I have a hard drive protected by Bitlocker. Login, password and restore key are
unknown. All I want to do is wipe the whole hard drive. I have no access to the
drive when I try to boot from a Windows installation disc, since it asked for the
restore key that I don’t have. Is there any way to format the whole encrypted drive and make it usable again?
Do you know about encrypted hard drive?
An encrypted hard drive is a hard drive using disk encryption to protect information
from converting it into unreadable code that cannot be deciphered by unauthorized
people. You can use the disk encryption software or hardware to encrypt every bit of
data that stores on a disk. Starting with Windows Vista, Windows provides users a
feature named BitLocker, which is a full disk encryption solution designed to
protect data by providing encryption for entire volumes. It uses the AES encryption
algorithm to encrypt whole hard drive.
Why format an encrypted hard drive?
In general, you cannot decrypt the encrypted hard drive if you forgot the password or
restore key after you encrypted the entire hard drive. What should you do if you want to reuse the hard drive? Don’t worry if you have no idea. In this article, we will guide you to solve this problem. The only way to solve the encrypted hard drive is to format encrypted hard drive properly.
How to format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive in Windows 7/8/10?
Here are two ways to format encrypted drives. One is to unlock BitLocker drive from
command prompt, the other is to format/erase with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.
You can refer to the following instructions:
Solution 1. Unlock BitLocker encrypted drive from command prompt
1. Hit Win+R key, then type diskpart and pressEnter.
2. Then input these commands below in turn:
◆ list disk
◆ select disk n, where the n stands for the disk you want
◆ list partition
◆ select partition n, where the n stands for the encrypted hard drive you want to delete.
◆ delete partition override
3. Type exit to close window. This will wipe all the data on the encrypted
hard drive. Then you could create new partition on that drive again.
Solution 2: Format BitLocker encrypted HDD with free partition software
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a professional disk partitioning software,
which helps you to figure out the best two solutions to format an encrypted hard
drive. Format encrypted hard drive; delete partition and create partition on it. Free download it and have a look at how it works.
PS.: The freeware is compatible with Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. If you are running Windows Server OS, please switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.
Format encrypted hard drive directly
1. Install and launch the program. Right-click the BitLocker encrypted hard drive and
choose Format Partition.
2. Select the file system for the encrypted HDD.
3. Click Apply to format a BitLocker encrypted hard drive
Then restart your computer, you will find the BitLocker has been removed.
Alternative to format BitLocker encrypted hard drive directly
There has another way: you have to delete all partitions on the encrypted HDD, then
create a new partition on it, then you will find that you have already remove
BitLocker from the encrypted hard drive. The steps are listed below:
1. Run the program, and click the encrypted hard drive and choose Delete
Partition at the left hand.
2. Select a method to delete the partition, hit OK.
3. Click Apply to unlock a BitLocker encrypted drive
4. Then right click the BitLocker encrypted hard drive, select Create
5. Choose the proper file system for that partition, hit OK to continue.
6. Press Apply to create a new partition without BitLocker
After these ways to remove BitLocker from encrypted hard drive, you can use the hard
drive now. Besides, AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to do write protected removal for hard drive/USB drive/SD card, move partition, extend partition, create bootable media, etc. The Professional edition provides you more advanced functions like allocate free space, convert primary partition to logical, and so on.