How does one unlock a drive that Windows 8.1 is installed on?

Windows 8.1 recovery is asking me to unlock the drive that it is installed on. What method is used to unlock the drive on a laptop PC that will not boot. All I find is a blue page with troublshooting options. The PC will not recognize me as the administrator nor does it show any of the users. I am trying to recover from a blue screen that most options do not work. The only option that is working are the ones that  gives me a advance option. I am trying hard not to do a full re-installation and lose all of my files. This laptop PC was Win XP at purchase, upgraded to Win 8, then to Win 8.1. At one point this repair asks me for my re-installation disk.All of this stuff except for the XP was downloaded Win 8 was downloaded via the Window store and so was Win 8.1, so I don't have a re-installation disk for Win 8.1. I did purchase a Windows 8 disk on oe of my Windows 8 purchases.

 

May I add that while on my blue screens in the advance option that asks if I want to refresh my PC I will get several options to use my PF keys PF1-PF 9 . The other option with my Windows 8 disk in the cd/dvd rom drive says PF10 for more options. There I get a re-installation screen. It asks for Repair? as It also asks to Install. When i push for the repair I'm directed back to the Light blue screens with the troubleshoot options. Where is there a  unlock for the drive that Windows 8 is installed on? 

 

 

William Stephens.

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Hi William,

 

To provide the appropriate resolution, I would need more information from you.

1. Do you use BitLocker Drive Encryption?

2. When exactly the Bluescreen issue started?

3. Did you make any recent hardware or software changes on the computer prior to this issue?

 

 

I would suggest you to perform check disk from advanced recovery options. Check if it helps.

 

a) Insert the media such as (USB or DVD) and restart the computer.

b) Press F12 key (typically this is F12, but it can differ between computer manufacturers) and choose the drive that you inserted the installation media into.

c) Once the Windows Setup window appears, follow these steps:

d) Click Next and select
Repair your computer.

e) You will then see a blue screen and an
option to choose.

f) Choose the option Troubleshoot and select Advanced options.

g) You may choose Command Prompt from Advanced boot option.

h) In the command prompt, type ‘chkdsk /r’ and press Enter.

Important: While performing chkdsk on the hard drive if any bad sectors are found on the hard drive when chkdsk tries to repair that sector if any data available on that might be lost.

Hope this information helps. Reply to the post with updated status of the issue to assist you further.

 

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Hi William,

 

To provide the appropriate resolution, I would need more information from you.

1. Do you use BitLocker Drive Encryption?

2. When exactly the Bluescreen issue started?

3. Did you make any recent hardware or software changes on the computer prior to this issue?

 

 

I would suggest you to perform check disk from advanced recovery options. Check if it helps.

 

a) Insert the media such as (USB or DVD) and restart the computer.

b) Press F12 key (typically this is F12, but it can differ between computer manufacturers) and choose the drive that you inserted the installation media into.

c) Once the Windows Setup window appears, follow these steps:

d) Click Next and select
Repair your computer.

e) You will then see a blue screen and an
option to choose.

f) Choose the option Troubleshoot and select Advanced options.

g) You may choose Command Prompt from Advanced boot option.

h) In the command prompt, type ‘chkdsk /r’ and press Enter.

Important: While performing chkdsk on the hard drive if any bad sectors are found on the hard drive when chkdsk tries to repair that sector if any data available on that might be lost.

Hope this information helps. Reply to the post with updated status of the issue to assist you further.

 

I appreciate your helping me through this in an attempt to finding a satisifactory solution.  No this should not be one from use of the BitLocker encryptions but it does seem like it. This occurance started on November  24-25, 2013 early morning. No new hardward or new software has been installed.

 

 After turning the computer on with the Windows 8 disk in the CD/DVD-Rom and getting to the repair prompt then to the Advanced Options and then to the Command Prompt. This is what my computers status is on the command prompt window.:

  (a).     X:\Sources>

I typed in chkdsk /r  

 

The response was:

  (b).   The type of the file system is NTFS.

          Cannot lock the current drive.

          Windows cannot run disk checking on this volumn because it is write protected.

 

          X:\Sources>

 

So I typed

   (c).       X:\Sources>C:

 

The response was:

           The type of the file system is NTFS.

           Cannot lock the current drive.

 

Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID. Would you like to force a dismount on this volume?  <Y/N> 

 

This Command Prompt window is labeled:

 [ Administrator:X:\windows\SYSTEM32\cmd.exe - chkdsk /r]

 

I am not sure whether are not to dismount the volume that the question is referring to.

