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How to Troubleshoot and Resolve Common Issues with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and BitLocker

Summary: This article provides information about how to identify and resolve common issues with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) or BitLocker on a Dell computer.

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Table of contents

  1. What is a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)?
  2. What is Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT)?
  3. Which Dell computers have a TPM or Intel PTT?
  4. How to reset the TPM without losing data?
  5. How to flash the TPM firmware and change TPM modes?
  6. What is BitLocker?
  7. Common TPM and BitLocker issues and resolution
  8. TPM points of failure and troubleshooting
  9. BitLocker points of failure and troubleshooting
  10. Additional resources

What is a Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a chip that resides inside a computer and is soldered to the system board on Dell computers. A TPM’s primary function is to securely generate cryptographic keys, but it has other functions as well. Each TPM chip has a unique and secret RSA key that is embedded into it on production.

If TPM is used for security features such as BitLocker or DDPE, that security must be suspended before clearing the TPM or replacing the system board.

TPMs have 2 modes, 1.2 and 2.0. TPM 2.0 is a new standard that includes additional functionality such as additional algorithms, support for multiple trusted keys, and broader support for applications. TPM 2.0 requires you to set the BIOS to UEFI mode instead of legacy. It also requires a 64-bit version of Windows. As of March 2017, all Dell Skylake platforms support TPM 2.0 and TPM 1.2 mode in Windows 7, 8, and 10. Windows 7 requires the Windows Update KB2920188 in order to support TPM 2.0 Mode. In order to swap the modes on a TPM, you must flash the firmware of the TPM. Download links can be found under the supported computers driver page at the Dell Drivers & Downloads website.

The Trusted computing group manages the specifications on TPM. For more details and documentation browse to External Link.

TPM 2_0 Security BIOS setting
Figure 1: TPM 2.0 Security Setting in BIOS.

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What is Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT)?

Some Dell laptops are equipped with the Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT). This technology is part of Intel System on Chip (SoC). It is a firmware-based TPM version 2.0 that can function in the same capacity as the discrete TPM 1.2 chip. Windows TPM.msc can manage Intel PTT in the same capacity as the discrete TPM.

For computers equipped with the Intel PTT, TPM menu option is not available in the BIOS. Instead, an option for PTT Security appears under the Security settings menu in the BIOS (Figure 2). This can cause confusion when trying to enable BitLocker on a computer where Intel PTT is disabled.

PTT Security BIOS menu
Figure 2: PTT Security setting in BIOS.

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Which Dell computers have a TPM or Intel PTT?

NOTE: Some Latitude, XPS, and Inspiron computers ship with the Intel PTT.
  • Latitude - Latitude 13, all E Series, XT2, XT2 XFR, XT3, Latitude 13, Latitude 10.
  • OptiPlex - All OptiPlex desktops from the 60 series (560, 760, 960) and newer models.
  • Precision Mobile - All Precision mobile workstations from the x400 series (M2400, M4400, M6400) and newer models.
  • Precision WorkStation - All Precision workstations from the x500 series (T3500, T5500, T7500) and newer models.
  • XPS and Alienware - Ultrabooks and currently shipping computers.
  • Vostro - All Vostro computers from x20 series (1220, 1320, 1520, 1720) and newer models.
  • Venue - All venue tablets.
TPM Type Supported TPM Modes New Firmware Available Supported Platforms
OLDER TPMs (Multi-Vendor) 1.2 No All computers up to the Skylake processor generation
Nuvoton 650 (aka 65x) 1.2, 2.0 Yes ( for 2.0 Mode and for 1.2 Mode) Latitude xx70/xx80, Precision xx10/xx20, OptiPlex xx40/xx50, Precision Txx10/Txx20
Nuvoton 750 (aka 75x) 2.0 Yes ( Latitude xx90, Precision xx30, OptiPlex xx60, Precision Txx30
Intel PTT 2.0 No (Part of BIOS) Dell Consumer computer models and some Latitude and XPS tablets
STMicro 2.0 No (Current is 74.8.17568.5511) Latitude xx00 (generation 10)

Table 1: TPM or Intel PTT support on Dell computers.

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How to Reset your TPM without Losing Data

A common solution to a TPM not showing correctly in the BIOS or the operating system is to reset the TPM.

