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Unformat bitlocker

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 16, 2011 10:24:30 AM

I accidentally formatted a bitlocker encrypted NTFS drive on my laptop, which is running Win 7. I need the data on that drive. Tried recovery software, specifically Recover My Files. As I expected, it found nothing since the drive was encrypted before the accidental format. I have the Bitlocker key for the drive. How can I recover the data? Thanks in advance!

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August 16, 2011 10:41:23 AM

At this point usually backups are the only option that I am aware of in this circumstance and reinforce the importance of having backups. Wish I had better news for you and hopefully someone else comes up with an option that proves me wrong.
August 16, 2011 11:18:52 AM

I had a backup, and accidentally formatted that encrypted drive too -- just got confused while I had the backup drive plugged into my laptop. Big mistake!

It looks like there might be a way to salvage the data though. I need more specifics on how to do it though. Here's a link detailing some of what needs to be done, though it lacks specificity:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/239322-44-recover-del...
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August 17, 2011 8:28:26 AM

Same thread I glanced at looking at the issue myself last night, wasn't sure if it would apply to your situation from my quick read it looked like they were just using command line recovery mode to recover it but situation was different, hopefully it works though.

I usually just reload backups at that point so I might have to use 1 of my test PCs as a lab and see if I can fix the issue myself 1 of these days. If it wasn't encrypted or was just a single file/folder with EFS I think it would be easier but BitLocker.. definitely don't use the drive for anything till you try the fix.
September 3, 2011 5:09:32 PM

So far, I've had no luck with this. I haven't touched that drive since I accidentally formatted it. But I am going to clone it and then try a few different approaches to get the Bitlocker partition to appear again. The only other viable, safe option I can currently find is to have a professional drive recovery outfit do the work. Spoke to one of the better ones the other day. Said they could get the data back for between $700-$2700.

Since the data is safe as long as I don't write to the drive, I'm going to wait and try fiddling with the cloned one before spending the money. BTW -- I confirmed that consumer grade recovery software won't do the job.

There is some web-based info on the problem which seems to center around rewriting partition tables with a hex editor. Not exactly fluent in such things, but I'll give it a try -- on the cloned drive only!

Thanks for your response.
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