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Unencrypt bit locker drive

Posted on 2011-10-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Had Windows 7 running on a PC and one of my drives I enabled bitlocker.  That pc crashed and i installed that drive in a windows xp machine. which of course don't have bit locker, everytime i try to open that drive it asks me if i want to format it, i don't because it has alot of valuable data on it.  Is there anything I can do to regain access?
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Question by:jasonmichel
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Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 37020640
Did you use the TPM chip on the old motherboard to encrypt?

If so, you will need to use that same motherboard.  If you cannot, I do not know of a way.

It would sort of defeat the purpose of encrypting a drive if you can easily transport it and unencrypt it.
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Author Comment

by:jasonmichel
ID: 37020650
i am using the same PC that it was encrypted on, just running xp now instead of windows 7
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Accepted Solution

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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) earned 1200 total points
ID: 37020698
I believe you need to be on Win7 (possible Vista).

There is a bitlocker to go but I've never used it:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/what-is-the-bitlocker-to-go-reader
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Assisted Solution

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE earned 800 total points
ID: 37021105
From the Microsoft site:
What versions of Windows 7 include BitLocker? Can I use BitLocker on a Windows XP–based computer?

BitLocker is available in Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Enterprise. However, you can unlock encrypted removable drives on any version of Windows 7. BitLocker is not available in Windows XP, but you can use the BitLocker To Go Reader to view content on BitLocker-protected removable drives from a computer running Windows XP.

To use BitLocker To Go Reader on a computer that is running Windows XP or Windows Vista, your BitLocker-protected removable drive must be formatted by using the exFAT, FAT16, or FAT32 file system. If the drive is NTFS formatted, it can only be unlocked on a computer that is running Windows 7.

Is your bitlocker drive formatted with NTFS? If so, you need Windows 7, see above.
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Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 37021147
Basically what I posted.

The only thing I would be concerned with is the fact this is not a removable drive.  If the TPM chip was used, I doubt to-go will even work.
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Author Comment

by:jasonmichel
ID: 37026630
nothing worked, ended up formatting it, thanks for the help though
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Expert Comment

by:South Mod
ID: 37030595
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Author has stated there is no solution, so I'm starting the Auto-Delete process.<br /><br />SouthMod<br />Community Support Moderator
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Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 37030596
I have to disagree with the reopen/delete on the objection of gerwinjansen.

http:#a37020698 states that the OS needs to be the same as what was used to encrypt the drive originally.

If the OP decided not to take the advice that would have worked, it is not our fault.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen, EE MVE
ID: 37034291
I merely objected because the proposed advice to the OP was not carried out, so IMHO this question cannot be used for future reference. slightwv's advice may be completely valid / true but it was not tested nor acknowledged by the OP. How to proceed next?
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Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 37034405
The mods will evaluate my objection and your post then decide.
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Author Comment

by:jasonmichel
ID: 37045287
woah, excuse me slightwv, you act like i had a choice?  I KNOW i needed windows 7, i explained my situation, windows 7 was not an option since the machine was reloaded with XP and i needed to unlock the drive some way with that OS, thus the reason for asking the question..so to say i refused to listen to that advice is pretty ignorant.  I should have just deleted the question.
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Expert Comment

by:slightwv (䄆 Netminder)
ID: 37045351
Not trying to be arrogant.

You did not state win7 was NOT an option.  You merely commented you were now on XP.

We also mentioned bitlocker to-go as a possibility depending on how you encrypted the original drive.

>>I should have just deleted the question.

Probably the same outcome.  I would have likely objected to the delete since you didn't provide feedback on the suggestions we provided.

Think about this from our perspective.

If the question was:  How can I find a stud in my living room to hang a picture?

Experts offer suggestions:
Buy a stud-finder from your local hardware store.
Most studs are 16" on center.  Measure from a 'known' stud.

The asker comes back with:
I ripped down all the drywall to find them.  Delete the question.

Just because the asker chose a different solution does not mean the other solutions were incorrect.
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