Written byJessica Shee
Summary: This article introduces Microsoft's BitLocker Repair Tool - repair-bde. You can learn how to use it to repair a damaged BitLocker-encrypted drive and salvage recoverable data. You can also use iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery to recover data from inaccessible BitLocker drives.
Is your BitLocker-encrypted drive inaccessible after unlocking it with BitLocker? Does the Windows pop up an error message indicating your BitLocker drive is failing? Thankfully, Microsoft offers a native BitLocker Repair Tool that can help you reconstruct critical parts of a severely damaged drive and recover data if the drive was encrypted by using BitLocker.
This article will walk you through how to use the BitLocker Repair Tool step by step. Since BitLocker drive data recovery is complex and the BitLocker Repair Tool may fail, we also provide an alternative solution to help you successfully restore important data from the BitLocker-encrypted drive.
Table of Contents:
- 1. What is BitLocker Repair Tool (repair-bde)?
- 2. How to use the BitLocker Repair Tool
- 3. Best alternative to Microsoft's BitLocker Repair Tool
- 4. Conclusion
What is BitLocker Repair Tool (repair-bde)?
BitLocker Repair Tool is commonly referred to as Microsoft's repair-bde utility. It is a command-line utility with Windows 11/10/8/7 used for repairing or recovering data from BitLocker-encrypted drives that have encountered errors or corruption. Therefore, you don't need to download BitLocker Repair Tool on your Windows computer and it can only be accessed through the Windows Command Prompt.
What repair-bde can do
repair-bde may not be able to address all BitLocker-related issues. For example, it can't repair a drive that failed during the encryption or decryption process. It can help with the following situations:
- Recover Data from a Damaged BitLocker Drive: If a BitLocker-protected drive becomes inaccessible or corrupted due to file system errors or other issues, repair-bde can attempt to recover data from it without having to decrypt the entire drive.
- Repair BitLocker Metadata: When the metadata is damaged or corrupted, it can result in the drive becoming inaccessible. It can be used to repair the BitLocker metadata.
- Restore Access to Encrypted Drive: If you've forgotten the BitLocker password but have the recovery key, repair-bde can help you regain access to the drive.
- Repair Disk Errors: repair-bde can attempt to repair disk errors and make the drive accessible again.
How to use the BitLocker Repair Tool
Preparations before using BitLocker Repair Tool
Before attempting any repair operations using the BitLocker Repair Tool, make sure that:
1. You have the administrative credentials to perform the repair-bde command.
2. You must have at least one of the following:
- Recovery password
- Recovery key file location
- Recovery package file location and the corresponding recovery password
- Recovery package file location and the corresponding recovery key file location
3. You have an empty output volume of equal or larger size than the BitLocker-protected drive as the contents of the output volume will be completely deleted and overwritten by the decrypted contents from the damaged BitLocker drive during the process.
Assumptions when using BitLocker Repair Tool
To better explain the process, we make the following assumptions, which you have to modify to your situation.
- The BitLocker-encrypted hard drive you have to repair and recover data from is Drive D:
- The output volume which you extract data to is Drive E:
- You have a 48-digit recovery password, i.e. 111111-222222-333333-444444-555555-666666-777777-888888. The recovery password should be typed in eight blocks of six digits with a hyphen separating each block.
- The recovery key file is located at C:\RecoveryKey.bek
- The recovery package is located at C:\ExportedKeyPackage
How to repair a BitLocker-encrypted drive using the repair-bde command
The repair-bde command offers various parameters that dictate how the BitLocker repair tool should restore and transfer data from the BitLocker-encrypted drive to another destination. Below, you'll find some commonly used command examples. Select the one that suits your needs.
To repair drive D:, to write the content from drive D: to drive E: using the recovery password:
repair-bde D: E: -rp 111111-222222-333333-444444-555555-666666-777777-888888
repair-bde D: E: -pw
and then type in your recovery password when prompted.
To attempt to repair drive D:, to write the content from drive D: to drive E: using the recovery key file:
repair-bde D: E: -rk C:\RecoveryKey.bek
To attempt to repair drive D:, and then to write the content from drive D: to drive E: using a recovery package and the corresponding recovery password:
repair-bde D: E: -kp C:\ExportedKeyPackage -rp 111111-222222-333333-444444-555555-666666-777777-888888
To attempt to repair drive D:, and then to write the content from drive D: to drive E: using a recovery package and the corresponding recovery key file location:
repair-bde D: E: -kp C:\ExportedKeyPackage -rk C:\RecoveryKey.bek
After this command has copied the data from the BitLocker-encrypted drive to the output drive, you can check the output drive to see if your data has been recovered.
Best alternative to Microsoft's BitLocker Repair Tool
If the command lines look scary to you or the repair-bde command fails to recover data from the inaccessible BitLocker drive, iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery can assist in BitLocker drive data recovery.
iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery is a professional data recovery tool that specializes in recovering data from BitLocker-encrypted storage devices, such as traditional hard drives, SSDs, and USB flash drives.
What iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery can do
- Recover deleted files from a BitLocker-protected drive
- Recover data from a corrupted BitLocker drive
- Recover data from a formatted BitLocker drive
- Recover deleted or lost BitLocker-encrypted partitions
- Recover lost data after BitLocker drive encryption/decryption failed
- Provides a bootable BitLocker recovery solution when Windows won't boot
How to recover data from a BitLocker drive with iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery
Step 1. Install and launch iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery on your Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server versions.
Step 2. Select the corrupted BitLocker encrypted drive you want to recover data from and click Next to continue.
Step 3. Enter your BitLocker encryption password or 48-digit BitLocker Recovery Key if you have forgotten the recovery password and click OK.
Step 4. After unlocking your BitLocker-encrypted drive, this software will start scanning files from the BitLocker-encrypted drive.
Step 5. Select files you want to recover by ticking the boxes and click Recover to save them in another location.
Microsoft's BitLocker Repair Tool, repair-bde, is a valuable utility for repairing corrupted BitLocker drives and recovering data without the need to unlock or decrypt the drive through BitLocker. Microsoft stopped providing BitLocker Repair Tool download and this BitLocker repair tool becomes a command-line utility.
In cases where the BitLocker Repair Tool cannot successfully copy your data from the BitLocker drive to an output drive, you have the option to turn to iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery to rescue your critical files.