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Windows 7: BitLocker Encrypted Data Drive Recovery Question

22 Mar 2015   #1
californialove

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 
BitLocker Encrypted Data Drive Recovery Question

I just started using BitLocker on a Windows7 Computer and am confused about one specific aspect of recovering data drives. I have read through the tutorials on here but I can't seem to find anywhere that explicitly states if this is possible or not.

From this link: Regain access to a computer locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption

I see the statement that "To unlock the drive and regain access to your files, you will need the BitLocker recovery password. If you also encrypted data drives, you will need to have access to the drive that Windows is installed on as well."

My question is if my OS drive dies, will the data drives be recoverable with the password and/or recovery key?

I am not currently in such a situation but I would like to prepare for all possibilities. Since a TPM is needed to store the encryption keys on for the OS drive (I just ordered one but have not encrypted my OS drive yet), are the encryption keys for the data drives are stored on the OS drive itself and this is the issue?

Most of the things I find on Google when trying to search about this issue discuss recovering a data drive that is failing, not a data drive that is in good health but does not have access to the system drive. Can anyone say definitively if this is possible, or do I need to be prepared to lose all data on data drives if my system drive crashes?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2015   #2
LordShadowWing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Based upon what I have read, your data drives will be UNRECOVERABLE if your OS drive dies. I would consider setting up a RAID 5 array for your OS drive for redundancy, this way if one drive dies, all you have to do is replace it and the missing data pieces will be recreated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2015   #3
californialove

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

Hmmm, I actually think this is incorrect.

I just found this FAQ: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...396#BKMK_AltPC

Can I access my BitLocker-protected drive if I insert the hard disk into a different computer?

Yes, if the drive is a data drive, you can unlock it from the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel item just as you would any other data drive by using a password or smart card. If the data drive was configured for automatic unlock only, you will have to unlock it by using the recovery key. If it is an operating system drive mounted on another computer running Windows 7 or later, the encrypted hard disk can be unlocked by a data recovery agent (if one was configured) or it can be unlocked by using the recovery key.

This to me indicates that the OS drive is not necessary....has anyone tested this out? I don't have a very easy way of testing this right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Mar 2015   #4
LordShadowWing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Based on what you found, then I believe that you will be fine, as long as you don't lose your recovery key.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BitLocker Encrypted Data Drive Recovery Question




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