BitLocker and WinPE

Continuing the BitLocker related posts, I wanted to reveal a tip I intend to discuss
in the third part of my BitLocker post series: accessing BitLocker encrypted volumes
by using WinPE.

If something went terribly wrong with your Windows installation you are in a bad
situation since not only can you not load Windows but since you can’t load Windows
you can’t access you data (since it is protected by BitLocker that is a feature of

You may attempt to access your data by loading WinPE, yet obviously since the
data is encrypted you will see the drives blank…interesting bind.

Have no fear though, your data is safe and if you have your recovery key or password
handy you will have access at no time. First of all you need to make sure that you
have the scripting package install on your WinPE,once this is done you will use the
BitLocker command line interface to access the data:

cscript manage-bde.wsf -unlock <drive letter> -recoverykey <path to BEK file>

cscript manage-bde.wsf -unlock <drive letter> -recoverypassword <48 digit password>

Note that the drive letter you may be looking for might be different then you one
that you assume it is. The S: drive will most likely take the letter C: and the rest will use
consecutive letters.

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