How do i encrypt individual folders & files with pre boot authentication

I am looking to encrypt specified files and folders, however, they need to be authenticated before windows xp starts, as i am looking to encrypt the registry and certain services to prevent offline manipulation.
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Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware EngineerCommented:
you can't.

you can either have preboot auth, at which point you are talking whole disk encryption (so the entire hard drive, not just individual files/folders) such as Truecrypt can provide, or post boot protection which cannot include essential system files such as the mentioned registry and services.

note the downside there is that someone trusted will have to provide the boot password to start up the machine - or it won't be able to boot at all.
jkrjoraAuthor Commented:
is there any reason why i couldn't get something written that would achieve this? obviously it would log in on either a keyfile or stored password
Dave HoweSoftware and Hardware EngineerCommented:
you could probably alter the truecrypt boot loader to use a fixed password instead of prompting for one - truecrypt is open source, so that is doable - but then, someone would just use the (fixed password) boot to boot to their offline rescue disk. you would be making it difficult (without reverse compiling the bootstrap code) to do of course, but not impossible.

it wouldn't be worthwhile anyone making a commercial product to do this (as it would be reverse-engineered within days) but certainly, you could alter the code yourself to produce such a binary, and as such, it wouldn't be high-volume enough to attack potential hackers

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