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Bitlocker catch 22

Posted on 2014-03-03
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Last Modified: 2014-03-12
I decided to activate bitlocker on my Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T  Bad idea! Something went fubar and locked the drive. No problem, get the key and unlock it. Unfortunately, the backup and restore drives are also locked, and I cannot figure out how to unlock all drives. If I try any of the restore options, I get the message that the drive they are on is locked and the system reboots to the unlock screen.
Any suggestions?
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Question by:donno46
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6 Comments
 
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39902473
When activating Bitlocker, it will offer recovery keys for each encrypted volume - where are those now? You need them. There is no way around.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:costa73
ID: 39903070
The best solution for this depends on whether you have a domain joined PC or not...

Most of the time Bitlocker lockout situations arise of the following scenario:
- you enable Bitlocker on your laptop while connected to a specific set of hardware devices (e.g. docking station);
- you later boot up the machine while disconnected/connected to a different set of peripherals.

If you manage to remember which devices were connected to your tablet when you enabled Bitlocker, you may get Windows to boot, and recover your Bitlocker keys. Being an Ativ Smart PC 550T maybe you did it with/without the keyboard attached?

If it happened because of a (driver) update or hardware change of some sort (repairs), then this won't work...it's the whole point of Bitlocker...

When working with Bitlocker, always remember to print out/save the recovery keys and store them safely elsewhere - unless your AD admin has the recovery options enabled - in that case, you can always call him/her up and ask for the recovery key stored in AD.
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Author Comment

by:donno46
ID: 39905123
I do have my recovery key. The tablet is running the Windows update version of Win 8.1, and at this point, I will be happy to be able to do a clean install. None of the restores will work because I've tried them all, and none will work, saying that the drive they are on is locked. I build my own PCs and didn't think about the fact that laptops usually have a restore drive, and don't recall if I had the option to encrypt  a single volume or all volumes. I have tried restore with the keyboard off and on - no joy either way.

I have not tried to go to command line, as I assume that there is no way to unlock the other drive(s) from there. Is there a way to reformat from the command prompt, or any other suggestions?
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Author Comment

by:donno46
ID: 39905294
I'm going to put this on hold for a bit, I just discovered that the microswitch in the + volume button is stuck on, and holding that down while pushing the power button is one way to get to the unlock screen. This may be a mechanical problem.
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Accepted Solution

by:
donno46 earned 0 total points
ID: 39914150
It was a mechanical problem. I opened the case and disconnected the volume module, as the  + micro switch was broken.
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Author Closing Comment

by:donno46
ID: 39922906
The expert comments I received did not provide any information that I had not already learned, and the solution was hardware problem.
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