I have a laptop that died and the hard drive is encrypted with bitlocker. My company does not want to restore the drive.

If I remove the drive and put it into a housing and try to read it from another company laptop that also uses bitlocker encryption, will the new laptop be able to read the drive?

  • 1
    Do you have the recovery key? Oct 13, 2017 at 13:13
  • "My company does not want to restore the drive." -- is this a company-owned drive/laptop? You might have a company policy issue if you proceed. Is this machine assigned to you and only you? Are they ok with you restoring it? Why won't they restore it? Do they have the recovery key?
    – MikeP
    Oct 13, 2017 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


The bitlocker key is stored on the physical computer TPM (Possibly password protected, if you're in user authentication mode). So without the computer, you will have to manually provide the key (48-digit recovery password).

This recovery key should be available to the Active Directory Administrator (See tech support page) if they chose to do so, which for business continuity I hope they did.

While you have the recovery key, you can access the disk from any computer on which you can plug it on.


It depends...

BitLocker defaults to using the local machine's TPM for key storage, if it has been configured this way then moving the disk to another device will prevent access to the keys, which are unique to the encrypted drive, by implication this means the data will remain encrypted.

If you do not need to enter a password at boot-up (i.e. the first time you are prompted for a password is when Windows has loaded), then BitLocker is configured as above. And this is probably the reason your company do not want to recover the drive contents...they know it is going to be difficult (depending on what has actually failed in the source laptop).

However, BitLocker can be configured without using a TPM, in theory in this scenario it should be possible to mount the drive in another machine and provide the password to access the drive, though I have ever tried it to be able to confirm this.

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