How To Access A BitLocker-To-Go Encrypted USB Drive in Windows XP or Vista

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BitLocker-To-Go is a brand new feature in Windows 7 that encrypts data on a disk volume to provide a higher secure protection to the data. You won’t need any 3rd party encryption tool like TrueCrypt to do the work, unless you are not running an Ultimate edition.

And because it’s a new feature only introduced since Windows 7, how can I access a BitLocker encrypted data drive in previous Windows, like XP or Vista? It’s actually really simple.

When BitLocker encrypts a volume, for example, an USB drive, it automatically puts a copy of BitLocker-To-Go Reader tool in the drive.  And then later on when you plug in this encrypted drive into a Windows XP machine, instead of being prompted with a window letting you type in the password to unlock the drive, you will see two files in the drive, BitLocker-To-Go Reader and a Read Me html help file.

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You can then simply double click the Reader, type in the password to unlock the drive.

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You can now see the content stored in the storage.

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As the tool’s name states, you can only read the content from encrypted drive but not write or change to it.

You can also download this tool from Microsoft website to your local XP/Vista computer so that you won’t be stuck if you don’t see the tool from the BitLockered storage.

Also note that, you won’t be able to see these two files from a Windows 7 computer. They seem to be hidden and can only be seen when it is connected on any previous windows that don’t support BitLocker-To-Go natively.

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