Recovering Windows 7 data files with Ubuntu Live CD--bit

Hi there, I'm new here and am in a jam, so I appreciate all the help I can get.

My Windows 7 laptop is encrypted with BitLocker. Fortunately i do have the Bit
locker key though!

I need to recover some Windows files before I send the laptop to the IT department for re-imaging. (I'm worried that the files that I need might be clobbered, so i want to copy them beforehand.)

I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 from a DVD and in the File Browser I can see a 160GB hard Disk-System Reserved, and a "File System" icon. When i open the 160GB drive i see "Boot" and "System information" folders and a couple of files, but nothing I can recognize as a Windows file structure.
What do i do to get to my Windows files? Is the BitLocker obscuring the contents? I do have the code but I don't know how to use it with the Ubuntu software.

Am i screwed here?
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. you are screwed. the point of encrypted is not to be able to get the data back without the proper way. Hope you have backup.
  2. BitLocker encrypts at the disk level and leaves behind no recognizable file system. You cannot use Ubuntu to recover a drive so encrypted. If you have either the PIN or Recovery Key you can connect the drive externally to another computer running either Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise (Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise may work as well but I haven't tested). However, if the key you have doesn't work you are SOL as far as getting access to the contents of that drive. As for the drive being clobbered when imaged, absolutely, the contents will be irretrievably overwritten during the process.
  3. Best answer
    If BitLocker were that easy to defeat, it wouldn't be much good.

    Copy the files elsewhere first. When IT reimages that drive...all is gone, permanently.
    If you can't copy the files elsewhere first....When IT reimages that drive...all is gone, permanently.

    BitLocker is a Windows application. you can't use Ubuntu to get around it.
  4. Hi

    Have IT also blocked use of USB devices on this PC ?

    If You have legal access to this PC you should be able to login and copy files off onto a non ecrypted device
    or over the network to your employers servers (unless also blocked)

    If this has been blocked by the IT department then you will have to ask IT department to back up files before imaging

    Why would you want a copy of Windows Files ?
    Do you mean MS Office documents, emails etc


    Mike Barnes
  5. It sound like he/she could boot into windows anymore.
  6. Thanks guys. I was afraid of this. I guess I will just have to chalk this up under the "hard lessons" column.
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