Bitlocker Automatically Activated on External Drive

Copper Contributor

Left my Seagate external drive plugged into the docking station at work. Next day Bitlocker was activated. Been through the ringer with IT who shows our Bitlocker for External Drives was disabled. No recovery key available as supposedly it wasn't done by anyone. Can't lose the data. Ideas, thoughts, experiences? 

6 Replies

Check if you've Device Encryption enabled. Turning it off may help.


Hope this helps!


Note: Included link in this reply refers to blog post by a trusted Microsoft MVP. 


Hi, you certainly shouldn't fix it yourself!

the computer should be disconnected from the network and forwarded to the IT department - for checking (it may have been infected and partially taken over)

These are the scenarios of an attack on an organization, and your attempts at repair are the next steps that the attacker predicted. 

Ask for a new computer to work with.

Please write if this has been fixed?

@A1-A1 thanks for asking, and no, it has not. Again, it is the external Seagate drive that is locked. Company maintains it was not done by them, yet Bitlocker isn't even available on my home laptop, and the drive was connected to the work docking station when it happened. 

I spoke to a programmer friend who said maybe I should talk to the company Global Admin for Microsoft, perhaps the daily Tech Support contact has more pressing matters to handle than my problem. Will try that but don't hold out much hope. 

Love to hear any other ideas anyone has. Again, thanks! 


In that case, at work, someone connected to the docking station and as an administrator encrypted the drive - I still think that this can be a dangerous situation - it can happen again!
Surely this is not the expected behavior - never will a drive automatically encrypt itself without changing the settings , so who did it?

I have the exact same issue and from what I've gathered online, we're not the only ones and this appears to be caused by BitLocker itself. It activated automatically on drivers without user consent and without a recovery key or a password to get the affected driver back. Until the issue is fixed, chances are none of us are getting our files back. This also happened on Western Digital disks and local harddrives on some people's computers and most of them were brand new.


I hope there's a fix for this soon. I want my files back.