Resetting the TPM is not the same as clearing the TPM. During a TPM reset, the computer attempts to redetect the TPM and preserve the data that is held within. Here are the steps to perform a TPM reset on your Dell computer:

For laptops

  • Remove the AC adapter, turn off the computer, and disconnect any USB devices.
  • Turn on the computer and press F2 key to enter BIOS or System Setup.
    • Is TPM available under Security? If yes, no further steps are required.
  • If TPM is not present, turn off the computer, and disconnect the battery (if the battery is removable).
  • Discharge static power by pressing and holding the power button for over 60 seconds.
  • Connect the battery (if the battery is removable), AC adapter, and turn on computer.

For desktops and all-in-ones

  • Turn off the computer and unplug the power cable from the back of the computer.
  • Discharge static power by pressing and holding the power button for over 60 seconds.
  • Connect the power cable to the back of the computer and turn on the computer.

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How to Flash TPM Firmware and Change TPM Modes

TPM 1.2 and 2.0 modes can be changed, only by the use of firmware that is downloaded from the Dell Drivers & Downloads website. This is feature is supported by select Dell computers. You can use the table in the above section to determine if a computer supports this feature. You can also check the Dell Drivers & Downloads website to verify if the firmware is available for switching between the two modes. If the firmware is not listed, then a computer does not support this feature. In addition, the TPM must be On and Enabled in order to flash the firmware.

NOTE: Never flash the computer’s TPM with the firmware from a different computer. This may result in damage to the TPM.

Follow these steps to flash the TPM with version 1.2 or 2.0 firmware:

  1. In Windows
    1. Suspend BitLocker or any encryption or security program relying on the TPM.
    2. Disable Windows Auto Provisioning if needed (Windows 8 or 10).
      1. PowerShell command: Disable-TpmAutoProvisioning
    3. Reboot the computer and go into the BIOS.
  2. In the BIOS screen
    1. Go to Security and then the TPM/Intel PTT page.
    2. Check the Clear TPM box and press the "Apply" button at the bottom.
    3. Press the "Exit" button to reboot into Windows.
  3. In Windows
    1. Run the TPM firmware update.
      1. The computer automatically reboots and begins the firmware flash.
      2. Do NOT turn the computer off during this update.
    2. Reboot computer into Windows and enable Windows Auto Provisioning, if applicable.
    3. PowerShell command: Enable-TpmAutoProvisioning
    4. If running Windows 7, use TPM.msc to take ownership of the TPM.
    5. Reboot the computer again and enable any encryption that uses the TPM.
NOTE: To automate this process, see the Dell knowledge base article Using scripting or automation for TPM firmware updates from Dell.

The TPM firmware version can be checked using TPM.msc or the get-tpm command in Windows PowerShell (supported in Windows 8 and 10 only). Using get-tpm on Windows 10 1607 and earlier only shows the first 3 characters of the firmware (listed as ManufacturerVersion) (Figure 3). Windows 10 1703 and later shows 20 characters (listed as ManufacturerVersionFull20) (Figure 4).

get tpm command Windows 10 1607
Figure 3: get-tpm command in Windows 10 version 1607 and earlier.

get tpm command Windows 10 1703
Figure 4: get-tpm command in Windows 10 version 1703 and later.

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What is BitLocker?

BitLocker is a full disk encryption feature available in most versions of Windows 7, 8, and 10 (see the list bellow for editions that support BitLocker).

  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Windows 8 Pro
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education

For steps to enable BitLocker or Device Encryption, see the Microsoft Support article Device encryption in Windows 10 External_Link_BD_v1.

NOTE: Windows 10 Home has a feature that is called "Device Encryption" instead of BitLocker. This feature functions the same as BitLocker, with limited features and it uses a separate Windows user interface.

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Common TPM and BitLocker issues and resolutions:

NOTE: It is recommended that you review these common TPM and BitLocker issues before following the advanced troubleshooting steps in the sections below.

TPM Missing

A "TPM missing" issue has several known causes. Review the information below and verify which type of issue you have. Also, a missing TPM can be caused by a general TPM failure and requires a system board replacement. These types of failures are rare, and system board replacement should be a last resort in troubleshooting a missing TPM.

  1. Original TPM missing issue found on Nuvoton 650 chip
  2. Nuvoton 650 chip missing after firmware updated
    • Only seen on Precision 5510, Precision 5520, XPS 9550, and XPS 9560.
    • Resolved with August 2019 BIOS updates for both XPS and Precision computers.
    • If you need further assistance with this issue, contact Dell Technical Support.
  3. Nuvoton 750 chip missing in BIOS
    • Resolved with Firmware update
    • If you need further assistance with this issue, contact Dell Technical Support.
  4. System not configured with TPM
    • Systems may ship without a TPM and instead ship with Intel PTT firmware-based TPMs.
    • If you need further assistance with this issue, contact Dell Technical Support.

