Windows 10: Access a Bitlocker encrypted system drive as external drive

Discus and support Access a Bitlocker encrypted system drive as external drive in Windows 10 Support to solve the problem; I am getting rid of a desktop with a bitlocker encrypted C drive. I want to physically remove that drive and have access to it from another pc via... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Support' started by jmsnyc, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. jmsnyc Win User

    Access a Bitlocker encrypted system drive as external drive


    I am getting rid of a desktop with a bitlocker encrypted C drive. I want to physically remove that drive and have access to it from another pc via external usb dock or enclosire

    Bitlocker question: Do I need to decrypt it first ? I was thinking with the key or the password I could access it no problem and decryption was not necessary but then I remembered TPM might prevent this since it was a system drive. Would that prevent access even with the BL key or password?

    General file access question: Normally when accessing files from a drive removed from another pc, I normally have to use "Take Ownership" or run a 3rd party file explorer as admin such as Q-Dir. Are there any steps to take prior to removing it from the original pc to make this process / file access easier?

    Original PC is running Win 10 Ed , new PC running Win 10 Pro

    :)
     
    jmsnyc, Jun 28, 2020
    #1
  2. Marc Cai Win User

    Encrypted External Drive that cannot be opened.

    Hi Sana,

    It is a good idea to use Bitlocker to protect hard drives. Please provide the following needed information:

    1. How do you try to access the drive?

    2. Do you get any pop-up message when trying to access the drive?

    3. Is this an external hard drive?

    You can turn off Bitlocker Drive Encryption by following these steps:


    • Login as Administrator to your PC.

    • Click Start, click Control Panel, click
      Security
      , and then click BitLocker Drive Encryption.

    • From the BitLocker Drive Encryption page, find the volume on which you want BitLocker Drive Encryption turned off, and click
      Turn Off BitLocker Drive Encryption.

    • From the What level of decryption do you want dialog box, click either
      Disable BitLocker Drive Encryption or Decrypt the volume as needed.

    Regards.
     
    Marc Cai, Jun 29, 2020
    #2
  3. File back up to bitlockered external drive

    Thanks John.

    By trial and error the solution is,

    • Set the file back up to the desired external USB drive, Back up using file history.
    • Run backup to completion.
    • Dismount, (Remove) the drive used.
    • Remount (Plug in) the drive used for the file back up (Steps 1&2) and encrypt using Bitlocker.
    Note you can only encrypt drives using some versions of Windows (Pro for eg not Home)

    • Once the external drive has been encrypted dismount.
    • Remount the drive, go to the file back up option, Open, Settings, Backup,
      Back up using file history
      .
    • The drive should now still be visible and has been encrypted.
    • Accessing the drive will be dependant on how it was set up in Bitlocker,
      Open with this PC, password, pin code
      etc.
    • Repeat file back up as in the first two steps.

    Hope this helps someone else.
     
    Martin Holme, Jun 29, 2020
    #3
  4. Access a Bitlocker encrypted system drive as external drive

    Restoring Windows system image from a Bitlocker-encrypted external drive

    I recently had to restore Windows 7 system drive image from a (Windows) backup (as I migrated to a larger drive). The backup was on an external/USB drive (which is Bitlocker-encrypted). I found out that the Windows 7 "system repair disk" apparently doesn't
    support accessing such drives at all, so the backup was pretty much useless. I had to make another system image on another, non-encrypted disk. Ironically, Windows' backup tool warned me that I was putting the backup on a drive that was not encrypted...

    So is there any way at all to use a Bitlocker-encrypted external drive for storing (and restoring) Windows system image backups? If not, what are the recommended alternatives?

    The same applies to Windows 10.
     
    Anubis2000, Jun 29, 2020
    #4
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Access a Bitlocker encrypted system drive as external drive

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