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: Recovering crashed encrypted Windows 7...

29 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX El Capitan, Windows 10 (VMware)
Recovering crashed encrypted Windows 7...

I'd need some help with this...

I have a laptop where the SSD drive is encrypted by a commercial full disk encryption, or FDE, software. I've created a Win7 image backup just last weekend and promptly the system broke today; I've got a BSOD and and Windows no longer loads.

Interestingly, the FDE software's Power On Authentication, or POA, is still fully functional. I can start up the system, authenticate by my account/password, and it states that the solution is loading Windows. That's where Windows gives the error message about the "boot\bcd" cannot be located. I know as much that a restoring the boot record with the recovery CD would resolve this problem and the chances are that the system would boot normally and/or complaining about not being shut down properly, etc.

The kicker is that since the drive is encrypted via 256-bit AES encryption, the recovery CD cannot read the drive, or find Windows installation.

My question is, if I perform a restore of the image, will it restore the files to the same place where they have been? In another word, where does the restoration start and do I need to format the drive first? I'd rather not and see if it would restore the system to the same place where it's been.

The restored system probably will not be encrypted, but the installed software may start the encryption process after the first boot. Alternatively, I could just re-encrypt it manually.

No, I have not done a system restore with the recovery disk, but I did read the process and it seems straight forward.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2011   #2

Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, OSX El Capitan, Windows 10 (VMware)

Well, I've learned couple of obvious things during this process:
  1. Don't use 64-bit rescue disc with a 32-bit image, it won't work
  2. Make sure that the backup image is named "WindowsImageBackup" in the root of the backup drive
Rookie mistakes for the first time restoring an image...

The first restore without reformatting the drive had been successful and didn't get rid of the FDE software totally. Upon first reboot, it resulted in this error message:

SMG:Invalid image
System halted
Restoring the image at the second time with formatting the drive did get rid of the eror message at boot time and booted the system; however, it resulted in an other issue. The system shut down on its own at the logon screen, after about 30 seconds and/or a minute. Starting up in safe mode didn't have this issue and worked just fine.

Uninstalling the encryption software didn't run in safe mode; the chances are the reason was that the drive was not encrypted. The uninstall routine suppose to decrypt the drive prior to removing the software.

I opened up regedit and manually removed all references to the encryption software that I could find, about a dozen or so folders in different hives. The rest was cleaned up with Ccleaner after the installation folder has been deleted. Rebooted the laptop in normal mode and it works just fine now.

There are still lot of DLL files left over in the System32 and possibly other folders as well. Is there an easy way to clean up these files? Well, other than reinstalling Windows that is...
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recovering crashed encrypted Windows 7...

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Recovering gamma data from crashed drive
The C: drive crashed on my machine. Not completely but bad enough that I no longer trust it. This is an HP machine so it has the HP "flavor" of Windows 7 that does not allow a "repair' (like the retail copy does), only a re-install. But that is not my issue. I used this as an excuse to...
General Discussion
Windows 7 encrypted file ?!
Am i totally screwed ??! i had a spread sheet on my old hdd and i stupidly did the file properties/encrypt option (the file name went green) i have just got a new ssd and have installed windows 7 back on it..... now my excel file wont open !!! am i without hope ?? or can this be fixed, as i...
General Discussion
Please HELP. how to recovering encrypted files ESF without masterkey
I install a new window 7 and forget to backup the EFS certificate and key form windows xp, then now i can't decrypt or open the data. someone can tell me how to decrypt or recover data , that data extreme important. Any help would be very much appreciated.
General Discussion
recovering data from partially encrypted drive
:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry: i used bitlocker to encrypt, the process didnt get more than 10% done before failing, the result is a partially encrypted drive that is locked (...
HELP! Recovering encrypted files after rebuild
O/S: Win 7 Ultimate I encryped a file share using the Properties "Encrypt this folder. . . " checkbox. I copied the folder and it's files to a USB drive as a backup (not an MSBackup, just a drag-n-drop copy). I have since had to rebuild my system. I reinstalled the same Win 7 system, on...
System Security
Cannot access encrypted files even though I never encrypted them
I have a 1TB external USB drive (M: for my entire music collection (all legitimately purchased!) It has always been connected to my desktop. Up until a few weeks ago, my desktop was Win7 32bit Ultimate. A few weeks ago my system died so I got a new one and I installed Win7 64bit Ultimate this...
Music, Pictures & Video

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 23:01.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App