I had a flash drive with important info that I needed to access. Unfortunately, I only had a Mac computer and the flash drive was protected by Windows BitLocker encryption.
A quick google pointed me at “M3 Bitlocker Loader for Mac”, which looked to be free. Unfortunately, it was not. The utility mounted the flash drive, prompted me for a password, and unencrypted the drive successfully. I was able to see the files but when I attempted to read or copy, the utility said that I needed to buy it for $40. Kinda expensive but if someone is desperate….
Thankfully there is a free solution called “Dislocker fuse”. Installation is easy using the HomeBrew package manager. Below are the steps I took to mount the flash drive.
Install “Dislocker fuse”
- Install Xcode from the Mac App Store.
- Install the “Xcode Command Line Tools” by running this command in the “Terminal.app”:
Note: If you skip this step, the Homebrew installation will install multiple versions of the “Xcode Command Line Tools” (for different OS and Xcode versions) and then hang.
- Install Homebrew:
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
- Install Fuse for macOS (which Dislocker requires):
brew cask install osxfuse
- Reboot the Mac to ensure that “Fuse for macOS” is fully installed.
- Install Dislocker:
brew install dislocker
Mount and Decrypt the Flash Drive
- Plug your USB flash drive into the Mac. Click the Ignore button on the “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer” dialog box.
- Get the identifier for the BitLocker partition on the flash drive:
/dev/disk2 (external, physical):
#: TYPE NAME SIZE IDENTIFIER
0: FDisk_partition_scheme *61.9 GB disk2
1: Windows_NTFS 61.9 GB disk2s1
Note: The identifier for my flash drive partition (shown on far right above) is “disk2s1”. If you don’t use the correct identifier, you will get a “The signature of the volume (м) doesn’t match the BitLocker’s ones (-FVE-FS- or MSWIN4.1)” error when attempting to unlock the BitLocker partition below.
- Unlock and mount the partition:
# Unlock the BitLocker partition to a Dislocker virtual partition file
sudo dislocker -v -V /dev/disk2s1 -r -uPASSWORD /tmp/mydrive
# Mount the unlocked virtual partition
sudo hdiutil attach /tmp/mydrive/dislocker-file -imagekey diskimage-class=CRawDiskImage -mountpoint /Volumes/mydrive
– Replace PASSWORD with your password. Make sure to escape any special characters like exclamation mark with a backslash (ex: “secret\!”).
– The “-r” flag passed to Dislocker allows only read-only access. When I omitted the flag to get read-write access, the dislocker command failed.
- Later, unmount the drive by doing the following:
# Unmount the unlocked virtual partition
sudo hdiutil detach /Volumes/mydrive
# Release the virtual partition
sudo hdiutil detach /tmp/mydrive
Info above gotten from Open Bitlocker USB stick on OS X.