Unlocking Bitlocker enabled drive

May 24, 2018
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My laptop had Windows 10 upgraded from Windows 7. It was hit by a virus named Ransom. By the time I tried defending the Ransom virus, it had encrypted the C: and D: drives. I had reformat the entire hard disk and install Windows 7 as the OS.

The external hard disk is bitlocker enabled. Earlier while plugging-in the hard disk to the laptop, it would authenticate automatically and recognize the disk. I had configured it that way. My bad, what else to say.

The main part of the story is that I forgot the password and lost the bitlocker recovery text as it was encrypted by the Ransom virus.

Being in this position, do I have a chance to recover or unlock the external hard disk?
 

ex_bubblehead

Honorable
Moderator
....do I have a chance to recover or unlock the external hard disk?....
Without either the primary or recovery key the data stays encrypted and locked. It wouldn't be secure any other way. Your only option is to format the drive, and, if you encrypt again make sure to keep a backup of the recovery key (in a secure location) to prevent another loss of data.
 

stdragon

Proper
Apr 5, 2018
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Bad news. Your data is lost without either the original OS install that encrypted your external drive, or the BitLocker recovery key.

FYI, next time you use BitLocker, print the key to a PDF file, then place it in say, your Microsoft OneDrive online storage. If you don't suspend BitLocker prior to ever performing a BIOS update, it will prompt for that recovery key again! So be sure you have access to that recovery key that's NOT stored on the same computer you can't boot too. Ditto for external media encrypted with BitLocker as well.

Encryption is a powerful tool. But, it cuts both ways and is very unforgiving if not used with proper regards. That all said, sorry to hear this happened to you.
 
May 24, 2018
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I tried almost all the possible ways to recollecting and recovering the password. As usual, the odds were against me. But something inside me was telling me that I am on the wrong track. After reading multiple articles in the public domain, understood that there remains possibility to recover the files using the Data Recovery tools. Then, I thought why not try this approach. I downloaded the MiniTool Power Data Recovery 8.0 and scanned the drives that were repartitioned and formatted. To my fortunate, this recovery file was not hit by the ransom Virus. Hence, it was not encrypted. I recovered the BitLocker Recovery key file and used it to recovery and to unlock the Bitlocker enabled external drive.

The next challenge shall to clean the remaining files that were affected by Ransom virus. I did run a search and found that there is no decryption algorithm released yet.

So, in short, one could use this approach of "Data Recovery" to recover the lost file even after repartitioning and formatting. I just thought I could record this in this forum.
 
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