TPM Setup

BIOS Issues

Recovery Key Issues

Windows Issues

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TPM points of failure and troubleshooting

TPM visible in Device Manager and TPM Management Console

The Trusted Platform Module should show under Security devices in Device Manager. You can also check the TPM Management Console by following the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on the keyboard to open a command prompt.
  2. Type tpm.msc and press Enter on the keyboard.
  3. Verify that the status for TPM in the management console shows as Ready.

If the TPM is not visible in Device Manager, or if it is showing as Ready in the TPM Management Console, follow the steps below to troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Verify that TPM is enabled and activated in the BIOS using the steps below and the example image of the BIOS settings in Figure 2:
    1. Reboot the computer and press the F2 key at the Dell logo screen to enter BIOS or System Setup.
    2. Click Security in the Settings menu.
    3. Click the TPM 1.2 Security or TPM 2.0 Security option in the Security menu.
    4. Ensure TPM On and Activate are checked.
    5. You may also need to ensure that Attestation Enable and Key Storage Enable are also checked for proper TPM functionality.
NOTE: If the TPM section is missing in the BIOS, check your order to ensure that the computer was not ordered with TPM disabled.

TPM BIOS settings
Figure 2: Example of TPM BIOS settings

NOTE: Listed settings may vary based on computer model, BIOS version, and TPM Mode.

If TPM still does not show in Device Manager, or if it shows a Ready status in the TPM Management Console, clear the TPM and update to the latest TPM firmware, if possible. You may need to first disable TPM Auto-Provisioning and then clear TPM using the steps below:

  1. Press the Windows key on the keyboard and type powershell in the search box.
  2. Right-click PowerShell (x86) and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following PowerShell command: Disable-TpmAutoProvisioning and press Enter.
  4. Confirm the result AutoProvisioning : Disabled (Figure 3).

    TPM Clear AutoProvision
    Figure 3: AutoProvisioning: Disabled PowerShell setting

  5. Open the TPM Management Console by pressing the Windows + R keys on the keyboard to open a command prompt. Type tpm.msc and press Enter.
  6. In the Actions pane on the right, select Clear TPM.
  7. Reboot the computer and press F12 on the keyboard, when prompted, to proceed with clearing TPM.

Next, install the latest TPM firmware update by following the steps below:

  1. Browse to the Dell Drivers & Downloads website.
  2. Enter the Service Tag or search for your computer model to enter the correct support page.
  3. Click the Find it myself tab and choose the correct operating system (click Change OS to view the available operating systems for your computer).
  4. Select the Security category from the available driver menu.
  5. Find the Dell TPM 2.0 Firmware Update Utility or Dell TPM 1.2 Update Utility in the menu. Click the View Details link to view further information about the file and Installation instructions for downloading and installing the update.

If TPM is still not visible in Device Manager or is showing as Ready in the TPM Management Console, contact Dell Technical Support. It may be necessary to reinstall the operating system to resolve the issue.

Receiving the following message: "The TPM is on and ownership has not been taken".

"TPM is ready for use, with reduced functionality" message in TPM.msc.

  • Issue occurs if a computer has been reimaged without clearing the TPM.
  • Attempt to resolve the issue by clearing the TPM and installing the latest TPM firmware (following the steps in the section above).
  • Check the BIOS to ensure that the TPM settings are correct.
  • If the issue persists, clear the TPM and reload Windows.

Verify TPM.msc shows that TPM is on and ready for use.

  • The TPM is working normally.
NOTE: Dell does not support the programming of a TPM or changing of registers for custom configurations.

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BitLocker points of failure and troubleshooting for each:

Verify that your operating system supports BitLocker.

Reference the list of operating systems which support BitLocker from the What is BitLocker section above.

Verify that TPM is enabled and ready for use in the TPM Management Console (tpm.msc).

  • If TPM is not ready for use review TPM troubleshooting, review the above TPM troubleshooting section.

BitLocker is triggering on startup.

If BitLocker is triggering on startup, follow the suggested troubleshooting guidance below:

  • Triggers for BitLocker when starting the computer often mean BitLocker is working as designed. The issue may need to be isolated to one of the following causes:
    • Changes to Windows core files
    • Changes to BIOS
    • Changes to the TPM
    • Changes to encrypted volume/boot record
    • Failure to use correct credentials
    • Changes in hardware configuration

It is recommended that you suspend BitLocker before making any of the above changes to your computer. Follow the steps below to suspend BitLocker:

  1. Click Start, type manage bitlocker in the search box, and press Enter to open the Manage BitLocker Console.
  2. Click Suspend protection for the encrypted hard drive (Figure 4):

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 12
    Figure 4: Suspend BitLocker from the management console.

