Windows Vista Service Pack 1 features a number of improvements over the RTM version of the operating system, with aspects of the evolution focused on the disk encryption technology that ships with the Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs. With SP1, BitLocker for Vista Ultimate and Enterprise editions now enables end users to take advantage of a multi-factor authentication method which is designed to bundle a key protected by the Trusted Platform Module with a USB stored Startup Key plus a user-generated Personal Identification Number. Additionally, with the advent of Vista SP1 BitLocker now supports full disk encryption, and is no longer limited to just the bootable volumes of the platform. Following the release of the service pack, Microsoft has made available for download a number of three tools focused on BitLocker.
"The Bitlocker Active Directory Recovery Password Viewer helps to locate BitLocker Drive Encryption recovery passwords for Windows Vista- or Windows Server 2008- based computers in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). You can use this tool to help recover data that is stored on a volume that has been encrypted by using BitLocker. The BitLocker Active Directory Recovery Password Viewer is an extension for the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in. After you install this tool, you can examine a computer object's Properties dialog box to view the corresponding BitLocker recovery passwords. Additionally, you can right-click a domain container and then search for a BitLocker recovery password across all the domains in the Active Directory forest," Microsoft revealed.
At the same time, Vista SP1 Enterprise and Ultimate users can turn to the BitLocker Repair Tool in order to recover data from a corrupted or physically damaged hard disk which was previously encrypted through BitLocker. Microsoft informed that the tool would require a recovery password or key and even a backup of the key package in order to decrypt the data. However, the tool will initially attempt to reconstruct and recover the content encrypted with BitLocker.
"The BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool configures the hard disk drives in your computer properly to support enabling BitLocker," Microsoft explained. "The BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool automates the following processes to configure the hard disk drive correctly: it creates a second volume, if one is not already present; it moves the boot files to the correct volume, and ensures that the operating system is correctly configured to find them at startup; and it configures the correct volume as the active partition on the drive for startup."
BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer for Active Directory Users and Computers tool is available for download here.
BitLocker Repair Tool is available for download here.
BitLocker Drive Preparation Tool is available for download here.