Consider the case where a computer has 2 drives: one for a Windows OS and one for a Linux OS. The user then uses full drive encryption, BitLocker, on the Windows drive.

It can be assumed that Linux cannot read data from the encrypted drive in normal operation (barring bootkits or other exploits). But my question is about writing to the drive. Can Linux mount a BitLockered drive for writing? Will writing to an encrypted drive corrupt the entire drive?

My assumption is that one cannot write to the drive because the file system table is encrypted, but I can find no documentation or discussion about this anywhere.

I know that there is the unencrypted partition that is part of the BitLocker process, but I am not referencing that partition.

  • Would accidentally reformatting the drive fall into your focus?
    – zedman9991
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 16:50
  • Have you considered dislocker's impact? hacker10.com/other-computing/…
    – zedman9991
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:02
  • Reformatting is out if scope. I know it is possible to intentionally destroy a drive. I'm asking about a simple write operation.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:06
  • @zedman9991 Dislocker requires the key, which means the volume is decrypted.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Linux can read and write data on BitLocker encrypted volumes using Dislocker, but that obviously requires the key.

If you don't have the key, you can only read and write raw ciphertext (the encrypted partition), reading it won't give you anything useful (it just looks like random data), but writing on it will definitely corrupt the underlying NTFS partition and you won't be able to mount it anymore (and Windows won't boot).

  • Do you have any source/reference for the ability to mount and write (and subsequently corrupt)? I doubt the ability to mount, but I have no data to back it up.
    – schroeder
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 21:48
  • 3
    You can't mount it. By writing I meant writing directly to the partition's device node (/dev/sda for example).
    – user42178
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 21:55

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