This article will outline the steps needed to recover data from a non-bootable BitLocker encrypted hard drive using Microsoft’s Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset (DART).

  1. Download the appropriate DART boot images from the ITS Software Download page.   Note:  In order to access all of the DART utilities properly, the version of the DART boot image must match the version of the operating system installed on the computer that you are trying to recover  (i.e. if the OS installed on the failing computer is Windows 7 x64, you need to use the Windows 7 x64 version of the DART image).
  2. Create a bootable USB or CD of the DART image.  If you are not sure how to do this, it can be easily done through the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.
  3. Boot the failing computer to the newly created DART boot disk.
  4. In the NetStart dialog box click Yes.

On Windows 7 systems you will see an additional screen asking if you would like to remap drive letters to match the mappings from the target OS.Choose your preference and click the appropriate button.

5.  On the Choose your keyboard layout screen click US.

On Windows 7:

6.  On the Choose an option screen click Troubleshoot.  For Windows 7, skip to step 8.

7.  On the Troubleshoot screen click Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset.  Note:  this screen may appear slightly different depending on the version you are using.

8.  Retrieve the recovery key by referencing the key ID on the screen and using the MBAM IT Admin Portal.   Once the key is recovered, enter it into the Recovery Tool dialog box and click Continue.

On Windows 7, select the Manually input the key radio button and click Next.  Alternatively, if you have manually backed up the recovery key to a USB key, you can select the Load key from removable media radio button and click Next.

Enter the recovery key that was retrieved through the MBAM IT Admin Portal and click Next.

Click Finish.

9.  Click on the Operating System logo.

For Windows 7 click Next.

10.  On Windows 7 systems, click on the Microsoft Diagnostics and Recover Toolset link.

You will then see the Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset screen where you can use Explorer to browse the drive and recover data, File Restore to recover deleted files, or Disk Commander to try to repair the disk.

In Explorer, the Windows volume will most likely show as the D: drive.

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Last updated: 
May 19, 2016