I had Win 10 installed on one hard drive, and my personal data saved on a second drive. Both hard drives were encrypted with Bitlocker, although TPM had to be disabled. Upon powering the PC, I would type in the Bitlocker password, windows would boot up, and I would have access to both hardrives.

I decided to reinstall Win 10 on the first hard drive and inserted the CD, which loaded after the Bios booted. The second hard drive was left untouched.

Win 10 has installed, however, the second drive is 'locked' and requires a recovery key. For reasons unclear I do not have the recovery key for the second drive (not on my Microsoft account/USB or printed).

I installed third party software which provides an option to insert the Bitlocker password (or the recovery key). The Bitlock password does not work, despite repeated checking.

Any ideas to recover?

  • 1
    Without the recovery key, the chances are not good. Bitlocker is a trap.
    – harrymc
    Mar 3, 2021 at 11:17
  • If your asking the reason the recovery key is being requested, that would be due to your system configuration change. There is no way around it
    – Ramhound
    Mar 3, 2021 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


Your only chance is to find the recovery key, so make a big effort.

If the recovery key is lost and you have a backup, format the disk and restore the backup.

If the recovery key is lost and you don't have any backup, I believe that very unfortunately this is a lost cause.

Bitlocker is dangerous software in this regard - it is counseled to decrypt all Bitlocker disks before reinstalling Windows.

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