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Failed To Backup Inaccessible Bitlocker Encrypted External Drive

Last response: in Windows 7
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October 11, 2013 5:38:36 AM

I have transcend storejet 500gb external hdd that has been encrypted with bitlocker encyption. A week ago i cant access the disk anymore. It says F:\ is not accessible the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable. When I plug in the usb to laptop the bitlocker window that prompt for password appear like it always do but eventhough i enter password and it unlock,but i cant enter the drive as it not accessible. In disk management it shows the drive does not have filesystem and show bitlocker encryted in a bracket. So after searching the internet i found this http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/21714-bitlocker-re... . I follow the instruction but the repair get stuck at 44% overnight so i closed the cmd and try to start it again. this time it stuck at 2% overnight. I cant access the backup disk used to backup the bitlocker disk as it became like the bitlocker disk, not accessible. This time when I check disk management it show the bitlocker disk become RAW and when try to open it,it prompt to format. I cant use chkdsk either. How to solve this? How can I recover important data on that drive? Please help me..
a c 354 $ Windows 7
October 11, 2013 7:45:32 AM

Could be a dead disk, nothing aside from a physical recovery method will work on that (removing the platters and trying to access the data directly off that), and since it's encrypted, that won't work either as you'll just end up with a pile of random looking bits.
It's odd that both of your disks have the same issue though, have you tried them in another computer that has bitlocker?
October 11, 2013 8:26:29 AM

hang-the-9 said:
Could be a dead disk, nothing aside from a physical recovery method will work on that (removing the platters and trying to access the data directly off that), and since it's encrypted, that won't work either as you'll just end up with a pile of random looking bits.
It's odd that both of your disks have the same issue though, have you tried them in another computer that has bitlocker?


Ive tried the encrypted drive on other computer and it still the same. The other drive that I use for backup through repair-bde command become inaccessible like the encrypted drive. Is it because the repair process not complete? I had to close it after decrypting 44%. Backup drive only became accessible if I format it.

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a c 354 $ Windows 7
October 11, 2013 8:35:59 AM

The reason you can't access the files and why it did not complete the repair is probably the same thing, bad disk. I doubt the attempted repair caused any more issues but due to whatever happened to the disk it could not complete. See if the vendor has a disk check utility you can run (NOT the Windows checkdisk), that low level check won't do anything bad to the encrypted files, and will tell you if the disk is good or not.
October 11, 2013 10:26:01 AM

hang-the-9 said:
The reason you can't access the files and why it did not complete the repair is probably the same thing, bad disk. I doubt the attempted repair caused any more issues but due to whatever happened to the disk it could not complete. See if the vendor has a disk check utility you can run (NOT the Windows checkdisk), that low level check won't do anything bad to the encrypted files, and will tell you if the disk is good or not.

I cant find any disk check utility for transcend. Can you suggest me other utility that you know? One question, if I format the bitlocker encrypted drive and run chkdsk, the data is still there or completely erase? Will it work if I try to run repair-bde after the format?
a c 354 $ Windows 7
October 11, 2013 10:42:04 AM

If you format the drive the data is technically there but you would have deleted the encryption keys used for bitlocker making the data unreadable. Do not run checkdisk on an encrypted drive. A format and checkdisk will not fix any drive issues, what it may do is block the bad sectors from use, but that will still break the encrypted files.

You can probably find out what brand of drive the external drive is and check for a disk utility from that vendor. You can open the case and look or contact Transend for some help. Windows may return the drive brand and model if it sees the external drive properly.
October 11, 2013 12:19:25 PM

hang-the-9 said:
If you format the drive the data is technically there but you would have deleted the encryption keys used for bitlocker making the data unreadable. Do not run checkdisk on an encrypted drive. A format and checkdisk will not fix any drive issues, what it may do is block the bad sectors from use, but that will still break the encrypted files.

You can probably find out what brand of drive the external drive is and check for a disk utility from that vendor. You can open the case and look or contact Transend for some help. Windows may return the drive brand and model if it sees the external drive properly.


The drive vendor is Toshiba, model Toshiba MK5059GSXP. I found this but it didnt work http://storage.toshiba.com/storage-services-support/war.... So I use HDDscan http://hddscan.com/ instead. Run test verify,still scanning now.

How about cloning and imaging? will it work with encrypted drive? If the current drive is bad, how about clone it to new drive and perform repair with the new drive? Is it posible?
a c 354 $ Windows 7
October 11, 2013 1:05:24 PM

You can't clone a drive that is bad, it's like cutting out part of a document, then trying to photocopy it to get the original back. In order to clone or copy the drive, whatever program is being used has to be able to read everything on the drive, if the drive is bad, it won't read it.

You can try to clone it, but I'm betting it will fail.
October 11, 2013 5:54:18 PM

hang-the-9 said:
You can't clone a drive that is bad, it's like cutting out part of a document, then trying to photocopy it to get the original back. In order to clone or copy the drive, whatever program is being used has to be able to read everything on the drive, if the drive is bad, it won't read it.

You can try to clone it, but I'm betting it will fail.


So, no other solution then? This is the overview by Hard Disk Sentinel. It shows the health at 9% and in critical state :-

"There are 11512 bad sectors on the disk surface. The contents of these sectors were moved to the spare area.
Based on the number of remapping operations, the bad sectors may form continuous areas.
There are 432 weak sectors found on the disk surface. They may be remapped any time in the later use of the disk.
At this point, warranty replacement of the disk is not yet possible, only if the health drops further.
It is recommended to examine the log of the disk regularly. All new problems found will be logged there."

I guess im giving up on the data inside and just proceed to format it


a b $ Windows 7
October 11, 2013 6:27:31 PM

syazwankamal said:
I guess im giving up on the data inside and just proceed to format it

No, you need to replace the drive, it's failing, and will go Tango Uniform at any moment.
a c 354 $ Windows 7
October 14, 2013 6:09:34 AM

syazwankamal said:
hang-the-9 said:
You can't clone a drive that is bad, it's like cutting out part of a document, then trying to photocopy it to get the original back. In order to clone or copy the drive, whatever program is being used has to be able to read everything on the drive, if the drive is bad, it won't read it.

You can try to clone it, but I'm betting it will fail.


So, no other solution then? This is the overview by Hard Disk Sentinel. It shows the health at 9% and in critical state :-

"There are 11512 bad sectors on the disk surface. The contents of these sectors were moved to the spare area.
Based on the number of remapping operations, the bad sectors may form continuous areas.
There are 432 weak sectors found on the disk surface. They may be remapped any time in the later use of the disk.
At this point, warranty replacement of the disk is not yet possible, only if the health drops further.
It is recommended to examine the log of the disk regularly. All new problems found will be logged there."

I guess im giving up on the data inside and just proceed to format it




That's about what I though it would look like after those repair and other failures.

Don't use this drive even after a format unless you are OK with it failing suddenly on you. Maybe use it as an external drive to move temp stuff between computers, but don't use it for a main or even a backup drive. Like driving around on a tire with a nail it in, it may be OK for a bit, but next thing you know you are driving 70 down the road and it blows to shreds. Would you drive around that way? That's pretty much what trying to use a drive with errors is like, it's really just waiting to see when it fails fully. It may not even work at all as is.
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