I have a couple of hard drives from my old Windows PC setup which are encrypted with BitLocker. One is 160GB and the other is 320GB. Since switching to using a Mac, they have sat for the past 5 or more years gathering dust. Before I dispose of the drives, I wanted to check what was on them and of course you can guess that I have no idea of the password.

I have Googled around for the various software packages to recover the passwords from a hibernation file or directly from the memory, but none of these are possible in my situation.

My question is, would it be possible given I have a VHD image of the smaller drive, to use a Raspberry Pi 3 (or a cluster, as I have 5 or 6 at my disposal) to brute-force the password?

The drives are my own personal property. I know for certain that both drives use the same password and I have a rough idea of the minimum and maximum length the password would be, and possibly a "known" set of characters that I may have used - if any of this can help reduce the brute-force attempts.

  • How much time have you got betterbuys.com/estimating-password-cracking-times? Also, after 5 years without the data you obviously are not missing it. – Steve Robillard Dec 20 '17 at 23:03
  • @SteveRobillard Not necessarily, perhaps his PhD thesis is on there, and one only needs to dust that off every decade. In any case, PIs are not the answer here, you would have better luck uploading the raw dump and running a cluster of Virtual Servers, PI's may be cheap, but the arm core is not that powerful and the 1GB of ram is a limitation. – crasic Dec 20 '17 at 23:13
  • The smaller drive was for program files so it's inclusion here is purely because it's a smaller capacity drive (in terms of taking a VHD image) and that it uses the same BitLocker password. The larger one was for music and photos - whilst music can be purchased again, the drive may have photos that I no longer have a copy of. I will also admit that curiosity is also a large factor - if you had an old locked safe, you'd want to open it before throwing it away, even if you suspected the contents may be worthless. – Alex Holsgrove Dec 20 '17 at 23:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.