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Windows 7: Unlocking Bitlocker Drive in Windows Professional

30 Jul 2016   #1
toga

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Unlocking Bitlocker Drive in Windows Professional

Whilst Windows Professional does not support encrypting using bitlocker, any version of Windows 7 can unlock pre-existing bitlocker drives going by the following technet article:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/...spx#BKMK_Vista

My observation generally correlates with the above. In fact saying Win Pro does not support bitlocker encryption is not correct. I commenced bitlocker encryption on a Windows Ultimate machine, paused it part way through and connected into my Windoes Professional machine and it continued encrypting the device from where it left off!

Question: upon unlocking a bitlocker encrypted drive on a Windows Professional machine, will files I write to it be correctly encrypted as if the same files were being written from a Windows Ultimate machine?

I would seem so.


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30 Jul 2016   #2
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

There's a big difference between unlocking a pre-existing bitlocker drive as compared to encrypting a drive with bitlocker using Windows 7 Pro. Also, the Technet article you referenced says "...you can unlock encrypted removable drives on any version of Windows 7." Based on the fact that bitlocker is not officially supported on Windows 7 Pro, and that Microsoft says only encrypted removable drives can be unlocked, it seems these two caveats alone would make using bitlocker on a Windows 7 Pro machine dicey.

In the alternative, have you considered using a free third party encryption tool like VeraCrypt (which is based on TrueCrypt's coding?) Personally, I wouldn't use an unsupported encryption tool (bitlocker) and risk not being able to access my important files or drives. Just some personal opinion and certainly not meant to be argumentative.

3 Alternatives to the Now-Defunct TrueCrypt for Your Encryption Needs

https://veracrypt.codeplex.com/
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01 Aug 2016   #3
toga

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Appreciate prompt reply.

Yes I was referring to external drives using bitlocker to go.

OK so Win 7 completes the encryption process (after I commenced it on Win Ultimate). Then if I execute the following command on the drive (either on Win 7 or Win Ultimate) it indicates "Percentage Encrypted: 100%" (even after writing new content from Win 7):
manage-bde -status

What risk am I running here that files written to on Win 7 aren't fully encrypted? All indicators indicate it's fully encrypted.
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01 Aug 2016   #4
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote:
What risk am I running here that files written to on Win 7 aren't fully encrypted? All indicators indicate it's fully encrypted
I guess I'm just overly cautious about using unsupported tools/software whether it be an encryption tool or something else. If something can go wrong it usually happens to me.
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05 Aug 2016   #5
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I hope you keep recent and restorable full image or folder/file backups of all your data [in un-encrypted form] on trusted external media.
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05 Aug 2016   #6
toga

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Don't follow your logic Roland. Drives can be unlocked on either my Win 7 Pro or Ultimate machines.
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05 Aug 2016   #7
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by toga View Post
Don't follow your logic Roland. Drives can be unlocked on either my Win 7 Pro or Ultimate machines.
I was thinking of Murphy Computer Laws, if it is possible for the Lock/Unlock function to malfunction, if any such malfunction happen during your need to access locked folders and files, what happens next? Perhaps with modern-day Windows, such malfunction will never happen. I guess I may be applying old-school thinking -- I go back to DOS 3.3-6.22, Windows 3.1 - Windows 98SE.

[addendum: I corrected my fuzzy-English phrasing]
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 Unlocking Bitlocker Drive in Windows Professional




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