How to unlock BitLocker drive from command prompt

IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO UNLOCK BITLOCKER WITHOUT YOUR RECOVERY KEY.

Do not ask me to help you, I won’t and can’t, those who still ask will be haunted down and shot.

BitLocker We Meet Again!

My boss came into mission control(aka The IT Office, and yes I totally ripped that name off from BOFH) and told me that his laptop(a Latitude E6330 if I recall correctly) screen was not functioning properly(also known as, “My screen is fucked/dead”).

As i always do I tried to boot the device, and saw that the machine did turn on it’s “Hey my power light is flashing so that means I turned on”, but I wanted to check his theory about the screen being dead, so i connected it to one of my BenQ 24″ displays, with a VGA cable, and waited for anything to show up….

Guess what, nothing showed up on the external or the laptop screen!

 

This meant that the screen on the laptop probably was not the problem, the laptop didn’t seem to boot up at all, only the power led’s were lighting up..

So I figured the machine probably wouldn’t ever again…. or in the IT languag: “The laptop is fucked”.

 

The Quest Continues!

I then took out the HDD, and placed it in one of the HDD Docks we’ve got(Cheap HDD Docks…), And tried to get access to the HDD, but of course i again forgot that our company issues BitLocker on every PC and their dogs…
So I tried to go the “my computer” page and find a choice for “unlock BitLocker’ed HDD” , but no such luck..

So I then turned to the holiest of holy: Google.

I used my clever search techniques such as “how to remove BitLocker from HDD” but nothing turned up, I then got a brilliant idea, Maybe I could decrypt the BitLocker drive through the command line!

So I looked through google, and found this TechNet article on using manage-bde in the command line to unlock a BitLocker enabled HDD!

Then I reinstalled a new laptop for him with the standard Windows 7 company image and some additional tools he needed and Delivered the PC back to him.

 

So here is what you should do if you are in the same situation:

 The Tutorial Part

  1. Connect your BitLocker enabled HDD to a HDD Dock.
  2. Find your BitLocker Recovery Password in AD Users & Computers(How to do that)
  3. Open CMD as administrator
  4. type:
    1. manage-bde -unlock *DRIVE LETTER*: -recoverypassword YOUR-BITLOCKER-RECOVERY-KEY-HERE
    2. manage-bde -off
  5. now you have unlocked and disabled BitLocker

 

 

Need Data Recovery Software(A.K.A, “I Fucked up”-Software)?

If you accidentaly deleted some data off your hard drive then you might want to check out these tools:

 

Further Reading

 

Also check out my other BitLocker posts:

39 comments

  1. I had windows 8.1 updating during encryption and it shut down at 4% encrypted. Thought all was lost. You just saved my life! Thanks so much! Be sure to put in spaces after the Drive letter I.e. (G: -recoverypassword ) though! It was a typo in the article.

  2. Nice style of writing!

    My problem: I have an external hard drive, encrypted with BitLocker. I know how to remember a password. So far so good…..

    But: the BitLocker program is not responding anymore to my external drive. Does not react with my laptop, and does not react attached to others laptops. It just keeps showing the message (Not responding).

    Any help is appreciated. Is my external drive fucked, or can I revive it??

  3. I used this command line, and do anything.
    I need to unlock on last desktoop where i active the bitlocker, becouse i don’t have the recovery password was registered on AD.
    Healp, please, or I will lost 8Gb :\

  4. hi ,
    i want decrypt bit locker external hard drive . i have recovery key but not show Active directory . how to decrypt. . please help me ..

  5. i turned on the bitlocker and during encryption at 4% pc turned off now I have my password but the pc hangs when I enter the password please advice as I have too much important data in drive d please help me

      1. when I turned on the pc and gave the bitlocker password which was ok pc goes on hanging at I have checked for one hour then I turned off pc directly plz help as my d drive contains important data

      2. Asking me enter
        PIN number and I forgot so I went on trouble shooting and click on commands prompt administrator x:\windows\system32\cmd.exe

  6. I have password and recovery key also but their are no option to enter password or recover and bitlocker manager also not working when i try to open drive it show massage that ACCESS IS DENIED
    plzz help me.

  7. I have partitioned my Drive (C, D and E) and I have locked my D and E Drive with bit Locker Now i remember password of E Drive, but I forgot the D Drive Password and and bit-Lockers Key.

