Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Help?

  1. #1


    Chester U.K.
    Posts : 43
    Windows 8 Poo Edition (& Windows 7 Premium)

    Help?


    Hi!,

    I have this week recovered from a catastrophic bitlocker failure. I got locked out of my machine/main C drive and despite having and entering the recovery Key was totally unable to restore windows.
    Even a Refresh or a full reset to factory settings would not initiate and I was stuck in a loop to the bitlocker key request screen.Could not even repair the O/S with the installation/repair disks. (The repair options were visible, -they just did not work..everything rebooted the machine to the key request again even though the key was correct).

    I Finally got back in to windows 8 with the first recovery disk I made when I purchased the system (which was a windows 8 recovery disk - not a windows 8 Pro recovery disk).

    I managed to enter my Pro key and activate O.K. and have been merrily downloading my data files from a Livedrive Cloud service I use (a lifesaver!).
    And I chanced to look at the disk management screen, This is what I found :-



    I assume this is, erm - not good....

    Am I right in saying that I have no recovery option at the moment? - it appears that the recovery and OEM partitions are empty.
    What can I do to rectify this?


    Edit:- Just for info, the PC came with NO manufacturers recovery / installation disks whatsoever - just the unit itself.
    its a Lenovo 2561 , 2TB HDD, Core i5 , 8GB RAM bought with Windows 8 pre-installed and a windows 8 Pro upgrade DVD.

    Also as an afterthought, - I don`t really want to trust bitlocker with the main drive again after this nightmare so is it possible to create a separate bitlockered data partition on the C drive, away from the system files? or is there a way to protect the system files entirely ?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    As far as partitions being empty, with Hidden partitions it is hard to tell if they are being read correctly, so you might withhold judgement on that.

    The first partition interests me. It is about a GB in size, which is about what the normal partition offset is for the first one.

    Could you open an Administrative command prompt and type Diskpart with a return after.

    Then sel dis 0 and return then lis par and return.

    You can right click and mark the listing and hit enter to copy it. Then paste into your next post. Use exit to leave diskpart.

    Windows 8 will normally have the Recovery Partition first, but I have seen OEM installs that place it after EFI partition, so I am thinking the first Recovery partition was created during your recovery attempts. But I also do not run Bitlocker, so I suppose it could be related to that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Chester U.K.
    Posts : 43
    Windows 8 Poo Edition (& Windows 7 Premium)


    Hi Saltgrass, thanks for answering.
    Heres the screenshot :-



    Edit:- I haven`t enabled Bitlocker yet - apart from being wary of it now, I want to recover my data before anything else.
    I have used Truecrypt on other systems without mishap and might consider using it instead of bitlocker. i.e. create a virtual volume instead of a partition.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Redmond
    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Bitlocker can be picky if something on the drive is corrupted (the keys are stored on the drive, encrypted), the boot order changes, or if your BIOS reports different values from the original encryption measurements. Note that a good number of Lenovo machines have a known issue with Bitlocker, in that they randomly report different measurements for PCR5 which will cause the Bitlocker loop - make sure you have a BIOS from November 2012 or later to fix this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    Well since I wasn't thinking correctly about the offset, I still have to wonder what that partition is doing there. Maybe someone that has a like system has the same setup, but I doubt it. Although the offset and other parameters look fairly normal, if you assume all the recovery partitions are supposed to be there.

    Edit: I just found a site that lists the Lenovo partitions and they seem to be the same, so your partitions appear to be correct.

    Have you tried the recovery options yet to see what you can do? For an OEM install, you should see some option to recovery the system to factory specs.

    If you want to see if there is something in the hidden partitions, you can boot to a third party Partition Manager, like the home version of the Bootable Partition Wizard.

    I have a handicap here in that I have never had a system with an OEM install.

    As far as Bitlocker, there is probably a tutorial on this site for that.
    Last edited by Saltgrass; 04 Mar 2013 at 15:06.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Chester U.K.
    Posts : 43
    Windows 8 Poo Edition (& Windows 7 Premium)


    O.k - I`ll follow up on the Bios and find a partition manager and research it a bit further. And I`ll also have a look at the recovery options to see what they say. -I was just concerned that the partitions where listed as 100% Free but from what you say I should not read too much into that.

    I`ll mark this thread as resolved - Thank you so much for your replies!.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Wright View Post
    Also as an afterthought, - I don`t really want to trust bitlocker with the main drive again after this nightmare so is it possible to create a separate bitlockered data partition on the C drive, away from the system files? or is there a way to protect the system files entirely ?
    I've only just seen this, but what I do is create a VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) file for the data I want to keep secure, then use Bitlocker on that. You can also set the VHD to auto-mount at startup (plugging my own tutorial ).

    I use this approach instead of Truecrypt virtual volumes. It also means you can just backup the VHD by copying the file, and know that your backup is encrypted.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Chester U.K.
    Posts : 43
    Windows 8 Poo Edition (& Windows 7 Premium)


    Thanks David, actually that's exactly the method I am considering with Truecrypt, I already use it on two other computers, one as a virtual volume and one a standard encrypted disk so I`m confident in its reliability. Bitlocker has "wet the bed" at the moment so is in the doghouse!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Wright View Post
    Bitlocker has "wet the bed" at the moment so is in the doghouse!
    Yeah, and I can't say I blame you after you've had a bad experience with it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Chester U.K.
    Posts : 43
    Windows 8 Poo Edition (& Windows 7 Premium)


    Hi again, - this is just for the record.
    I again had all sorts of problems this week , this time losing all metro function and found the only way forward was ANOTHER clean install, so I bit the bullet and bought an SSD.
    I have just done a straight swap with my C drive and am intending to keep all my Data on external USB drives.
    its a 120GB 6GB/s SSD and hopefully will be enough just for the system and my programs.

    Anyway , the point is, -I looked at the partitions and they are indeed exactly the same as the picture I posted and show as 100% free (but are not) so @Saltgrass, you were correct!.
    Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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