Unable to unlock my external hard drive locked using BitLocker

Windows 8.1

Asked by: amandaforceland

Original title: Bitlocker mystery, please help!

My external hard drive (Lacie 500) has been locked with Bitlocker on my new laptop (Asus T200T, Windows 8.1). Here is a summary of what happened.

After my friend used her external hard drive in my laptop she discovered it was Bitlocker locked. That was the first time I heard about the program, I had no idea it was installed on my computer. She borrowed my computer to unlock the hard drive. This is what she did:

She found two recovery keys. One key matched her hard drive. The other recovery key we don’t know where it matches. As she wanted to uninstall Bitlocker all together from her hard drive she inactivated the program from the laptop. She did this without keeping the hard drive in the laptop while doing so. When she then tried the hard drive in the laptop it was still locked. So she activated Bitlocker on my laptop again, plugged the hard drive and with the hard drive plugged she inactivated the program. It worked, Bitlocker was uninstalled on her hard drive and she can use it without problems.

However while she was fixing with her hard drive on my laptop, I wanted to use my hard drive on my friends laptop. This was the first time I plugged the hard drive to someone else’s computer since I bought my new laptop. That’s when I discovered my hard drive was Bitlocked too.

Here is where the mystery begins. When I then plugged my hard drive to my computer it said it is locked with Bitlocker to another computer. This is the first time my laptop says it’s locked with Bitlocker. Bitlocker was at the time inactivated on my laptop, since my friend inactivated it. So we activated the program again to try to find a recovery key. But there was no key and the laptop keeps saying it is Bitlocked to another computer. I tried inactivating the program the same way my friend did, keeping the hard drive plugged while inactivating the program on the computer, but it does not work.

So I am unable to access my files on the hard drive from any computer. In my laptop it says its Bitlocked to another computer. But I have never plugged it to any other computer with the Bitlocker program. The first time I plugged it outside my computer I couldn’t use it since it was already Bitlocked. To me it seems it must be Bitlocked to my own computer, but the recovery key is nowhere to be found and inactivating the program does not work. Also we have this one recover key that we don’t know where it matches. It does not match my hard drive ID and therefore have no clue what device it opens.

I want to clarify that when I was using my hard drive, before my friend inactivated Bitlocker on her own hard drive, I had no problems using my hard drive on my laptop. Never did my laptop message me that it Bitlocked my hard drive or give me a recovery key.

I have no backup on my files on the hard drive. I am desperate for help. Please help me solve this Bitlocker problem! What can I do? Who Can I contact?

Answered by: Harkanwar Singh

Hi Amanda,

Thank you for posting your query in Microsoft Community.

I can understand the inconvenience you are experiencing unlocking your external hard drive and will certainly assist you in the right direction to fix the issue. However, I would appreciate if you could answer a few questions to narrow down the issue in order to provide you with better assistance.

  1. Did your friend install any program or make any other significant change to your  computer prior to this issue?
  2. What is the exact error message that you get when connecting your external hard drive?

Ideally, you will need the Bitlocker credentials which you set up when applying Bitlocker originally. Without them, and for whatever reason, your external hard drive no longer exists as a workable external hard drive, and any data on it is locked in forever.

As your friend modified system settings and disabled BitLocker, you may try restoring the system to an earlier point prior to when your friend used the system. This will restore the earlier settings and enable the BitLocker. Refer to the following steps to restore the system.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
  2. Enter Control Panel in the search box, and tap or click Control Panel.

  3. Enter Recovery in the Control Panel search box, and then tap or click Recovery.

  4. Tap or click Open System Restore, and then follow the instructions.

Having restored the system to an earlier point, set the BitLocker to "auto-unlock" and then try connecting your external hard drive to the system and check if it shows locked. Refer to the following steps to set the BitLocker to "auto-unlock".

Open BitLocker Drive Encryption by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering BitLocker in the search box, tapping or clicking Settings, and then tapping or clicking BitLocker Drive Encryption. Choose the drive you want to unlock automatically, and then tap or click Turn on auto-unlock. Administrator permission required You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice.

Additional information:

Unlock a BitLocker-protected drive

Hope this information is helpful. Do let us know if you need any further assistance, we'll be glad to assist you.


Hardware and drivers 21/09/2015 0 Comment 100 views

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