    I need your help in this regard.

    thanks
    noo

  8. Hi,
    I’m using bitlocker on my OS drive without problem, but some days ago I started encrypting another drive (d:). After noting that it will take too long I stopped the process so it start decrypting the unit. After a long time, it finished decrypting but now the drive appears locked! If I try to unlock the unit from Windows it says that it cannot be decrypted in this windows version (I’m using windows 10). If I try by CMD simply says the recovery key can’t unlock the unit (I’m sure I’m using the right one)…
    Can you help me?

    PD: sorry about my english, I’m not english-speaking

  9. Hello Helge, Thank you for your Bit Locker guide. Have you any thoughts on solving my problem which seems to be a repeatable bug.
    In my case Drive D: is under the control of BitLocker using Win10 and Surface Pro 2.
    To produce the bug.
    In administrator Command Prompt mode, enter ” manage-bde -unlock D: -Password ” This gives a command line request for my password. I enter the password and D: is unlocked and its contents accessible by command line commands such as Dir D: which is correct.
    Bugs.
    BUT, viewing the drive in Explorer, the Icon has a gold closed Lock which is incorrect.
    Double click on D: results in the following 3 line message:
    “BitLocker D:
    “The drive protected by Bit Locker
    “Drive encryption is already unlocked.
    and FileExplorer gives no access to the contents of D: which is incorrect.
    Also the Right-click menu for D: includes “Unlock Drive..” in bold. BUT clicking on this menu entry triggers the same 3 line message as above.
    After a Reboot, the folder is locked and I can unlock normally in Explorer and access the contents via explorer. However if I use a Batch file or a Command line action to unlock, the Bug repeats as explained above.
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  10. hi all
    i locked one of my drive using bitlocker after few days if i enter the correct password also it is showing as incorrect. i tried using recovery key but of no use. is there anyway to unlock it

  11. Hello!
    I encrypted my internal D:/ drive last month form that day on still now it says, “the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. I have tried to unlock by recovery key, “it says unable to unlock”. I am going to loose 501 GB. I have password and recovery key. I don’t understand how to unlock it. I used command:
    C:\Windows\system32>D:-forcerecoverpassword it says this The data drive specified is not set to automatically unlock on the current computer and cannot be unlocked automatically. Please help me

  12. hello dear bro
    I locked one of my folders since 6 months ago and ive lost recover key and password what can i do please?

  13. Hello!
    Sir, I locked my drive with bitlocker then I changed my password and I saved recovery key on another drive …. sometime later when I came back from my journey , I have not remembered that password , then I searched for recovery key , the recovery were not there,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, is there any way to transfer my data from encrypted drive to the external hard disk.

  14. hay there, sorry for bad English. i run bit-locker on my 500g hdd and i accidently remove my usb cable. that thing make my external hard disk cant be unlock. what should i do. i have the password

  15. Hey! I lost my laptop, and now my BitLocker encrypted flash drive is asking for my recovery key (which I do not have). I do have the password though.

    Did I lose it?

    Thanks in advance for any help… I’m desperate

  16. I had locked one of my drive with bitlocker, which I have accessed a lot with the password. But after installing another version of windows I tried to open that drive with the same password but it says incorrect password. I have tried with the recovery key with the same id and it shows the key doesn’t match the drive. Is there any way to unlock that drive or recover my data sir? I have the password and the recovery key.

  17. I had to make a post. Hope this helps someone
    I installed a battery in my laptop that cleared my cmos somehow. Laptop model Latitude e6430
    I had bitlocker PIN enabled to boot the computer. I knew the pin, I did NOT have the recovery key.
    I was getting inaccessible boot device blue screen. Upon reboot it would attempt to repair but always asked for the recovery key. I hit skip this drive, let it finish, and then went into the advanced troubleshooting and opened command prompt. I then ran manage-bde -unlock -pw
    enter pin
    exit back to main window
    select troubleshooting
    then try startup repair
    this got my windows booting back up successfully.
    Here is the technet that shows you CAN unlock with the PIN. I was not able to disable bitlocker from command prompt FYI…
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff829854(v=ws.11).aspx

  18. I have the password for my drive, there is anyway to unlock this same drive under a hirens boot environment? I’m asking because windows in this drive is crashed, I just want to backup my files, any help?

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