How to unlock BitLocker drive after changing OS or replacing motherboard?

Updated by Tim to BitLocker Recovery on May 13th, 2021

I have a 3 month old Dell Laptop. The motherboard got doused with some water (Granddaughter)... and is fried. I need to recover some pictures of said granddaughter from the hard drive but found out it is encrypted with BitLocker!!! I took the computer to a Computer shop to recover the data but they needed the BitLocker recovery key. I logged onto Microsoft and got the 48 character key. The Drive ID verifies... but it will not accept the Recovery Key. The computer shop is unaware how to recover the data. I called Dell and they can't help and referred me to a recovery service that wants $500-1000 to "give it a try." Any ideas????

How to unlock BitLocker drive after changing OS or motherboard replacement?

There are four methods to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive after you change OS, replacing motherboard or reinstalling Windows:

Method 1: Unlock BitLocker drive with iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery

iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery is a professional BitLocker data recovery software which can recover data from BitLocker encrypted partition after providing the password or 48-digit recovery key.

Tutorial to recover data from BitLocker encrypted drive with iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery:

Step 1: After launching iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery, select the inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drive and click Next.

BitLocker data recovery software

Step 2: Enter the password or BitLocker recovery key.

iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery - Enter the password or BitLocker recovery key

Step 3: Scan the files from inaccessible BitLocker encrypted drive

Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive and recover lost data

Step 4: After the data is found, please select them and click "Recover" to save. After ensuring all recovered files can open, reformat this inaccessible BitLocker-encrypted drive and make it working again.

Method 2: Unlock BitLocker drive using CMD

1. Type cmd in search bar of Windows Taskbar.

2. Right click cmd.exe from the search results and then choose "Run as administrator" from the menu to allow Administrator privilege.

Command prompt

3. Type the command: manage-bde -unlock X: -password or manage-bde -unlock X: -RecoveryPassword and then press Enter.

Tips: X is the drive letter of your BitLocker encrypted drive.

4. Enter the password or recovery key and then press Enter to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive.

Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive with manage-bde

If manage-bde failed to unlock this BitLocker volume, try iBoysoft BitLocker Recovery to save your data.

Method 3: Unlock BitLocker drive with M3 BitLocker Loader for Windows

Step 1: Download, install and launch M3 BitLocker Loader for Windows on your computer.

Step 2: Click on "Unlock drive" located at the right side of your BitLocker encrypted drive.

M3 BitLocker Loader for Windows

Step 3: Enter the password to unlock your BitLocker encrypted drive.

Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive

Method 4: Unlock BitLocker drive on another computer

1. Connect the BitLocker encrypted drive to another computer.

2. Double-click BitLocker encrypted drive in My Computer or This PC.

3. Click "More options".

Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive

4. Click "Enter recovery key".

Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive

5. Enter 48-digit recovery key to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive. If BitLocker doesn't accept BitLocker recovery key, please go to method 1.

Method 5: Unlock BitLocker drive with BitLocker password brute-force cracking tool

If you don't have the password or BitLocker recovery key to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive, you need the professional BitLocker password brute-force cracking tool (Such as Passware Password Recovery Kit, Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor, Thegrideon BitLocker Password) to help to unlock BitLocker encrypted drive by running an attack.