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Trying to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive for first time, wont open - not responding.

    Question


  • Team - Trouble here!! Have ~730 GB of data on my 1TB iOmega HDD. Turned on BitLocker on my Windows 7 system, set password, created and saved recovery key file, and i saw it started encrypting (very slowly, which i think is normal). Left it there for hours and when i came back I saw it is asking me for my password for my unlocking... which i entered and it just wont open. Goes "NOT RESPONDING". I did not lose power during the initial encryption and neither did i pull out the HDD (to my knowledge) even though I read in the MS content that encryption should resume the next time a drive is plugged in, it it got interrupted the first time or whatsoever.

    However, started my research and was shocked to find several people have had similar problems. Also references that data must be backed up before encrypting (may be common sense). Well, i have not done that, did not know that a simple of act of encrypting could be such a crime, especially when you are encrypting what you have just taken a backup off - before proceeding towards a formatting of my laptop.


    Tried the manage-bde commands and the results are in a pic that i cannot attach. Interestingly, i find that the "manage-bde -status" command shows "conversion status" and "percentage of encryption" as unknown. Is this normal? I do not really remember seeing any screen (when i came back after hours to check the status of the initial BitLock'ing) stating "hey i am done" sorta. Pause, resume, off commands could not help and said "drive is locked". Also the little light on my HDD keeps blinking when i enter the password - giving me hope that its trying to read, so its not really dead. How do i know whether it is even in an "expected state" or something worse? Or if i should plan on getting another empty 1 TB drive for the repair?

    ****** Long story short - I need help. I have a lifetime worth of data in here - pro and personal. MS geeks - please do something and help me. And yes - i am just a "common man", not very high on tech skills but i can read English :-). I know there is a way out, there has to be, please help. {hands clasped, on my knees}

    Saturday, October 3, 2015 7:16 PM

Answers

  • I'll help.

    First, learn from that. You need backups. Hard drives do fail - instantly. That hurts just as much as encryption gone wrong. Please be aware that your data is truly at risk if you decide to do some sort of writing to that disk.

    Two options to try:

    -change the connection: connect your drive to a different computer and try there. Also try connecting the drive to a sata port (remove it from its housing).

    -if that does not work, use the command line option repair-bde and see if it does any good.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015 12:59 AM
  • Hi

    In addition to what has been suggested. if this problem occurs due to an encryption failure, since you are facing data corruption I'd suggest you perform the following in the order of appearance and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t work, I am afraid your best bet would be data recovery specialists.

    Step 1:

    a. Open a command prompt on your computer (Click Start, type "cmd" in the search box)

    b. Type: manage-bde -status <drive letter> eg. manage-bde -status e:

    This should let you verify the drive is unlocked and encrypted

    c. Now type "manage-bde -off <drive letter>" eg  manage-bde -off f:

    This tells Windows to turn off encryption on that drive and decrypt it.

    Be patient, decryption time can take a very long time, 12hours per 1.5Tb

    Step 2:

    Use the BitLocker Repair Tool to Recover a Drive

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee523219%28WS.10%29.aspx

    Regards,

    D. Wu


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, October 16, 2015 2:28 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I'll help.

    First, learn from that. You need backups. Hard drives do fail - instantly. That hurts just as much as encryption gone wrong. Please be aware that your data is truly at risk if you decide to do some sort of writing to that disk.

    Two options to try:

    -change the connection: connect your drive to a different computer and try there. Also try connecting the drive to a sata port (remove it from its housing).

    -if that does not work, use the command line option repair-bde and see if it does any good.

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015 12:59 AM
  • Hi

    In addition to what has been suggested. if this problem occurs due to an encryption failure, since you are facing data corruption I'd suggest you perform the following in the order of appearance and check if the issue persists. If it doesn’t work, I am afraid your best bet would be data recovery specialists.

    Step 1:

    a. Open a command prompt on your computer (Click Start, type "cmd" in the search box)

    b. Type: manage-bde -status <drive letter> eg. manage-bde -status e:

    This should let you verify the drive is unlocked and encrypted

    c. Now type "manage-bde -off <drive letter>" eg  manage-bde -off f:

    This tells Windows to turn off encryption on that drive and decrypt it.

    Be patient, decryption time can take a very long time, 12hours per 1.5Tb

    Step 2:

    Use the BitLocker Repair Tool to Recover a Drive

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee523219%28WS.10%29.aspx

    Regards,

    D. Wu


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Friday, October 16, 2015 2:28 AM
    Moderator