Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The title is the question.
I am now enctypting a 107 GB partition and it takes ages. I am dying to know what would happen if the encryption was stopped by, let's say, a thermal shutdown or if the power went off?
I'd rather not try it myself, so I am asking you. (I hope it did not happen to you!)

And, if this happens, how can I get it fixed?

share|improve this question
up vote 14 down vote accepted

I found this: BitLocker Drive Encryption in Windows 7: Frequently Asked Questions

According to Microsoft TechNet, you would be just fine.

share|improve this answer
I was recently unfortunate enough to experience this on a Windows 8 installation. I got a bluescreen during the encryption of the OS drive. It is simply unable to boot up anymore. I am asked for the BitLocker password when I boot up, I type it, it validates it correctly, then black, and all the LEDs on the computer stay on. – Vercas Nov 24 '13 at 15:48

It would partially corrupt your disk, nothing less, nothing more. It's important to defer the process before shutting down/restarting, gracefully or otherwise, as otherwise quite literally half your disk will be encrypted, and half won't. That's not a good situation to recover from, especially since it will be likely encrypting on the fly whilst it encrypts the partition.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I've figured that out. But any more specific effects? F.E. Will the OS boot? Can I use a recovery CD? – Vercas Dec 21 '10 at 18:09
I've not tried it myself (for obvious reasons), but as far as I would imagine: the OS will not boot, a recovery CD will not help, you may be able to recover some data, but it would all be from the unencrypted part. – Matthieu Cartier Dec 21 '10 at 18:15
Good thing that I have an unencrypted partition. – Vercas Dec 21 '10 at 18:16

This happened to me. I hard-reset the computer half way through decrypting, and when Windows came back up, it tried to resume decryption. It failed almost immediately with an error saying to run CHKDSK /R. After running that, the BitLocker decryption resumed and completed, without me even needing to restart the computer. There was no data loss, and I didn't have to repair anything besides the CHKDSK repair.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.