Author Topic: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot  (Read 5890 times)

NeedMyData

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Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« on: July 01, 2015, 12:17:03 pm »
Hello,
W8.1 64bit
I did a silly thing by trying to encrypt this drive on a vacation. Now it will not boot. The only thing on it are the pictures and videos I need. Everything else was backed up prior. I do not remember all the settings but I stuck with the basic defaults, did NOT wipe drive. Now W8.1 fails to boot and tries and fails to repair itself. It never asks for an encryption password. Just fails to boot. The password was all lowercase with some numbers and one special. I am praying I can recover from this.
I did not get the chance, or forgot, to make some boot USB for it. I am trying to find out now how, if possible for W8.1 (home/basic).
Right now, I do have access to a W7 Home laptop. I have my 4G USB drive if I can make some sort of boot drive to decrypt and get back to normal.
At home, I could take out the encrypted laptop drive and hook it up to my SATA cables to my USB hub on my home desktop if I am able to install DiskCryptor on it (desktop) to decrypt the laptop drive.
Please, what are my options?
Thank you!
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 01:12:24 pm by NeedMyData »

Anfinuo

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Re: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 01:49:26 pm »
Is the encrypted drive boot\OS drive ?
Do you use UEFI\GPT ?

Don't use the windows repair feature, it will repair nothing, only further mess up your drive.
How to make a live media you can read here:
https://diskcryptor.net/forum/index.php?topic=4843.0

And can download one already created from there, or here:
https://diskcryptor.net/forum/index.php?topic=5284.0

Or the one Italick made:
https://diskcryptor.net/forum/index.php?topic=5170.0

Your options are as follows:
  • try to decrypt it on the PC it was encrypted, with live media
  • try to decrypt it on another computer.

First one if the preferred option for various reasons.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 01:50:59 pm by Anfinuo »

NeedMyData

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Re: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 05:03:30 pm »
Thanks for the links. I found, for the moment, the last link to work in terms of making the USB bootable. Now I found DC on it and it sees my main drive. My drive is a 400G internal drive. Right now it sees C as 289G, mountable, asking for password (which I yet tried my password in fears something else bad may happen). "Volume 4" and "6" are showing as NTFS 490M and 7G respectively. They have labels as WINRETOOLS and PBR IMAGE.
For your questions, yes it is the bootable drive. BIOS was set for UEFI. I did not do anything to GPT.

Anfinuo

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Re: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 06:05:58 pm »
Thanks for the links. I found, for the moment, the last link to work in terms of making the USB bootable.
Since it's Italick's "child", and I didn't use it, I can't help you with that. But he will show up sooner or later :)

For your questions, yes it is the bootable drive. BIOS was set for UEFI. I did not do anything to GPT.
Boot\OS drive and DC and UEFI-GPT don't mix.
You need standard MBR config to use DC on Boot\OS partitions.

You could try this:
https://diskcryptor.net/forum/index.php?topic=5132.0
Maybe it will work. But I would start with removing DC bootloader, and decryption first.

Italick

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Re: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 09:46:43 pm »
Hi.

Now that you are able to boot the USB with my WinPE, the most straightforward way to make the computer work is to:
* Mount the encrypted partition(s).
* Decrypt the encrypted partition(s).
* Remove the bootloader through bootloader configuration.
* Restart the computer and go into machine settings.
* Change the boot method to UEFI with Secureboot.
* Restart.

Only start the decryption if you are reasonably sure that the computer will stay powered up during the job.  After decryption begins, don't touch anything until it ends.  That way, you will not close the Macrium Reflect window by mistake.  Closing that window causes the computer to be shut off, no matter what it is busy doing.

If you are concerned that mounting and decrypting might introduce another problem, I suggest that you connect an external drive with 400+ GB of free space, and try to use Macrium Reflect to make an image of the internal drive containing Windows.

You may decrypt the drive by removing it and connecting it to another computer.  I consider it more risky than using a WinPE, especially for these reasons:
* The drive could unmount during decryption because of insufficient power or because the cable is moved.
* Some USB adaptors for internal drives may not be compatible.  (In particular, I am thinking of the ones that do a fake sector size conversion from 512 bytes-per-sector to 4096 bytes-per-sector.)

edit: Hello.  If you are only retrieving files, you do not need to decrypt the partition.  You may mount the partition and then use PE Explorer to navigate to the folder where they are stored, and then copy them to the stick.

Note that the drive where dcrypt.exe is located (for me, the X drive) is not a permanent drive.  It vanishes when the computer is turned off.  Your USB stick should have a different drive letter assigned to it, and dcrypt.exe should not be located on that drive.

With an extra computer, make a new file with a unique name and store it in the root folder of the stick.  When you are using my WinPE, let that new file show you which drive letter is assigned to the stick.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 05:54:10 am by Italick »

ThankYou

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Re: Freshly Encrypted Windows 8.1 Will Not Boot
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2015, 08:50:00 pm »
Hi,

just registered to say thanks for this article and especially for Italicks Win-PE-Image!

I messed up my bosses laptop (he has a UEFI bios). I expected that DiskCryptor would check whether the system partition can be encrypted beforehand and that it would create a rescue disc before encryption starts. (As I was used to from TrueCrypt and VeraCrypt.)

However, DiskCryptor simply encrypted it without checking and I couldn't boot my bosses PC.

Thanks a million for getting me out of trouble. :-D

Greetings from Berlin!
Mr. Vegan