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BitLocker Repair Tool - Recover Drive in Windows 7 and 8

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Brink
Administrator

Join Date: Jul 2009


Posts: 20,890

How to Use BitLocker Repair Tool to Recover a Drive in


Windows 7 and Windows 8
Information
The BitLocker Repair Tool (Repair-bde) is a command-line tool included with Windows
Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8. This tool
attempts to repair or decrypt a damaged BitLocker-encrypted volume using the supplied
recovery information to reconstruct critical parts of the drive and salvage recoverable data
to another volume.
This tutorial will show you how to use the BitLocker Repair Tool to recover your data from
a damaged encrypted operating system (OS) drive, fixed data drive (ex: internal
volume/drive), or removable data drive (ex: USB drive) in Windows 7 and Windows 8.
You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps in this tutorial.
Note

You must have at least one of the following for the BitLocker encrypted drive:
o
Password
o
Recovery key
o
Startup key .BEK file location
You will need to have an empty output volume (drive) of equal or
larger size than the damaged BitLocker encrypted drive. The contents of the

output volume will be completely deleted and overwritten by the decrypted


contents of the damaged BitLocker drive.
Warning
The BitLocker Repair Tool should only be used as a last resort when you were unable to
decrypt or unlock the encrypted drive using either the password, recovery key, USB
flash drive, or BitLocker Recovery.
Tip
If you were signed in to your Microsoft account when you encrypted a drive with BitLocker,
then you can get your recovery key from your OneDrive at the link below.
Microsoft account: BitLocker recovery keys

EXAMPLE: Before and After using BitLocker Repair Tool


NOTE: In this example, the BitLocker encrypted drive is F: and the output volume is E: .

Here's How:
1. Do step 2, 3, or 4 below depending on what you would like to do.
2. To Use the Password in Windows 8
NOTE: This option is only available in Windows 8, and would be for an OS drive, fixed
data drive, or removable data drive that you have configured to be unlocked by a password.
A) Open an elevated command prompt.
B) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below, and press Enter. (see
screenshot below)

repair-bde F: E: -pw -F
Note
For only items in red in the command above:
Substitute F for the drive letter of the Bitlocker encrypted drive. Not the last F.
Substitute E for the drive letter of the output volume you want to have the contents of the
Bitlocker encrypted drive decrypted and copied to.

C) When prompted in the command prompt, type the recovery password for this encrypted
drive, press Enter, and go tostep 5 below.
NOTE: You will not see the password as you type it.

3. To Use the Recovery Key in Windows 7 and 8


NOTE: This would be for an OS drive, fixed data drive, or removable data drive that you
still have the recovery key either saved to your Microsoft account, saved to a
file, saved to a USB flash drive, or printed.
A) Open an elevated command prompt.
B) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step
5 below. (see screenshot below)

repair-bde F: E: -rp BitLockerRecoveryKey -F


For example:
Code:
repair-bde F: E: -rp 261173-522599-237072-583517-442068-316811-199375-623755 -F

Note
For only items in red in the command above:
Substitute F for the drive letter of the Bitlocker encrypted drive.
Substitute E for the drive letter of the output volume you want to have the contents of the

Bitlocker encrypted drive decrypted and copied to.


Substitute BitLockerRecoveryKey for the actual 48 digit recovery key for the encrypted
drive like below.
Saved to USB or File:

Saved to Microsoft account:

4. To Use the Startup Key in Windows 7 and 8


NOTE: This would only be for an OS drive that you have configured to be unlocked by a
USB flash drive.
A) Since you will not be able to boot from the OS drive, you will need to first connect it to
another Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, or Windows
8 PC.
B) Open an elevated command prompt in the other PC.
C) In the elevated command prompt, type the command below, press Enter, and go to step
5 below. (see screenshot below)

repair-bde F: E: -rk I:\StartupKey.BEK -F


For example:
Code:
repair-bde Z: E: -rk I:\AFA58D77-94CD-4300-8009-68B36AE53276.BEK -F

Note
For only items in red in the command above:
Substitute F for the drive letter of the Bitlocker encrypted drive.
Substitute E for the drive letter of the output volume you want to have the contents of the
Bitlocker encrypted drive decrypted and copied to.
Substitute I for the USB drive letter that the startup key has been saved or copied to.
Substitute StartupKey for the actual file name of the startup key for the encrypted drive
like below. The BEK file (startup key) will be a hidden protected OS file.

5. When finally successfully finished, follow any given "ACTION REQUIRED" first. For
example, to run chkdsk on the output volume before opening. (see screenshots below step
2, 3, and 3 above)
NOTE: The BitLocker Repair Tool may take a long time to finish, but you will still be able to
use your PC during the recovery process. Just do not turn off the PC until it has finished.

6. You will now be able to open the output volume (ex: E) to view the decrypted files from
the BitLocker encrypted drive (ex: F).

That's it,
Shawn