BitLocker Setup could not find a target system drive for preparation

RECOMMENDED: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

If you cannot find a target BitLocker system drive Setup to prepare, you may need to manually prepare your drive for the BitLocker message while using the BitLocker drive encryption tool on Windows 10, then this article may help.

BitLocker Setup could not find a target system drive to prepare

January 2021 Update:

We now recommend using this tool for your error. Additionally, this tool fixes common computer errors, protects you against file loss, malware, hardware failures and optimizes your PC for maximum performance. You can fix your PC problems quickly and prevent others from happening with this software:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.


Microsoft says there are two scenarios that can cause this error.

  1. You do not have enough free space
  2. The partition contains files that cannot be moved.

You do not have enough free space

For the installation to find this target system drive, at least 10% of the active partition must remain free after the partition size reduction.

To correct this error, you can run the disk cleaning tool, disable hibernation to delete the large hiberfil.sys file and move the files to another partition or external disk.

The BitLocker drive preparation tool can resize partitions to prepare a hard disk for BitLocker. Therefore, some non-mobile files such as the following can prevent partition defragmentation and resizing:

  • Page files
  • Hibernate files (Hiberfil.sys)
  • Windows registry files
  • NTFS metadata files like $mftmirr, $secure, $volume, etc.

To solve this problem, you must do the following :

Disable paging and hibernate and delete Hiberfil.sys and Pagefile.sys files. Run the powercfg -h off command at an increased command prompt. It deactivates hibernation. To disable the page file. Under the virtual memory settings. Enter Performance in the search bar and open Customize appearance and performance for Windows. In the Advanced tab, in the Virtual Memory area, click Edit. Clear the Manage swap file size automatically for all drives check box. Select the radio button for No paging file and click Set. Then click OK.

Restart the computer and restart the BitLocker drive preparation tool.

If these steps do not help, you can continue with the following steps.

Technet suggests that you make sure TPM is active and reduce the drive as follows :

1] Check if TPM is active in BIOS settings

  1. Restart the computer, and when it turns on, press the F10 key (this key may vary depending on system make).
  2. Navigate to TPM security (which varies depending on the system brand).
  3. Make sure the state is ON and Active.

2] Reduce actuator size

Open command prompt (Administrator) and execute the following command:

C:WindowsSystem32BdeHdCfg.exe -Default -size 300 -quiet

Where c : is the system drive. This will reduce the disk size, create the small BitLocker partition and allow you to perform encryption.

3] Disable the GPO connection that MBAM has configured

Microsoft says:

The tool attempts to write boot files to the new system drive, but you may have applied an MBAM policy to prevent write access to unencrypted data drives. If the data drives are not encrypted, the system volume is created, but the tool will tell you that the drive is read-only. This is due to the write protection policy you previously created for MBAM.

For more information on disabling Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) GPO, see

After successfully executing the tool, you can reconnect the MBAM GPO by updating the group policy with gpupdate/force.

Advanced Literature: BitLocker Setup could not export BCD (Boot Configuration Data) memory.

RECOMMENDED: Click here to troubleshoot Windows errors and optimize system performance

Related Video