How to recover lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive partition?

Updated by Tim to Bitlocker Recovery Tips on April 26th, 2019

Data recovery from formatted Bitlocker drive depends upon how the Bitlocker drive was formatted (whether Bitlocker metadata is intact or not).

Bitlocker metadata is used to store the password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key. If Bitlocker metadata is corrupted, there is no way to decrypt data from Bitlocker drive.

Bitlocker data recovery software

Unlike common data recovery, Bitlocker data recovery requires intact Bitlocker metadata and password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key to decrypt data.

Some common data recovery software claims that it can recover data from formatted Bitlocker drive, but actually it doesn't have the function to decrypt data. So choosing and finding a professional Bitlocker data recovery software is important.

M3 Bitlocker Recovery is a professional Bitlocker data recovery software which can recover data from formatted Bitlocker drive, recover data from corrupted Bitlocker drive, recover data from damaged Bitlocker drive, recover data from inaccessible Bitlocker drive, recover deleted/lost Bitlocker partition.

How to recover lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive?

According to different formatting methods, there are two solutions to do Bitlocker drive format recovery:

Option 1: Recover lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive

If Bitlocker drive was accessible before accidently formatting, follow below steps to recover data:

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 Bitlocker Recovery software on your computer.

Step 2: Select the formatted Bitlocker drive.

Bitlocker recovery software

Check deep scan option and click Next to continue.

Step 3: Enter the password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key.

M3 Bitlocker Recovery - Enter Bitlocker recovery key or password

If the password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key is unknown or lost, refer to: How to recover Bitlocker password I forgot?

Step 4: Scan the lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive.

Scan lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive

If M3 Bitlocker Recovery doesn't accept the password or recovery key and reports incorrect password, it means Bitlocker metadata has been corrupted after formatting. In such a case, there is no way to recover data from formatted Bitlocker drive.

Step 5: After the scan completes, check and preview the files.

File preview in M3 Bitlocker Recovery

Step 6: Select the needed files and click Recover to start recovery.

Option 2: Recover lost data after formatting the corrupted Bitlocker drive

If Bitlocker drive was corrupted before formatting or formatting was cancelled in a half way, follow below steps to recover data:

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 Bitlocker Recovery software on your computer.

Step 2: Click "Find More Partitions" at the top.

Bitlocker recovery software

Step 3: Select the hard drive where had Bitlocker drive and click Next to find previously exiting Bitlocker partitions.

Scan Bitlocker drive

Step 4: After the previously existing Bitlocker partitions are found, select one partition and click Next to continue.

Select Bitlocker drive

Step 5: Enter the password or 48-digit Bitlocker recovery key to scan lost data.

M3 Bitlocker Recovery - Enter Bitlocker recovery key or password

Step 6: After the scan completes, check and preview the files.

File preview in M3 Bitlocker Recovery

Step 7: Select the needed files and click Recover to start recovery.

Four cases for formatted Bitlocker drive

There are four cases about how the Bitlocker drive was formatted:

Case 1: Bitlocker drive was formatted with the 3rd-party software

I had some data on a 1tb bitlocker encrypted NTFS format drive, which was 100% encrypted at the time of the accident. I accidentally formatted the drive by selecting the wrong drive while using software to create a bootable USB stick out of an ISO. The software (PowerISO) attempted to write over the Bitlocker drive with a Fat32 partition, but displayed an error message.

Go to solution 1: How to recover lost data from formattted Bitlocker drive.

Case 2: Bitlocker drive was formatted with the built-in format tool in Windows 10/8/7

I encrypted my external hard drive with BitLocker and then I accidently formatted it by selecting the wrong drive while formatting in Windows 10. Is there any way I can recover lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive?

If the Bitlocker drive was accidently formatted using Windows built-in format tool in Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Windows OS has completely erased Bitlocker metadata so that there is no way to recover lost data.

Case 3: Bitlocker drive was formatted with the built-in format tool in Windows XP

I encrypted my external hard drive with BitLocker and then I accidently formatted it by selecting the wrong drive while formatting in Windows XP. Is there any way I can recover lost data from formatted Bitlocker drive?

Unlike Windows 10/8/7/Vista, Windows XP wouldn't erase Bitlocker metadata when formatting Bitlocker drive, so there still is a way to recover lost data, go to solution 1: How to recover lost data from formattted Bitlocker drive.

Case 4: The corrupted, inaccessible Bitlocker drive was formatted

The data was encrypted with Bitlocker and the drive got crashed during Bitlocker drive encryption, and then I accidently formatted it to access the drive. Is there any way to recover lost data?

Go to solution 2: How to recover lost data after formatting the corrupted Bitlocker drive.

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