when turning on bitlocker for a device, the following recovery key document is created:

BitLocker Drive Encryption recovery key

To verify that this is the correct recovery key, compare the start of the following identifier with the identifier value displayed on your PC. Identifier:


If the above identifier matches the one displayed by your PC, then use the following key to unlock your drive. Recovery Key:


If the above identifier doesn't match the one displayed by your PC, then this isn't the right key to unlock your drive.

Try another recovery key, or refer to http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=260589 for additional assistance.

What identifier is meant here?

  • 1
    Windows 8.1 (that might matter). Since different drives result in different identifiers, i guess it is a drive identifier. "Each key package will work only for a drive that has the corresponding drive identifier." from technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj647767.aspx – joh May 19 '16 at 17:04

The identifier of the drive is generated when the drive is encrypted. This allows you, the end user, to identify which recovery key goes to which encrypted.

The reason the message says to "compare the start of the following identifier with the identifier value displayed on your PC." is because of how Bitlocker Recovery itself works.

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Notice the Recovery Key Identifier part of the screenshot.

One would normally save the recovery key with the identifier in the filename like so.

enter image description here enter image description here

How to Unlock a Drive using BitLocker Recovery in Windows 8 and 8.1

  • 1
    I burrowed the images, I no longer have a Windows 8.1 virtual machine at my disposal, not that it matters I don't use Bitlocker on my system drive. – Ramhound May 19 '16 at 17:19

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