June Castillote
June Castillote IT Engineer, Consultant, Writer, Blogger, Coder

How to Unlock Bitlocker Drives in WinPE


How to Unlock Bitlocker Drives in WinPE Photo by Gnist Design


If you need to access the contents of a Bitlocker-locked drive in Windows Preinstallation Environment, you’ll need a Window PE that supports Bitlocker operations.

Requirements

Creating the WinPE Bootable Image / Media

  1. Run Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment as administrator.

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  2. Run the command below to copy the working files to the c:\WinPE_amd64 directory. You can use any directory you want.

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     copype.cmd amd64 c:\WinPE_amd64
    

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  3. Mount the WinPE Image.

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     Dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:"C:\WinPE_amd64\media\sources\boot.wim" /Index:1 /MountDir:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount"
    

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  4. Add the BitLocker-required package to the Win PE image by running the commands below, one at a time.

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     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-WMI.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\WinPE-WMI_en-us.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-NetFx.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\WinPE-NetFx_en-us.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-EnhancedStorage.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\WinPE-EnhancedStorage_en-us.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-Scripting.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\WinPE-Scripting_en-us.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-FMAPI.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\WinPE-SecureStartup.cab"
    
     Dism /Image:"C:\WinPE_amd64\mount" /add-package /packagepath:"C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Assessment and Deployment Kit\Windows Preinstallation Environment\amd64\WinPE_OCs\en-us\WinPE-SecureStartup_en-us.cab"
    

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  5. Unmount the WinPE image and commit the changes.

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     dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:"C:\WinPE_amd64\MOUNT" /commit
    
  6. Create the bootable WinPE image / media.

    • WinPE ISO – This command will create the ISO in C:\WinPE_amd64\WinPE_amd64.iso. To use this image, you will need to burn the ISO to a CD or DVD. Another option is to create a bootable USB drive with it using a utility like Rufus.

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        MakeWinPEMedia /ISO C:\WinPE_amd64 C:\WinPE_amd64\WinPE_amd64.iso
      

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    • USB – This command will install WinPE to the USB drive U:

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        MakeWinPEMedia /UFD C:\WinPE_amd64 U:
      

Unlocking a Bitlocker Drive in WinPE

  1. Boot to WinPE (CD or DVD). This process differs depending on your computer. You may need to make changes in your BIOS before you can successfully boot to a CD or USB.
  2. Assuming that your Bitlocker drive is drive C, run the command below.

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     manage-bde -unlock c: -recoverypassword [recovery key]
    

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Now you can access the contents of the drive.

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