Recover data from inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drive using BitLocker Repair Tool

Ever faced a situation where your Drive had become inaccessible after unlocking it with BitLocker? Maybe your BitLocker Password was forgotten or Recovery Key lost? Recently I followed this tutorial to lock a drive using BitLocker on my system. Following the tutorial, I kept the recovery key as an important consideration. Everything went smooth but the issue occurred when I accidentally interrupted the process when the BitLocker was locking my drive.

BitLocker Password forgotten and Recovery Key lost

Drive inaccessible after unlocking BitLocker Encrypted Data

The issue became more complex when I tried to access the data inside the drive.

I received the following error message:

Drive Location Not Available. Access is denied

BitLocker Repair Tool

BitLocker Repair Tool

So if your BitLocker Password is forgotten or the Recovery Key lost, you can use BitLocker Repair Tool to access & recover data & files from inaccessible BitLocker drive which has been encrypted using BitLocker in Windows 10/8/7

The BitLocker Repair Tool (Repair-bde) is a command-line tool included with Windows 10/8/7. This tool can be used to access encrypted data on a severely damaged hard disk if the drive was encrypted by using BitLocker Drive Encryption. It is used especially for the extraction of data from under locked BitLocker drives.

According to Technet, here is what to do. First of all make sure that:

  • Your test computer has a BitLocker-protected drive (under locked drives can also be taken).
  • You must be able to provide administrative credentials.
  • You must have at least one of the following:
      1. Recovery password
      2. Recovery key file location
      3. Recovery package file location and the corresponding recovery password
      4. Recovery package file location and the corresponding recovery key file location
  • You must have an empty output volume of equal or larger size than the BitLocker-protected drive (whose contents will be completely overwritten after the repair operation).

Assumptions : Consider that we’re talking of Drive E: drive. We have to recover data from it and extract it to F: drive. We have a 48 digit recovery password i.e. 062612-026103-175593-225830-027357-086526-362263-513414. We are also assuming that we have the recovery key file located at F:\RecoveryKey.bek and recovery package location at F:\ExportedKeyPackage.

You have to modify above assumptions in accordance with your environment.

Now open Command Prompt and run any one of the commands in accordance with the recovery data you’re owning.

To repair using a recovery password:

repair-bde E: F: -rp 062612-026103-175593-225830-027357-086526-362263-513414

bitlocker key forgotten BitLocker Repair Tool

To repair using a recovery key:

repair-bde E: F: -rk F:\RecoveryKey.bek

To repair using a recovery package and the corresponding recovery password:

repair-bde E: F: -kp F:\ExportedKeyPackage -rp 062612-026103-175593-225830-027357-086526-362263-513414

To repair using a recovery package and the corresponding recovery key:

repair-bde E: F: -kp F:\ExportedKeyPackage -rk F:\RecoveryKey.bek

Once BitLocker verifies the command you have inserted and it will copy the data to output volume (F: drive in our case) from the encrypted one. Thus the data is recovered from under locked / interrupted on locking a drive through BitLocker.

Hope you find the article useful.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.

22 Comments

  1. Princess Emark Velly

    i dont have another drive equal to that one xo please how do i unlock it directly?

  2. Tim

    You can use M3 Bitlocker Recovery free to unlock it.

  3. deepak

    i for got my bit locker recvery key. how to get the bit locker recovery key

  4. ^^ Go to BitLocker Drive Encryption section in Control Panel, click on Back up recovery key link there for the drive having encryption, this will provide you the options to get your recovery key. You can also save the same to your Microsoft account.

  5. deepak

    when i trying to open the drive it shows two option
    1.get the key from usb flash drive
    2. type the recovery key

  6. ^^ You don’t have to open drive, instead you have to go drive management settings for BitLocker, read previous comment once again!

  7. deepak

    i didn’t find drive management settings for bit locker
    can u give the full details to me.
    i have very important data in that external hard disk.

  8. fahad

    hey bro I have my drive locked by bitlocker encryprytion not completed just 4% I have password but pc hangs please help me

  9. Flavia Dorneles

    Is there someway I can convert a .BEK file to recovery numbers format? Like 288209-513086-417508-646412-162954-590672-167552-664563

  10. fahad zeeshan

    this software only recovers 1 gb of data after that it requires a key if u have it canu please provide i am too much in problem i have mnay official data near about 100gb plz tell me the software and key please

  11. Obaid Latif

    i uninstalled and also unlocked my drive (E) still files aere hidden ?? plz tell me

  12. Linda Johnson

    I don’t know how to thank this resource!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in process of recovery irreplaceable files. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Krist?ne

    And what to do if after overinstalation I have lost my key to Hard drive + I haven’t saved it any other place. Is there any possibility to open my hard disc?

  14. Sakhavat

    Hi. A lost my files on local disk D after recovery files from USB flash driver. And changes capacity of drive to 7.47 GB, but my local D It used to be 350GB. Now how I can recover partition size and files?

  15. Paul Beauchamp`

    I had the same problem. I started to encrypt an external USB drive with bitlocker and part way through it stalled and the drive became innaccessible. I bought another drive (which incidentally has to be be BIGGER than the original not the same size or it won’t work) and began the process using the -rp option and the recovery key in the file created by bitlocker. It took forever (>18 hours for a 1TB drive) but eventually finished. I ran CHKDSK D: /f as instructed and that in turn repaired loads of errors. However, once compled the drive was still inaccesible from windows explorer. But, I could see the file structure and files from the command prompt. I tried to copy some of these files in the command prompt window to another drive and although they copied across every single one wouldn’t open claiming it was corrupt.

    Any suggestions

  16. John

    Hi Paul, I’m going through the EXACT same situation. Please tell me you found a way through it..

  17. Paul Beauchamp`

    I wish I could – but I can’t. My scenario was on a work laptop. I connected the usb drive and received a message saying “you should encrypt the drive” – so I did. It got part way through and the just stopped – never got past 10%. I tried all sorts. I bought another drive of the same size to recover onto but it refused to use it stating it needed to be “just a bit bigger”. In the end I got work to buy a 2TB drive. I then tried again but it simply refused to have it. It kept acknowledging the disk and then disconnecting it part way through recovery.
    Really miffed because I had a load of personal photos on there and all of my CD painstakingly converted to MP3.
    Sorry.

  18. John

    Yea my wife and I have been travelling for 6 months and our photos/videos are mostly on there.. Did you try taking it to data recovery companies? I posted on another forum and was recommended Drivesavers

    So what’s the status with your drive now?

  19. Paul Beauchamp`

    No I didn’t do anything like that. I’ve just failed basically. I have other copies of the photos so I think I was lucky.

  20. John

    Lucky and smart.. Oh well onward with my journey to recovery..

  21. Shuhaib Mullappally

    I have a problem with my external hard drive. I tried to put bitlocker password in this hard drive. USB disconnected by mistake during this time. unfortunately incomplete the encryption process. So after that when I try to open hard drive it’s asking password and if we enter the password it’s showing text “bitlocker drive encryption failed to recover from an abruptly terminated conversion”. I can’t open drive. Please help me to open this drive or give me any suggestion for solve this issue. There is a lot of files for my work. I hope you can help me for this.

  22. Farhan Akram

    Kindly tell me am facing this issue on my hard drive Seagate 2tb laptop Bitlocker drive failed to recover from an abruptly terminated conversion

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