feature. It uses the AES encryption algorithm in cipher block chaining (CBC) or XTS mode with a 128-bit or 256-bit key.

Meanwhile, BitLocker is not available on Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 OS but in subsequent OS versions. However, the Bitlocker fatal error BSOD appears during boot process in Windows OS such as Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 PC. However, the reasons for this error include:

  • Corrupted system files
  • Corrupted Bitlocker program files
  • Incomplete Windows installation and/or upgrade
  • Corruption in the Bitlocker drive encryption
  • Addition/Removal of drives
  • Missing Dynamic Link Libraries(DLL)
  • Changes in the BIOS boot order

Meanwhile, Windows Report Team has provided solutions which are applicable in fixing the Bitlocker fatal error with stop code 0x00000120. The solutions are given below.

How to fix Bitlocker fatal error on Windows PC

  1. Disconnect your USB devices
  2. Disk Cleanup
  3. Repair PC Registry
  4. Use CCleaner
  5. Reset BIOS Settings
  6. Run System restore in safe mode
  7. Update your Windows OS
  8. Disable Bitlocker

Solution 1: Disconnect your USB devices

According to some Windows users, USB devices such as Wi-Fi adapters, keyboards, mice, and Bluetooth or can cause this problem to occur. During boot, the system may attempt to boot from any of these devices resulting in the Bitlocker fatal error display.bitlocker fatal error storage data drives

However, you can fix this issue, by disconnecting all attached USB devices and boot your system afterwards.

In addition, check your PC if there is any CD, DVD, or any other secondary storage devices and eject them before you boot up your PC. If this method does not work, you can proceed to the next method.

Solution 2: Disk Cleanup

You can also fix the error problem by running disk cleanup on your Windows PC. Disk Cleanup is a Windows utility program that reduces the number of unnecessary files on your hard disk to free up disk space.

It removes temporary files or unwanted system files that caused the Btlocker fatal error problem. Here’s how to run Disk Cleanup:

  1. Go to Start > Type Disk Cleanup and hit “Enter”.bitlocker fatal error disk cleanup
  2. Wait for Disk cleanup to scan your drive(s).bitlocker fatal error disk cleanup
  3. After the scanning, check the files boxes, and then click on “OK” to delete.bitlocker fatal error disk cleanup
  4. Select “Delete files” to proceed.bitlocker fatal error disk cleanup permanently delete files

Solution 3: Repair PC Registry

Another way by which you can fix Bitlocker fatal error problem is to use System File Checker. SFC can be used to scan, check for system file integrity and fix corrupt system files. To run a SFC scan on your Windows PC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Start menu and type “cmd” without quote. Right click on the Command Prompt icon and click on ‘Run as Administrator’. Click “yes” to accept the UAC prompt.bitlocker fatal error run cmd as admin
  2. Also, in the cmd prompt, type “sfc” without quotes and hit the “Enter” key.
  3. Now, type “/scannow” without quotes and hit the “Enter” key.bitlocker fatal error sfc /scannow cmd
  4. Finally, restart your Windows PC and try launching the application again

Alternatively, you can use CCleaner to repair your PC registry in the next method.

Solution 4: Use CCleaner

CCleaner is a Windows utility program which can fix corrupt system files, remove obsolete system files and repair your PC registry.

You may need to download CCleaner on your Windows PC. Follow these steps to download, install, and use CCleaner:

  1. Download CCleaner at their official website.
  2. Install and follow the prompts to complete the installation.
  3. After installation, launch CCleaner, and then click on “Analyze” option.bitlocker fatal error ccleaner
  4. After CCleaner has finished scanning, click on “Run Cleaner”. Follow the prompts to enable CCleaner fix the corrupted files.

Also Read: Can’t install drivers on Windows 10? Here’s how to fix it

Solution 5: Reset BIOS Settings

BIOS consist of system settings which determine the order and how your PC boots up. However, by resetting BIOS settings to default state can fix the Bitlocker fatal error problem.

Before you proceed with these steps, ensure you disconnect connected external drives (as indicated in Method 1). Follow these steps to reset your PC’s BIOS settings:

  1. Restart PC.
  2. Hit the “F2” key repeatedly until a System Setup screen window appears.(The BIOS function key varies; you may have to check during boot which Function key to use so as to access the BIOS settings).
  3. Now, Hit on the “Right Arrow” on your keyboard and wait until “Exit” menu is highlighted.
  4. Next, hit on the “Down Arrow” on your keyboard and select “Load Optimized Defaults” option.
  5. Finally, hit the “Enter” button.

Solution 6: Run System restore in safe mode

Safe mode is a diagnostics mode in Windows with only basic files and drivers running in limited state. However, you can perform system restore in safe mode to revert back to a certain restore point on your system before Bitlocker fatal error message started appearing during startup. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Shut down your PC and turn it on again.
  2. Navigate to the “Run in Safe Mode” option and hit “Enter”.
  3. Go to Start > Type system restore and then hit “Enter”.bitlocker fatal error system restore
  4. Follow the prompts to revert back to a certain restore point.bitlocker fatal error system restore
  5. Wait for the process to complete, and then reboot.

Note: Ensure you are able to identify the restore point date before the error message started. System restore does not affect any of your files, documents, and personal data.

Solution 7: Update your Windows OS

Microsoft constantly releases Windows updates so as to improve system stability and fix various issues and errors such as the Bitlocker fatal error.

In addition, Windows update improves PC performance and overall speed of the system. However, on all Windows versions you can use these steps to update your Windows OS:

  1. Go to Start>type “update” in the search box and then click on “Windows Update” to proceed.
  2. In the Windows Update window, check for updates and install the available updates.bitlocker fatal error update windows
  3. After the update is complete, restart your Windows PC.

Solution 8: Disable Bitlocker

However, if you are unable to fix bitlocker fatal error using of the methods listed above, then you may have to disable Bitlocker. You can disable Bitlocker in Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10.

After you disable Bitlocker, we do recommend that you use any of the best 256-bit encryption software to protect your files. In addition, you may also consider file and folder locker tools and software for Windows PC.

In conclusion, you can try out any of the methods we discussed in any order. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.