Question cloned nvme bitlocker boot drive with macrium free and now original boot drive wont boot

Sep 21, 2020
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So i wanted to clone my nvme boot ssd to another nvme ssd so i could reuse the one in my computer for another purpose. I chose to download Macrium Reflect free to clone the two same size nvme ssds. My boot drive is bitlocker encrypted. I put the drive i wanted to clone into a usb 3 nvme ssd enclosure and started the clone process. It took about 20 min or so. I took the original drive out and put the new drive in and attempted to boot and it would just come up to the windows recovery screen and when i tried multiple times to do a startup repair nothing worked so i thought ill put the original drive back in and reclone or find a different solution. When i put my original drive back in it wouldn't even boot so now i have no desktop, both drives are not booting. I don't know why Macruium Reflect would have done anything to the original drive. I did make a usb winpe macrium recovery environment and thought i would boot that and see if i could fix the issue but i couldn't find anything in that which worked. I could see the partitions of the drive but they said bitlocker encrypted so i couldn't access anything on said drive.

I probably should have disabled drive encryption before cloning but it says on macriums site that it will clone bitlocker disks so i thought it wouldn't be any issue.

Can anyone assist with helping to get at least my original drive to boot again so i don't have to reinstall everything?
 

howtobeironic

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Jun 16, 2018
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By recovery screen, do you mean the screen where it asks for Bitlocker recovery key? Or some else error?

As long as you have that 48-digit recovery key safe somewhere, Bitlocker is pretty sturdy to throw around. You can swap disks, clone it, copy it, image it with MR etc. Hell, you can even repartition the drive without unlocking and restore most of the data using a key package and recovery password.

If you don't, however, that's gonna hurt. Especially if you had enabled a TPM unlock. Since you plugged off the drive, getting that TPM to release the key is really hard. Might as well seek professional help if that is the case.

Also, you can simply hook the drive to another PC and unlock it using your recovery password.

So, do you have the key? We'll move from there.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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By recovery screen, do you mean the screen where it asks for Bitlocker recovery key? Or some else error?

As long as you have that 48-digit recovery key safe somewhere, Bitlocker is pretty sturdy to throw around. You can swap disks, clone it, copy it, image it with MR etc. Hell, you can even repartition the drive without unlocking and restore most of the data using a key package and recovery password.

If you don't, however, that's gonna hurt. Especially if you had enabled a TPM unlock. Since you plugged off the drive, getting that TPM to release the key is really hard. Might as well seek professional help if that is the case.

Also, you can simply hook the drive to another PC and unlock it using your recovery password.

So, do you have the key? We'll move from there.
By recovery screen i mean where it says running automatic repair then it loads where you can go to advanced mode, command prompt, boot windows, eufi setup, etc. I tried a startup repair which didnt do anything

Yep i do have the recovery key, its in SCCM and AD. Its not even booting to where i need to put the preboot bitlocker encryption password in.
 
Last edited:
Sep 21, 2020
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By recovery screen i mean where it says running automatic repair then it loads where you can go to advanced mode, command prompt, boot windows, eufi setup, etc. I tried a startup repair which didnt do anything

Yep i do have the recovery key, its in SCCM and AD. Its not even booting to where i need to put the preboot bitlocker encryption password in.

I figured it out, i should have known better. For some reason the boot order changed and my internal drive i use for backup revisions was set to be the first boot drive and it must have some windows boot files on it (maybe because its used for windows file history) im not sure but it was attempting to boot that drive and then would run automatic repair so to me it seemed like there was a failure elsewhere but in fact it was just a boot order problem. Should have checked that first but it didn't occur to me why the boot order would have changed in the first place so i didn't think to check it, I was more upset that it didn't work as expected and was running short on time to troubleshoot it more in depth.
 

howtobeironic

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Jun 16, 2018
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Glad it was a simple boot order problem, could have been a lot worse. It might have gone to creating a key package and try up block-by-block decryption, which is another hassle.

Just taking the chance to remind that Bitlocker is way more resilient than what you'd expect from a Windows tool, as long as you have the recovery key. You can unlock it from boot recovery, or a Windows install USB. Even MR's rescue drive has a Bitlocker support option if you need it. Or you can always hook that up to another PC (Any Windows 7-10 if encrypted in compatibility mode, Windows 10 Update 1512+ if encrypted in modern mode) and use the recovery key to unlock it. Then you'd just add a password, remove TPM/Startup key protectors and decrypt or suspend it.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Good to see thisis resolved.

But this highlights one of the problems we see with more than one bootable OS. Unless you're purposely trying to do a dualboot.

Not the first time we've seen confusion like this when the system wants to be trying to unknowingly boot from the 'wrong' drive.

Avoid this type of configuration if at all possible.
 
Sep 21, 2020
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Good to see thisis resolved.

But this highlights one of the problems we see with more than one bootable OS. Unless you're purposely trying to do a dualboot.

Not the first time we've seen confusion like this when the system wants to be trying to unknowingly boot from the 'wrong' drive.

Avoid this type of configuration if at all possible.
well an interesting thing to note is that it was never configured for dual boot, I can see no reason why there would be any windows boot information on that 2tb backup drive as i've never installed windows to that drive, its just there because it was an extra large drive i had laying around and i thought id use it for windows file history, yes, i did format it before use. That's why i got confused and didn't think to look at the boot order, i fully expected it to pxe boot or go to no boot media found or hell eventually get to the ssd i wanted and boot correctly rather than what it did. For all i know when i deployed windows to it the first time, since i had both drives installed it could have created a hidden partition on that second drive for which i didnt know.

at least its working correctly now and i didnt loose any data, i wouldn't have anyways since i backup data but i would have to reinstall and try to recall what i had pinned on my taskbar, how i had my start menu arranged, etc.
 

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