We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Encrypted my drive D: Drive. Formatted C - Windows now saying D: Drive isnt formatted

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
As the title says.

I encrypted my D Drive while back, went to reformat C: (both seperate HDD) once finished everything, logged back in windows click on my backup or data drive (D:) it says "Drive D is not formatted? Do you want to format it now?" And it has the yes no options.

Please if anyone can help me get this back ill be the happiest person alive. I have so much important stuff on that drive and I didnt expect that to happen.

Watch Question

Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist
The files are decrypted by your password HASH, the only way to properly fix this that I know of is to boot the old drive, highlight the files and uncheck the encrypted checkbox

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


The thing is, I cant find the program anymore. I also had to clear the master boot record because I had a linux partition on their as well. The only thing on my drive now is basic windows. No programs install nothing. I dont want to format drive D just incase I can get all my stuff back.

Anymore ideas?
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

got a backup?


I can get like 10 gig back, but the other 55-60 ... no way.

Please anyone?
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

is the other 55-60gigs encrypted too?


I have a backup on some of my CD's. Thats what I meant. But the other 55-60 gig ... no
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist


Hi  logicsolutions I am not sure if this is relevant but the fact you mention>> I had a linux partition on their as well.
How did you reformat the drive after Linux?
I have borrowed this from a friend who had  partition problem.
Here is how to uninstall linux and have a virgin hdd.

If you really wanted to "uninstall" Linux, you could run the following two commands  (from under DOS or MS Windows)
which will get rid of LILO--it overwrites the master boot record (MBR) of your first hard drive, where LILO resides. The "lock" command allows "raw" writing to disk, which is normally disallowed on more recent DOS versions as an antiviral measure. The problem with FDISK/MBR is that it does not report back any success or failure, so it is better to proceed it with the "lock" command. After this you can remove the Linux partitions using the DOS "FDISK" utility to re-claim the hard drive space.

Apparently, MS FDISK does not always cope with removing the Linux partitions. In this case, I may use linux fdisk. The simplest may be to boot from the Linux installation floppy/CD, and to remove the partition using the Linux partitioning tool when it pops up during the "installation" procedure. After that I abort the "installation" and Linux is gone.

If you still have problems, here are the ultimate solutions for zeroing the MBR (after: http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue63/okopnik.html,

Note: The following advice will completely wipe your Master Boot Record (MBR), which contains all your partition information. DO NOT DO THIS unless you know that this is exactly the result you want - it will leave your hard drive in an unbootable state, in effect bringing it back to "factory-fresh", i.e., empty of data and requiring partitioning and formatting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Linux-based solution. If you can boot Linux - say via boot floppy - you can simply invoke "dd":

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

This fills up the MBR with zeros. Obviously, you have to be root to do this.

DOS-based solution . Boot with a DOS floppy that has "debug" on it; run


At the '-' prompt, "block-fill" a 512-byte chunk of memory with zeroes:

f 9000:0 200 0

Start assembly mode with the 'a' command, and enter the following code:

mov dx,9000
mov es,dx
xor bx,bx
mov cx,0001
mov dx,0080
mov ax,0301
int 13
int 20

Press <Enter> to exit assembly mode, take a deep breath - and press "g" to execute, then "q" to quit "debug". Your HD is now in a virgin state, and ready for partitioning and installation.

Thanks to about.com
if only you could remember what program you used to encrypt the drive maybe we could find it for you again.
what you need is something more like a bootmanager capable of encrypting a filesystem and decrypting it at boot time.



I deleted the Linux O/S by using partition magic. SuSE Automatically creates the partition for you (uses space from drive c:) I just deleted the partition it created etc. Then for me not to have problems during boot up i cleared the MBR.
Matt LynchSystem Administrator
I may be wrong in this but if you encrypt files under NTFS filesystem and then you wipe out that user account (ie.  reformatting the OS drive) aren't you totally out of luck? I know that at my work I've come across this very situation.  A user will encrypt a folder then for some reason delete the user account.  They save the files but you can't access them.  Even if you recreate the user account because to Windows its not the same account, just the same name.

May not apply to this situation if you didn't encrypt using the NTFS encrption.


Ok, here is a start. I have found the program that I used. Tryed to decrypt it but it says the drive isnt formatted. Does anyone know anything else I can do? anything??

Thank you
Top Expert 2006
Unless you are in a domain, and were/are using a domain password, the data on D: is toast.

This is a security feature to prevent somone from logging on with another "admin" user and changing your password and then gaining access to your data.

The locally generated encryption certificate is associated with the password, and therefore does not prevent any local user from changing their own password though.

If you have reformatted and and re-installed the OS, even of you use the same username and password, it has a different HASH in the local SAM database, and therefore will see the D: as unformatted.

Sorry, but i hope this explanation helps.

Good Luck,


That is so messed. Funny how I encrypted Drive D: formatted drive C: then drive D fooks up. Cant it just add another line to the system like Drive D: Encryted.
Top Expert 2006

Sorry, no, this is for security reasons. makes sense, untill something like this happens to you.

Sory again,

Good Luck,
The only option you have is to see if you can restore your old OS. It may be possible because you had linux and windows. Hopefully the linux partition was on the first portion of your hard drive and Windows was on the next portion (that way the sectors for Windows was not overwritten).

You can either do the data recovery yourself or bring it to a professional. A utility i use sometimes that seems work is GetDataBack.

There's a very low success rate for this option but it's better than the 0% you currently have.
a really good forensic examiner can restore encrypted data, the software we use does so, by design.


Well just got the final word from the people who made this program.


Do you have the original keystore file?
DCPP can not see if it is encrypted because the key which was used do encrypt it, is not in
the keystore file. Without this key there is no way of decrypting the partition."

oh well, thanks for you're help guys.
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

Bummer dude.. sorry ...but let me be the first to say

"you can't"
Irwin SantosComputer Integration Specialist

thank you for the effort points...
it is much appreciated!!

Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.