How to Fix BitLocker Recovery Screen Issue When Dual-Booting Windows and Linux

I recently transitioned from an MSI G75 Titan gaming laptop (equipped with Core i9 and 1080 GTX) to an ROG Strix Scar 17, boasting a Ryzen 9 with a 3080 RTX. While the Titan remains powerful, especially after enhancing it with 6TBs of SSD and 64GB RAM, I opted to transform it into a dual-boot system, combining Windows for gaming and Linux for productivity.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to my experience, the challenges I encountered, and how I resolved the persistent BitLocker recovery screen problem when switching between the operating systems.

Setting Up the Dual-Boot System:

  1. I retained the existing Windows OS on the Titan.
  2. I installed Linux on another SSD, with Grub as the default bootloader.
  3. To avoid potential complications, I disabled BitLocker on Windows prior to the Linux installation and re-enabled it afterward.

Encountering the BitLocker Challenge:

Upon launching Windows after installing Linux, I was confronted by the BitLocker recovery screen. Various attempts to rectify this, from disabling secure boot to adjusting SSD boot priorities, proved futile.

Exploring Solutions Online:

Online tech communities offered a plethora of potential fixes. One widely acknowledged solution recommended suspending BitLocker management on Windows. While it worked temporarily, it was a short-lived success.

The Workaround:

An accidental discovery led to a temporary fix: bypassing Grub by pressing the Escape key and typing “exit”, which would then activate the Windows bootloader. Though effective, it was hardly an efficient long-term solution.

The Permanent Fix: Modifying Grub Config

  1. Install Grub Customizer from Ubuntu Software.
  2. Open it and select the Windows entry and select the Modify option.
  3. Simply enter exit 0 above the rest of the code.
  4. At this point you can also do some housekeeping. I changed the needlessly long title to just “Windows” and I moved it to just below “Ubuntu”, above the debugging options. You may want to refactor out the pointless conditonal as well but I didn’t bother as this code will no longer be executed anyway.
  5. Hit save.
exit 0

insmod part_gpt
insmod fat
if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 20CE-363B
  search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 20CE-363B
chainloader /efi/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi

As an aside, I have no idea why there’s a conditional in here that just ends up running the exact same code in either case. It doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence in the rest of the code but I digress.

Anyway, after these steps, switching to Windows from Grub should consistently boot without the BitLocker recovery screen popping up.

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