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Due to all the security hype about TrueCrypt I decided to try out VHD + BitLocker to create encrypted containers. This test went OK for a few days. I used this drive just yesterday with no issues.

Usually when I mount the VHD Windows 8.1 will prompt me to type in the BitLocker password. It did not do this today. I looked at Disk Management, and it sees it as a RAW partition now.

Here's a look at the partitions it has now:

  Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
  -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
  Partition 1    Reserved           128 MB    17 KB
* Partition 3    OEM                992 KB   128 MB
  Partition 2    Primary             99 GB   129 MB

In a hex editor, I see what looks like the typical windows boot loader. However, I also see this information that appears to be about the partitions:

Offset(h)   00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

0000000430  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 4D 00 69 00 63 00 72 00  ........M.i.c.r.
0000000440  6F 00 73 00 6F 00 66 00 74 00 20 00 72 00 65 00  o.s.o.f.t. .r.e.
0000000450  73 00 65 00 72 00 76 00 65 00 64 00 20 00 70 00  s.e.r.v.e.d. .p.
0000000460  61 00 72 00 74 00 69 00 74 00 69 00 6F 00 6E 00  a.r.t.i.t.i.o.n.
0000000470  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................
0000000480  A2 A0 D0 EB E5 B9 33 44 87 C0 68 B6 B7 26 99 C7  ¢ Ðëå¹3D‡Àh¶·&™Ç
0000000490  95 C4 1D F2 FE 73 31 43 B0 04 5C 6E 59 14 0E D2  •Ä.òþs1C°.\nY..Ò
00000004A0  00 08 04 00 00 00 00 00 FF F7 7F 0C 00 00 00 00  ........ÿ÷......
00000004B0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 42 00 61 00 73 00 69 00  ........B.a.s.i.
00000004C0  63 00 20 00 64 00 61 00 74 00 61 00 20 00 70 00  c. .d.a.t.a. .p.
00000004D0  61 00 72 00 74 00 69 00 74 00 69 00 6F 00 6E 00  a.r.t.i.t.i.o.n.
00000004E0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................
00000004F0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  ................
0000000500  A1 AE ED 38 D5 E0 88 48 A9 70 8E 03 E6 0B F0 6A  ¡®í8ÕàˆH©pŽ.æ.ðj
0000000510  C1 62 12 46 05 5D DD 42 9C F0 39 1D 34 FE 91 12  Áb.F.]ÝBœð9.4þ‘.
0000000520  40 00 04 00 00 00 00 00 FF 07 04 00 00 00 00 00  @.......ÿ.......
0000000530  01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 4D 00 63 00 41 00 66 00  ........M.c.A.f.
0000000540  65 00 65 00 45 00 70 00 65 00 52 00 65 00 73 00  e.e.E.p.e.R.e.s.
0000000550  65 00 72 00 76 00 65 00 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  e.r.v.e.d.......

Has McAfee Endpoint Encryption somehow also encrypted my BitLocker encrypted container? Or does Microsoft Bitlocker have McAfee technology under the hood?

In any case, how can I recover what remains of my data? Looking at the raw data on the drive, it is not just blank space.

I have tried repair-bde with both the password and the recovery key, but both give no results.

Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Microsoft and Bitlocker has nothing to do with McAfee Endpoint Encryption which is third-party software. It does indeed look like at some point McAfee Endpoint Encryption also encrypted the file. Try and decrypt the file with McAfee Endpoint Encryption – Ramhound Mar 12 '15 at 11:11
  • Are there any other signs I can use for to tell for sure if McAfee encrypted the drive, or if it's just the partitions that got messed up? – Origin Mar 12 '15 at 17:06
  • The information you provided is enough confirmation for me. Check the application's logs if those exist or simple decrypt the file, like you normally would. – Ramhound Mar 12 '15 at 17:11
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As my hex dump showed, and @Ramhound suggested, McAfee Endpoint Encryption did in fact encrypt my drive.

This resulted in a VHD file with:

  • McAfee Encryption
    • BitLocker Encryption
      • Data

So when I mounted my VHD on a computer without McAfee Encryption, it sees it as RAW data. Unfortunately, the Endpoint Encryption is specific to the laptop it was installed on. This basically makes my VHD unreadable for any other computer.

The good news is I was able to mount the VHD on the original computer, enter my BitLocker password, and retrieve my data.

I am guessing that the VHD is seen as a local drive, and McAfee policies were probably set to encrypt all local drives.

Basically, don't use VHD + BitLocker on systems that have policies that will automatically encrypt local drives. I have not had this same problem with drives that I completely encrypt with BitLocker, probably because McAfee sees this as an external drive.

I have had no issues using VeraCrypt (or TrueCrypt previously) alongside McAfee - it does not automatically encrypt those containers.

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