Has anyone figured out how to restore a system image backup to a hardware encrypting SSD (eDrive)? The problem I am experiencing is that I can successfully restore the system image to the SSD but hardware encryption is no longer enableable like it was before the backup and restore.
Here is a basic overview of the procedure: How to Restore System Image Backups on Windows 7, 8, and 10
Here are the specific steps I followed to reproduce and document this problem:
1. Install Windows 10 (1607) onto a Crucial M500 SSD eDrive.
2. Turn on Bitlocker and the C: drive is instantly encrypted on reboot.
3. Confirm hardware encryption using Manage-bde -Status.
4. Create a system image backup using the "Create a system image" command under "File History/System Image Backup" or "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" in the Control Panel.
5. Boot to a Windows thumb drive or DVD, open a command prompt and Clean the SSD using Diskpart.
6. Restore the system image backup to the SSD. Process completes successfully and Windows runs normally.
7. Re-enable Bitlocker but only software encryption is available. The hardware encryption which was working fine before the image backup and restore is now inoperative.
I have tried this several times with various changes, such as clearing the TPM, turning Bitlocker off before creating the system image, and using a 1511 version of Windows 10 instead of the 1607 version. The results are always the same.
Conclusion: System image backups of a hardware encrypted drive are unusable because the hardware encryption can never be turned on again after the image is restored to a new, or even the same, SSD.
If anyone has figured out how to make this work I would love to hear your solution!
However, I think it is currently impossible because of a bug in Bitlocker, System Image Recovery, or both. I'm hoping that someone from Microsoft will take notice of this post and address the problem, either by providing a procedure that actually works or by fixing the malfunctioning code in Windows.