Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive



BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive

How to Unlock a Windows 7 Computer Locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption
Published by Brink
23 Jan 2012
Published by

How to Unlock a Windows 7 Computer Locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption


information   Information
This will show you how to unlock a computer that the drive Windows 7 is installed on was locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption, and now cannot be accessed.


Note   Note
If the drive that Windows is installed on (the operating system drive) is encrypted by BitLocker Drive Encryption, it can become locked by BitLocker and require the use of the recovery key in the following situations:
  • The computer is working, but BitLocker has detected a possible security risk during startup.
  • The computer is working, but you lost the BitLocker startup key (USB flash drive) or PIN, or the startup key is damaged.
  • The computer isn't working (for example, a power supply problem), and you have transferred its hard disk to a different computer.
If your computer is part of a domain, some BitLocker features and settings can be controlled by your system administrator.

Assistive technology software that runs on Windows, such as screen reading software, cannot read BitLocker startup screens because they are displayed during BIOS startup and before Windows runs. This includes screens used when you type a PIN or recovery key, and any BitLocker error messages.

warning   Warning
To be able to unlock the Windows 7 drive and regain access to your files, you must have the BitLocker recovery key for it.

You should have a copy of the BitLocker recovery key if you did what was recommended in step 13 of OPTION ONE in the tutorial below to either duplicate the startup key to a backup USB flash drive, save and print recovery key again, or write down the recovery key somewhere for safe keeping.

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Windows 7 Drive - Turn On or Off with no TPM





OPTION ONE
To Unlock the OS Drive on Original Computer

NOTE: This option is for when you are still able to power up the computer that the OS drive is locked on, and to enter the BitLocker recovery key to unlock it and be able to start Windows 7 afterwards.
1. When you start the computer, BitLocker will interrupt startup and display a message informing you that the system drive is locked. (see screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive-recovery-1.jpg
2. Locate the BitLocker recovery key (see screenshot below) for this drive, and then press ENTER. (see screenshot above)
NOTE: If you happen to have a duplicate USB flash drive (startup key) that you could use instead, then connect it now, and press the ESC key to restart the computer to unlock the OS drive as usual.
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive-step2b.jpg
3. Type in the BitLocker recovery key as shown in the screenshot below, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Recovery-2.jpg
Views: 28718
Size:  58.8 KB
4. If successful, you will now begin to start Windows 7 and have access to the OS drive again until you log off or restart the computer next.



OPTION TWO
To Unlock the OS Drive on a Different Computer

NOTE: This option is for when you are not able to power up the original computer that the OS (Windows 7) drive is locked on, and will connect it to another working Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise computer to gain access to it again.
1. Shut down both computers.

2. Remove the drive from the computer that isn't working and install (connect) it in the other (host) computer running either Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise.

3. Start the host computer and log on to an administrator account.

4. Open the Computer window, right click on the transferred drive, and click on Unlock Drive.
NOTE: You could also open BitLocker Drive Encryption in the Control Panel (icons view) to click on Unlock Drive for the transferred drive.

5. Do step 6 or 7 below for what option you would like to use to unlock the drive with.

6. To Use the USB Flash Drive that Contains the Recovery Key to Unlock this Drive
A) Connect the USB flash drive that contains the startup and recovery key for this drive.

B) Click on Get the key from a USB flash drive. (see top screenshot below step 7A)

C) If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

D) Select the USB flash drive, and click on Next. (see screenshot below)
Name:  USB.jpg
Views: 27570
Size:  42.8 KB
E) Go to step 8.
7. To Enter the "BitLocker Recovery Key" to Unlock this Drive
NOTE: This step is for if you lost or damaged the startup key (USB flash drive) for this drive.
A) Using the provided "recovery key ID" number in the screenshot below, locate the BitLocker recovery key for this drive, and then click on Type the recovery key. (see screenshots below)
Name:  Transfer-1.jpg
Views: 27767
Size:  71.7 KB

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive-key1.jpg

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive-key2.jpg

B) If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes.

C)Type in the long BitLocker recovery key number, and click on Next. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Transfer-2.jpg
Views: 27464
Size:  50.7 KB
D) Continue on to step 8.
8. Click on Finish. (see screenshot below)

Tip   Tip
While unlocked, it would be a good idea to click on Manage BitLocker to create a duplicate startup key (USB flash drive), decrypt the drive, and/or copy what you want from the drive to another location.

Name:  Transfer-3.jpg
Views: 27183
Size:  50.4 KB
9. The transferred drive will now be unlocked, and you will have access to it again until you log off or restart the computer next.
That's it,
Shawn





.

19 May 2012   #1
lakshmanaprabu

Windows 7 - 32 Bit
 
 

Even though i had tried all the above steps, still i get the same problem. An Error displaying "The Drive is already locked".

Actually I had Locked my drive using BitLocker Encryption. When i tried to open the locked drive by giving the password which i had provided while locking it, is not working. Although i had tried with the Recovery Key for that. But that too not working. It displays the message "The system cannot find the file specified".

Please help to solve this issue. Thanks..

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 May 2012   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello lakshmanaprabu, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Are you sure that you have the correct recovery key for the drive as referenced by the key ID number?

If you do not care about losing what's on the drive, then you could also format the drive to unencrypt it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #3
hoseinz

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

hey guys!

i had locked a drive using bitlocker! i reinstalled my windows! now i cant access the drive( i hadnt turn off the bitlocker or suspended it!)

when i click on the drive it says u have to format it! and when i click format it says cant format!

i have 40 GB of data that i cant loose!

pliz help me!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #4
Golden

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Did you create a Bitlocker recovery key?

If not, the data on the HDD cannot be recovered - there is no way around that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #5
hoseinz

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

yeah i have the recovery key!

help me! for gods sake!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #6
Golden

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hold on, You said you reinstalled Windows. To the same drive? Describe exactly the steps you took.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello hoseinz,

I'm a bit confused as well. If you reinstalled Windows, it would have formatted the drive, and in the process removed BitLocker encryption for it.

As Golden posted above, please post back step by step what you did for us to be able to better help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #8
hoseinz

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

i did not install windows on the same drive!

anyway i managed to decrypt it using CMD repair!

at the end of the cmd process i was asked to write a check disk command! i did! but somekind of error happened !!!

so i had to format the drive! and i lost my data!

i have tried some recovery programs but none of them could recover my files!

any suggestions???
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2013   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

I wish you would had consulted with us with the error to see if we may have been able to help before you formatted the drive.

You will not be able to recover files from a BitLocker encrypted drive that has not been unlocked. Especially after you formatted the drive.

I hope you have backups somewhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Comment

 BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked OS Drive




Tutorial Tools




Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:19 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33