Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

On a Windows 7 laptop with Bitlocker enabled, is it possible to access the data on the hard drive in another way if the installation becomes corrupted? Normally, I just enter the PIN when I start the laptop, but when connected to another machine, it wants a recovery key, which I don't have.

share|improve this question

migrated from Oct 3 '12 at 23:56

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

You're probably out of luck. Without that key, there's no way to get the data. If there were, that would render Bitlocker pretty useless.

When you set up Bitlocker, you were prompted to write down/keep safe your recovery key for a reason.

Group Policy can be configured to store recovery keys in the AD object for the computer. If this is the case, you should follow Microsoft's documented procedure for recovering the key from AD and unlocking the drive. If this policy is not enforced in your organization, GOTO line1.

share|improve this answer

Assuming that your system hasn't failed yet, you should be able to make a copy of your bitlocker recovery key. Here is a link to a Microsoft page that describes what a recovery key can do for you and how to copy it off of the system so that it will be available after a failure. Basically, it should be "Start button"->"Control Panel"->"Security"->"Bitlocker Drive Encryption", then "Manage BitLocker", and then follow the instructions.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.