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I have lost administrator password on a windows 7 laptop running bitlocker.
I know bitlocker recovery password for this PC and can access BIOS setup.

I need to reset administrator password without removing HDD from the laptop.

  1. Is there a way to do so without having to decrypt the drive first ?

  2. If not, how can I decrypt the drive given the fact that I cannot login as admin to the machine ?

I am considering to boot Linux on a USB drive and run a copy of Windows 7 from Linux via Virtual box. Then try to decrypt laptop HDD from this copy of Windows 7.

I hope there is an easier way... If not, please tell me if you think this idea will fail or not.

Thank you :-)

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closed as off topic by mdpc, Jenny D, Wesley, Dave M, TheCleaner Apr 1 '13 at 21:42

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1 Answer 1

You can use a WinPE USB stick to boot but it must include the winpe-vmi package:

To create an image that can decrypt your first computer you'll need another computer with WAIK installed.

1.1 How to create a WinPE image that suits your needs:

1.2 You should include the winpe-wmi package when adding packages.

Dism /image:C:\winpe_x86\mount /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\PETools\<architecture>\WinPE_FPs\"

Dism /image:C:\winpe_x86\mount /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:\Program Files\<version>\Tools\PETools\<architecture>\WinPE_FPs\en-us\"

You'll need both: the language neutral and the language specific (en-us) package. version can be Windows OPK or Windows AIK (WAIK).

1.3 Boot your first computer (the one where the password is lost) with WinPE and execute the following command:

cscript %systemroot%\system32\manage-bde.wsf –unlock Volume : -rk PathToExternalKeyFile: \ External Key File Name

If the Recovery Key is damaged or missing, you can still unlock the volume. To do this, type the following command at the command prompt:

cscript %systemroot%\system32\manage-bde.wsf –unlock Volume : -rp Numeric Recovery Password


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Thanks! I now included the essential parts and provided the links for reference. Now it's a better summary of the process. – Yannis Apr 1 '13 at 9:47
@Yannis: Thank you. – Iain Apr 1 '13 at 18:34

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