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Is there a way to way to restore a PC, with bitlocker active, back to factory settings without access to either the bitlocker code or password? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I work for a small company and have been asked to reset a few company owned laptop PCs back to factory settings for re-use.  The employees who had used the PC's no longer work here. Local admin accounts were not set up on any of these PC's.

    Is there a way to way to restore these PCs back to factory settings, without access to either the bitlocker codes or passwords?

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 6:29 PM

Answers

  • Hi brimcf054,

    >>Is there a way to way to restore these PCs back to factory settings, without access to either the bitlocker codes or passwords?
    The recovery key is the last method we could use to re-gain access to the bitlocker drive. If you still have it, we could use it to unlock Bitlocker. If not, I am afraid that we do need to reformat the drive and perform a clean install. As Carey Frisch said, it would be your only option.

    Best regards

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 2:04 AM
    Moderator
  • The nature of bitlocker is to prevent unauthorized access if no password or encryption key is provided.  Thus, a "clean install" (reformatting the drive) of Windows 10 would be your only option.

    Carey Frisch

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 8:33 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I have the same question, plus the option of "Keep my Files".  -- Is it possible with BitLocker enabled (Windows 10/Surface 4)

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 7:32 PM
  • The nature of bitlocker is to prevent unauthorized access if no password or encryption key is provided.  Thus, a "clean install" (reformatting the drive) of Windows 10 would be your only option.

    Carey Frisch

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 8:33 PM
    Moderator
  • I agree with you on that point - prevent unauthorized access w/o password. -- But maybe give us the option to actually enter a recovery key code to allow the other possibilities. Otherwise we're exposed to lost data.

    And yes... I do hear you, backup. But try to explain that to irrate employees who control your future.


    Tuesday, March 7, 2017 9:34 PM
  • Hi brimcf054,

    >>Is there a way to way to restore these PCs back to factory settings, without access to either the bitlocker codes or passwords?
    The recovery key is the last method we could use to re-gain access to the bitlocker drive. If you still have it, we could use it to unlock Bitlocker. If not, I am afraid that we do need to reformat the drive and perform a clean install. As Carey Frisch said, it would be your only option.

    Best regards

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 2:04 AM
    Moderator
  • I wonder if you have administrative access. If so, you can of course do anything you like since we can read out the bitlocker recovery key as admin. If not, of course you need to reinstall.
    Wednesday, March 8, 2017 8:24 AM