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Getting data off bitlocker drive..

post #1 of 5
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So today I boot up my machine and access my Bitlocked internal storage drive... and message prompts me that I need to "Format the drive before use"...

So did my HD fail? That is really the least of my concern though, can I get the data off it? I have not formatted it and I'm able to unlock it. But every time I try to access it it says this:

2jc7yb8.png
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post #2 of 5
    I don't know if this will work on an encrypted drive, but it is worth trying: Unlock the drive, and then try file recovery with Piriform Recuva.  The free version is adequate.  When you start Recuva, bypass the wizard. Click [Options], go to the "Actions" tab, and enable "Deep Scan", "Scan for non-deleted files" and "Restore folder structure." Then click [OK], select the corrupted disk in the dropdown on the upper-left and click "Scan."  If it is making good progress, you should see the "xxxx files found" counter counting up from zero.  When it is done scanning, look through the results, and if they are good, save (recover) your files to a different disk. thumb.gif
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post #3 of 5
If it's unlocked but you can't access it, doesn't that pretty much mean the drive is corrupt the same way it would be if it were never encrypted?
post #4 of 5
    Yes, that is what I'm guessing!  However, if the encryption algorithm requires the data not to be corrupted in order to decrypt at all, it may not work so well. wink.gif
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post #5 of 5
Well I don't know exactly how it works, but my guess is that the hash is stored at the "front" of your drive. When you type in your password, it is hashed and compared against the drive, like any other password check. So your system says, "Ok, looks good. Now we can use that key to decrypt the drive."

It's possible that the hash is not damaged, so your system gives the "all systems: go" sign. But once you start to try to read the disk, the NTFS headers and table of contents are messed up, and that's why you're getting the "format unrecognized" message.

The main point is that when you type in your password, that doesn't decrypt everything immediately just by simply checking the password. That would take hours every time you logged into your system. But like I said, I don't know 100% how bitlocker works; I'm just speaking in general terms of drive encryption.
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