  3. Click Yes on the message prompt that appears to suspend BitLocker (Figure 5):

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 13
    Figure 5: Message prompt to suspend BitLocker.

  4. After the changes have been made to your computer, then return to the Manage BitLocker Console, and select Resume protection to enable BitLocker (Figure 6):

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 14
    Figure 6: Resume BitLocker from the management console.

To prevent BitLocker from triggering at startup after you make changes to your computer, you may need to fully disable BitLocker encryption before enabling it again. You can disable and enable BitLocker encryption from the management console following the steps below:

  1. Click Start and type manage bitlocker in the search box, then press Enter to open the Manage BitLocker Console.
  2. Click Turn off BitLocker (Figure 7).

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 15
    Figure 7: Turn off BitLocker from console.

  3. Click Turn off BitLocker when prompted to confirm (Figure 8).

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 16
    Figure 8: Turn off BitLocker confirmation prompt.

  4. Allow the computer to fully decrypt the hard drive (Figure 9).

    Enable Bitlocker TPM 17
    Figure 9: Status screen for BitLocker encryption

  5. After the decryption is complete, you can choose to Turn on BitLocker from the Manage BitLocker Console to encrypt the hard drive again.

BitLocker will not resume or engage.

If BitLocker will not resume or engage, follow the troubleshooting tips below:

  1. Verify that you have not recently made any changes from the list above to the computer. If you have made changes, roll the computer back to a state before the change occurred, and see if BitLocker engages or resumes.
  2. If the recent change is the issue, suspend BitLocker from the Manage BitLocker Console and make the change again.
  3. If the issue persists, verify that the BIOS, and TPM firmware are the latest versions. Check for the latest versions at the Dell Drivers & Downloads website.
  4. If BitLocker still does not resume or engage, reinstall the operating system.

Lost BitLocker recovery key

The BitLocker recovery key is necessary to ensure that only an authorized person can unlock your personal computer and restore access to your encrypted data. If the recovery key is lost or misplaced, Dell cannot recover or replace it. It is recommended that you store the recovery key in a secure and recoverable location. Examples of places to store the key include:

  • A USB flash drive.
  • An external hard drive.
  • A network location (mapped drives, an Active Directory Controller/Domain Controller, so on).
  • Saved to your Microsoft Account.

If you never encrypted your computer, it is possible the encryption was performed through the automated Windows process. This is explained in the Dell knowledge base article Automatic Windows Device Encryption/BitLocker on Dell Systems.

BitLocker working as designed

If BitLocker engages and encrypts the hard drive, and does not enable when starting up the computer, then it is working as designed.

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Additional Information

Recommended Articles

Here are some recommended articles for you.

Encrypt Your Drive With BitLocker

Duration: 02:57
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BitLocker Key Troubleshooting

Duration: 00:30:21
Closed captions: English only

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Article Properties

Affected Product
Alienware 17 R3, Venue 7140 Pro, Inspiron 13 5378 2-in-1, Inspiron 15 3567, Inspiron 17 7779 2-in-1, Latitude 5280/5288, Latitude 5289 2-in-1, Latitude 13 3380, Latitude 5480/5488, Latitude 7480, Dell Latitude 3580/3588, Latitude 5580, Latitude 3470 , Latitude 7275, Latitude E5250/5250, Latitude E5440, Latitude E5450/5450, Latitude E5470, Latitude E5550/5550, Latitude E5570, Latitude E6530, Latitude E7240 Ultrabook, Latitude E7250/7250, Latitude E7270, Latitude E7440, Latitude E7450, Latitude E7470, OptiPlex 3040 Micro, OptiPlex 3040 Small Form Factor, OptiPlex 3040 Tower, OptiPlex 5040 Tower, OptiPlex 5040 Small Form Factor, OptiPlex 7040 Tower, OptiPlex 7040 Micro, OptiPlex 7040 Small Form Factor, OptiPlex 7450 All-In-One, Precision 5520, Precision M4800, Precision 5510, Precision M6800, Precision 7510, Precision 7710, Vostro 14 5468, XPS 12 9250, XPS 13 9350, XPS 13 9360, XPS 13 9365 2-in-1, XPS 15 9550, XPS 15 9560 ...
Last Published Date

29 Jun 2023



Article Type

How To