Q

Can bootable flash drive be only key for booting into XP?

A reader wants to know if it's possible to create a bootable flash drive for Windows XP Professional that would be the only key for booting into XP.

Can we make a bootable flash drive for Windows XP Professional such that it can be the only key to boot into XP, and nothing else will allow us to boot into it?
There are third-party companies that make something like this. One such product is C'lock , which prevents Windows from being booted without a hardware key.

Windows Vista has a feature called BitLocker that allows for something almost exactly like what you're describing. 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.

This was first published in December 2006

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