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Windows 7: BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive



BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive

How to Unlock a Data or Removable Drive Locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption
Published by Brink
23 Jan 2012
Published by

How to Unlock a Data or Removable Drive Locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption


information   Information
This will show you how to unlock a internal data drive or a removable drive (ex: USB flash drive or external) that was locked by BitLocker Drive Encryption in Windows 7, and now cannot be accessed.

These drives normally would be locked after you have either logged off or restarted the computer.

warning   Warning
If you forgot or lost the password for the data or removable drive, then you must have it's BitLocker recovery key to be able to unlock and gain access to the drive again.

You should have a copy of the BitLocker recovery key if you did what was recommended in step 6 or 11 of OPTION ONE in the tutorial below to either Save the recovery key to file, save and print recovery key again, or write down the recovery key somewhere for safe keeping.

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Internal Data Hard Drives - Turn On or Off





OPTION ONE
To Unlock a Data or Removable Drive Using BitLocker Wizard
1. Do either step 2 or 3 below for what option you would like to use.

2. Open the Control Panel (icons view), click on the BitLocker Drive Encryption icon, and click on the Unlock Drive link for the locked drive that you would like to unlock. (see screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-control-panel.jpg


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

B) Close the Control Panel, and go to step 4 or 5.
OR

3. Open the Computer window, right click on the locked drive that you would like to unlock, and click on Unlock Drive.... (see screenshot below)
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-locked-internal.jpg


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

B) Go to step 4 or 5.
4. To Type in the Password to Unlock this Drive
A) Type in the password, and click on Unlock. (see screenshot below step 5A)
NOTE: The password will be at least 8 letters and/or numbers long.

B) Go to step 6.
5. To Enter the "BitLocker Recovery Key" to Unlock this Drive
NOTE: This step is for if you lost or forgot the password for this drive.
A) Click on the I forgot my password link. (see screenshot below)
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B) 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)
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BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-step2a.jpg

BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-step2b.jpg

C) Type in the long BitLocker recovery key number, and click on Next. (see screenshot below)
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D) Click on Finish, and continue on to step 6. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: If you had forgotten the password, then you can now click on Manage BitLocker, and Change password to unlock drive to create a new one to use.
Name:  Step4.jpg
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6. The drive will now be unlocked until you log off or restart the computer next.
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-unlocked_internal.jpg



OPTION TWO
To Unlock a Data or Removable Drive in a Command Prompt
1. Open a elevated command prompt, then do step 2 or 3 below for what option you would like to use.

2. To Use the Password to Unlock this Drive
A) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute E: in the command below with the drive letter of the locked drive that you wanted to unlock instead.
manage-bde -unlock E: -password

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B) When prompted in the elevated command prompt, type in the password for the drive and press Enter.
NOTE: You will not see the password as you type it. The password will be at least 8 letters and/or numbers long.

C) Go to step 4.
3. To Use the "BitLocker Recovery Key" to Unlock this Drive
NOTE: This step is for if you lost or forgot the password for this drive.
A) Locate the BitLocker recovery key for this drive. (see screenshots below)
Click image for larger version

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Click image for larger version

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B) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: Substitute E: in the command below with the drive letter of the locked drive that you wanted to unlock, and substitute BitLocker Recovery Key in the command below with the actual long number recovery key for the drive.
manage-bde -unlock E: -rp BitLocker Recovery Key

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C) Go to step 4.
4. The drive will now be unlocked until you log off or restart the computer next.
That's it,
Shawn





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27 Dec 2012   #1
adelejukerberg

Windows 8
 
 

Nice Content Writing!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Jul 2013   #2
engrhirah

Win 7 Ultimate x32
 
 
Help needed

Hi Brink

Great post and its very helpful.
However, I couldnt unlock my drive.
I encrypted external HD without encrypting system drive and I mistakenly chose the autounlock option while entering my password. Ever since, I have not been able to access my external HD. My PC simply doesnt detect it until its plugged out. I had made two partitions, one is encrypted and the other is not. I have the recovery key and password but in cmd prompt it says "Can not read the file" and when I use recovery password the cursor stands still and whatever I type the cursor does not move so I dont even know if I have written my password. Anyway, when I hit enter it gives another error message. Please help me out
I ll be very very thankful
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #3
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Engrhirah, and welcome to Seven Forums.

Could you explain more when you say " My PC simply doesn't detect it until it's plugged out."? I'm not sure what you mean by "plugged out".

What's the full error message it gives you when your hit Enter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #4
engrhirah

Win 7 Ultimate x32
 
 
Reply

Hi Brink

Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
What I mean by my pc does not detect my HD is that when I plug it in my system, it does not show that an external drive has been plugged it nor does the password prompt appear until I take out the usb cable and then it shows that an HD was inserted, gives me a Format Drive I (unencrypted partition) and then says that the drive is not inserted.
Do you want me to send you screen shots?


Attached Thumbnails
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-drive-not-visible-my-computer.jpg   BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-hd-undetected-until-cable-pulled-out.jpg  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

If able, see if you may be able to connect the HDD internally to a Windows desktop PC instead to see if it may allow you to use BitLocker Recovery on it using this tutorial or the one below.

BitLocker Repair Tool - Recover Drive in Windows 7 and 8
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #6
engrhirah

Win 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

I tried and it doesn't. The drive is neither visible in My Computer nor in Control Panel. It hangs pc when I try to access Bitlocker from Control Panel. I tried it on desktop and on office laptop.
The drive is working as in cmd -status it shows that this drive is locked.
Is this problem because I used auto unlock option without encrypting system drive? Is there any way to resolve this issue? This problem started when I selected the auto unlock option, else it was working perfectly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Go ahead and post some screenshots showing what it says when you try step 3 in OPTION TWO of this tutorial above and the tutorial below.

BitLocker Repair Tool - Recover Drive in Windows 7 and 8
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #8
engrhirah

Win 7 Ultimate x32
 
 

Screen shot attached
BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive-error-messages.jpg
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2013   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Ok. What does it say using this below? You'll need another drive of at least the same size to copy the contents of the encrypted drive to if it works.

BitLocker Repair Tool - Recover Drive in Windows 7 and 8
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 BitLocker Drive Encryption - Unlock a Locked Data or Removable Drive




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