Windows Vista has a feature called BitLocker that allows for something almost exactly like what you're describing....
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
A cryptographic key, without which the system will not boot, can be placed on a USB drive and used to boot the computer. Without it, the computer is neither bootable nor readable by any third party, as it's wholly encrypted.
If you're considering a move to Vista, this is a handy (since it's built in) way to do exactly what you're describing.
Dig Deeper on Windows Server Virtualization and Microsoft Hyper-V
Related Q&A from Serdar Yegulalp
This week, our expert answers the question of how to get DVD data off a disc, even if the user's PC doesn't have an optical drive.continue reading
This week, our expert answers a question on how to connect a phone or tablet to a USB drive with a micro-USB connector.continue reading
Open source and free suites such as LibreOffice and OpenOffice could save organizations money, but not effort in comparison with Microsoft Office.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.