Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Bitlocker recovery key

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit

    Bitlocker recovery key


    Hi,

    I have a new Windows 8.1 machine and I wish to encrypt the drive using Bitlocker. It gives me 4 options to save a recovery key
    1. Save to your Microsoft account
    2. Save to a USB flash drive
    3. Save to a file
    4. Print the recovery key

    Option 1 isn't available as I'm logged on using a local account.
    i. What is the difference between options 2 & 3? i.e. I could save to a file on a USB drive
    ii. Does option 2 mean the USB flash drive cannot then be used for other purposes?
    iii. Does option 2 also mean I could use a USB external hard drive, or does it have to be a flash drive?
    iv. Once the recovery key has been created, can the key then be copied to other locations or is it only going to work where Bitlocker puts the key?
    v. Just thinking about printing the recovery key - can this be used without a password to access the drive, how sensitive/important is the printed key?

    N00b questions, I'd very much appreciate your answers.

    Thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,627
    win8.1.1 enterprise


    hello and welcome to eight forms , my opinion , difference between 2 and 3 ,2 will create a file and put it on the flash drive for yah,3 you will have to move the file it creates to a flash drive of external drive manually 'I would think you could take the file it create and put it where ever you want , I don't use bitlocker ,if I did I would print it and put away for safe keeping ,like I try to do will all passwords .and if the drive is pass worded that you store the file on ,then yes someone would need the drive password to access the files on that drive, is not that what passwords are for ,I would assume that there are people who could hack your passwords like they do others ,good luck
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 22,576
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello noob, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    i. What is the difference between options 2 & 3? i.e. I could save to a file on a USB drive

    What Jack posted above. You can save the same recovery key to a USB flash drive, or a location you want as a file.

    ii. Does option 2 mean the USB flash drive cannot then be used for other purposes?

    Yes, you can still use the flash drive as usual. Just don't delete the recovery key .txt file, or move it from the root directory on the USB flash drive.

    iii. Does option 2 also mean I could use a USB external hard drive, or does it have to be a flash drive?

    It does need to be a USB flash drive to be detected by BitLocker.

    iv. Once the recovery key has been created, can the key then be copied to other locations or is it only going to work where Bitlocker puts the key?

    Yes, you can copy the recovery key .txt file to where you like. The recovery key .txt file saved to a USB flash drive is the same one as if you saved to a file.

    v. Just thinking about printing the recovery key - can this be used without a password to access the drive, how sensitive/important is the printed key?

    Printing the recovery key is just having the recovery key .txt file printed out as a hard copy on a sheet of paper to keep somewhere safe in case you lose the USB or file.


    For more information, see also:

    BitLocker Recovery Key - Back Up in Windows 8
    Last edited by Brink; 03 Jul 2014 at 14:20. Reason: typo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Saving to USB will also save a super-hidden .bek file in addition to the .txt file, and I believe it's the .bek file that is used during booting when the flash drive is serving as the key. That said, I'm not sure why they're saved for my fixed data drives, which are not bootable. I know from "manage-bde -protectors -get" that fixed drives each have an extra External Key that removable drives don't get, and the .bek files are for these keys, but I don't yet know their purpose. Can anyone elaborate on this?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit


    Thanks for all the replies, especially Brink for answering all my questions (and the link).

    Much appreciated.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,576
    64-bit Windows 10


    Glad we could help.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Bitlocker recovery key
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