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Data Encryption on External Drives

Hello - Need to find an affordable / practical solution to encrypt data on external drives that may be plugged into a Win 2008 Server.

Symantec offers a product called 'Drive Encryption' but to run it on a SERVER it costs $2500 (as opposed to the DESKTOP version of 'Drive Encryption' which is $110 per desktop.)

So having to buy the SERVER version seems like overkill, as I do NOT want to encrypt the server Hard Drives at all - just the 2 external Hard drives that are plugged into the Server....

Since the DESKTOP version of that software seemed more like the way to go, I actually went to the extent (on my test 2008 server) to spin up a Windows 7 instance within Hyper-V on my 2008 Test Server - only to find that Hyper-V doesnt really support external hard drives (meaning they wouldn't show up when plugged in - and couldnt find a way to 'Mount' an external drive in the Virtual Instance so it showed up as the F:\ drive for instance.)

My thoughts were to install the Symantec encryption product within the Win 7 instance, then apply the encryption on the 2 externals drives that way....seemed to be a pretty slick (albeit an overly complicated) approach - but again, once I found out that external drives dont show up in the Virtual Win 7 instance - that approach came to a screeching halt.

Any thoughts on how to do this in an affordable / practical fashion?
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8/22/2022 - Mon