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Recover Files and Data from an Inaccessible Encrypted Drive

The drive may become inaccessible, if you accidentally interrupted the process of encryption drive when the BitLocker was locking the drive. Here is going to show you how to recover files and data from an inaccessible encrypted drive.

You have three option to use BitLocker repair tool

Use BitLocker Repair Tool to Recover File and Data

The BitLocker Repair Tool (Repair-bde) is a command-line tool, it can be used to access encrypted data on a damaged hard disk if the drive was encrypted by using BitLocker Drive Encryption.

What you need do:

  • Make sure you’re not running a Home version of Windows.
  • Make sure you have password, recovery key, or startup key .BEK file location.
  • Have an empty output volume (drive) and the size is larger than that damaged BitLocker-protected drive.


What we are going to do is attempting to repair or decrypt a damaged BitLocker-encrypted volume by using the supplied recovery information to recreate critical parts of the drive and save recoverable data to another volume.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt as an administrator.

Press Win + X shortcut key, click Command Prompt (Admin) from the result menu.


Step 2: Then you have three option to use BitLocker repair command to recover a drive.

Option 1: To repair using password, execute command below, and press Enter.

Repair-bde F: E: -pw –F

Tip: F is the drive letter of BitLocker encrypted drive. E is the drive letter of the output volume which you can copy the files and data of BitLocker encrypted drive to. This command can be used in Windows 8/10.


When it prompts to Enter password to unlock this volume, type recovery password for encrypted drive, and then press Enter.

Option 2: To Use the Recovery Key, you can execute comand below in Windows 7/8/10:

repair-bde F: E: -rp BirLockerRecoveryKey –F


Tip: BitLockerRecoveryKey is the actual 48 digit recovery key for the encrypted drive like below.


Option 3: To use the Startup Key in Windows 7/8/10

This would only be for an operating system drive that you have configured to be unlocked by a usb flash drive.

Execute command: repair-bde F: E: -rk I:\StartupKey.BEK -F

Tip: I is the USB drive letter that the startup key has been saved or copied to. StartupKey is stored in .BEK file will be a hidden protected OS file.


Tip: Start key is generated when configure to use BitLocker on an operating system drive without a TPM as long as the computer is not running a Home version of Windows.


When you it repairs completes, you will see ACTION REQUIRED: run chkdsk on the output volume before opening.