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Thanks for replying, I was not installing any new hardware but after thinking long about it I was adjusting my Itunes player setting in an attempt to get the Itunes recorder reinstalled to my laptop.. The issue occured Sunday late night or possibly early Monday morning November 24-25, 2013,

The computer is a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop. Originally an XP operating system. I have not turned on the BitLocker as it comes with the Windows 8 Pro edition and the Windows 8 Enterprise edition but I did turn on the Home group sharing and was also trying to setup the Itunes player for its group use. So at best my first reponse is to say that no the Bit Locker Encryption is not turned on the laptop, however after several attempts to get somewhere in the laptops demise I would say that the behavior that I'm seeing it sounds like the BitLocker Drive Encryption is active and causing the C: drive to lock and drive letter X:\ is showing. After picking up one of my manuals of DOS for Dummies, I have proceeded on to understand the locked drive via it and several web forums.

 

My previous access as you acknowledged was targeted at attempts to access the Advanced Command Prompt window in the advanced troubleshooting menu. At first I was not able to do that. After several manuevers with my Windows 8 installation DVD, going as far as trying to make the Wndows 8 install window use the repair mode, and tinkering with the PF keys I am now able to get a command prompt window. I ran several commands from the Advanced Command prompt window trying to see what several issues that I have, I could recognize or identify. I did see that everything in the the command prompt window listed X:\ as my origin drive. I ran several test runs ATTRIB; CHKDSK; and chkdsk /r.

I ran X:\>DiskPart and then X:\>Volume, and then I ran C\>DiskPart and then C:\>Volume.  From those commands I did get some Minit codes, and I got my Homegroup  Password from my Decsktop PC.

 

I have now been able open a window on the laptop to see my original files( that I want to preserve and gain access), but I can't do any thing with them because that access window requests a disk for hardware installation. I recently discovered that the Home group share will turn on the BitLocker mode or something similar to it. The problem is not solved until I get the drive unlocked wihtout destroying my files. 

                                                ***************************

Pardon me for this long explanation to my problem while in an attempt to get a solution.

 

William Stephens

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Hi William,

 

This issue might occur due to change in drive priority under BIOS as well.

 

I would suggest you to refer to the link and follow the suggestion from Researcher on February 16, 2013 :

You would need to check if the hard drive, on which Windows is installed, is set as the primary drive under Boot menu;

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/fc3c93ae-95d8-4b26-a085-b2742674bc8f/cannot-unlock-drive-and-unable-boot-back-into-windows-8?forum=W8ITProPreRel

Disclaimer: Modifying BIOS/ complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) settings incorrectly can cause serious problems that may prevent your computer from booting properly. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the configuring of BIOS/CMOS settings can be solved. Modifications of the settings are at your own risk.

 

Apart from that, if the issue still persists, check if re-building the boot files fixes the issue. Follow the steps:

Enter Command Prompt under Advance Startup options and then try the following command from the link:

Refer to the section "Bootrec.exe options"

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392/en-us

 

Please let us know about the results. We will be glad to assist you further.

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In my case, I'e booted the installation-DVD, Repair, Advances, Command Prompt.

Then I navigated to C:\Windows\System32\config.

There I've renamed ...

DEFAULT
SAM
SECURITY
SOFTWARE
SYSTEM

to *.old and copied the registry-hives from C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack to C:\Windows\System32\config.

After this, I was able to boot, without loced drive, without Critical_Process_dies, etc.

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hi

have you resolved your issue. i am facing same problem.

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I eventually downgraded the issue by re-installing Windows XP. Windows 8.1 crashed my laptop that the Windows 8.1 software was installed on. I had not assigned the home group network key to the computer. All of my data was lost as a result of the crash as it wasn't retrievable. I eventually upgraded to Windows 7 on that computer, Windows 8.1 would cause problems and possibly the same problem as before. I hope that you this information helps you. Back up your data if you came.

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In my case, I'e booted the installation-DVD, Repair, Advances, Command Prompt.

Then I navigated to C:\Windows\System32\config.

There I've renamed ...

DEFAULT
SAM
SECURITY
SOFTWARE
SYSTEM

to *.old and copied the registry-hives from C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack to C:\Windows\System32\config.

After this, I was able to boot, without loced drive, without Critical_Process_dies, etc.

Thank you, this worked for me too. 

This solution solved my "locked drive" problem, and fixed my computer (I was unable to boot into Windows 8.1)

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How do you navigate to c:\windows\system32\config with command prompts?

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Figured it out but did not fix locked drive issue.  My original problem was the same; windows 8.1 not working after installed.

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Last updated September 25, 2020 Views 42,039 Applies to: