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about it when I ended up buying the professional version of Windows 7 when it was finally released and the RC was no longer valid.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.

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

  • 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

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

  • 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

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.


versions of windows 7 other than Ultimate and Enterprise allow you to access and write on Bitlocker-encrypted volumes. You would have to just need password. What's different from Ultimate and Enterprise is that you cannot encrypt(using Bitlocker) an unencrypted volume from within the other editions. So assuming you have the password/key, you can access from Win7Pro.

  • 1
    It's just the opposite of what's written in the other answers. Can you give a reference for it? – Máté Juhász Oct 8 '16 at 15:07
  • Completely Wrong. Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise allow you to make an unencrypted, simple volume encrypted, while the other versions of Windows 7 can only access it with a password. Please verify that the answer you post is accurate and of relevance. – Don't Root here plz... Oct 8 '16 at 16:43
  • Oh my, it's been ages since I visited and there is something wrong with how replies to my post are delivered. To business, how can it be completely wrong? I had this dilemma all this time running Win7 Pro and that's why i'm grateful they made Bitlocker available to all starting with Win8 (and thus Truecrypt being retired). @MateJuhasz: per my experience. – abrahamdsl Feb 3 '17 at 7:15

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