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Bitlocker: When you can't recover

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 in Technical Articles (Views: 3520)
A bit misleading of an article, but perhaps not. A quick blog and shout out for Bitlocker.

I pulled an old backup drive out of the closet to create a new physical machine. When I pop in the Windows media, I get a message that the drive cannot be used, as Bitlocker was set on the drive. I then went to my key vault store, and the recovery key surprisingly was not to be found.

If you know the password, the sane thing to do here would be to look at the disk and copy any data you want first. I just wasn't in the mood, and with a disk laying around that long, I just know that anything on it would not be of value any longer. All of my backups are newer these days.

If you're not in the mood to investigate the disk, no worries. Simply wipe the drive. To do this, follow these steps. If you are booted to the Windows Setup from the DVD or a USB, simply go to the command prompt. Of course, from Windows go to the command prompt. If you can't find the command prompt, please stop reading, and take your computer to someone who knows what they're doing, I'll wait.

Okay, now.. Here's the commands.

From the command prompt, type diskpart. You will get another prompt. Enter these commands in order
Cre Par Pri
Format fs=ntfs quick

From here, reboot, and you will be able to install the media on the disk. Whereas allowing drive wipes saves money from people not having to buy new disks, at least people can't get to the data either. So, I am actually kind of happy Bitlocker doesn't turn a drive into a brick without the key and password. So, a shout out for this one.


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