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I used the windows 7 Release Candidate when it came out, which included in it the BitLocker software. I must have set it to encrypt my drive and I've completely forgotten about it when I ended up buying the professional version of Windows 7 when it was finally released and the RC was no longer valid.

As I obviously was over keen and had forgotten about the encryption, I then lost access to the encrypted drive.

How can I recover data from the disk? Assuming that it is locked to my computer and/or username/password (which is the same on this install) what are my options?

The three obvious ones I can see are

  1. buy bitlocker separately
  2. buy an upgrade to windows 7
  3. somehow try to decrypt the drive with known password.
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3 Answers

This post details accessing bitlocker drives from winpe: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/erikr/archive/2008/04/20/bitlocker-and-winpe.aspx

note: I haven't tested this, but it should work. this would fall under your option 3

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Cheers for this, I'll hopefully be looking over the weekend so will do the research and get back to this post accordingly. Thanks! –  Mitch Kent Nov 12 '10 at 17:28
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One option is to download the 90 trial of Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate. That should allow you to get into an OS that supports bitlocker and turn it off. If you have a spare harddrive, you could install it on there to save your current OS build. Once you get the drive decrypted, swap the OS back to Professional and go from there.

Source: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7security/thread/43fcbdeb-741e-4f46-a039-9dc5de05097b

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Cheers for this, I'll hopefully be looking over the weekend so will do the research and get back to this post accordingly. Thanks! –  Mitch Kent Nov 12 '10 at 17:28
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I believe the Windows 7 admin pack or the deployment kit (one of the two) has a utility that will decrypt bitlocker encrypted volumes - provided you have the decryption key.

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