We have a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials server and several Windows 10 Pro PCs. We have a drive on the server with all our company documents on which is shared over the network and mapped to all the PCs. Some of these files (all in one folder) are confidential and need to be password protected and preferably encrypted.

Currently we use BestCrypt Container Encryption and just have the encrypted container stored on the network share. However BestCrypt has a recurring license fee and is flakey at best, so I am looking into alternatives.

I have been looking at using a combination of BitLocker and a virtual hard disk to emulate the encrypted container. I created a VHDX drive on the network share (next to the BestCrypt container), mounted it, then encrypted it with BitLocker. I can then mount it on the PCs and unlock it with the password, which is exactly what I wanted.

However! We need multiple users to be able to mount the VHDX file at once, even if subsequent users get read only access (which is also a limitation of BestCrypt), and it seems that Windows will not allow you to mount the drive if some one else is already using it.

Is there a way for multiple users to mount the VHDX? I have read about shared VHDX files, but that is all in the context of Hyper-V VMs and seems to be a setting within Hyper-V, whereas we are all using physical PCs.

  • 1
    You can do this with virtual machines but I don't think that you can mount a VHD to different physical machines at the same time. As you're storing the VHD file in a network location, why not just store the files there and password-protect them and use Bitlocker on the file server? – Nasir Riley Feb 15 '18 at 12:21
  • If I use EFS to password protect and encrypt the files then all the files are still visible to all users, which is apparently undesirable. – Ben Feb 15 '18 at 13:52
  • 1
    Can't you just put it in a shared directory and restrict the access to certain users? – Nasir Riley Feb 15 '18 at 14:16
  • I cannot believe I didn't think of that! I will have to check with the powers that be, but it could do the job! – Ben Feb 16 '18 at 9:01
  • If the admins/other admins allow you to do that then I'll post it as an answer. – Nasir Riley Feb 16 '18 at 12:00

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.