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A very long time ago, I tried to make a living as a shareware distributor. We had a particular niche, which was no extra charge for 3.5" floppies and crazy-low shipping.
In our catalog, along with other info about what shareware is and such, I had minimum system requirements (DOS 6.1, at the time).
Where this is relevant to your situation: I also had a note that if the system's video was poor enough (like CGA), then the cost of not upgrading was really higher than the cost of upgrading as they were losing the ability to use their system and thoroughly enjoy it. Dragging one's feet isn't a bargain, forever.
Ah, but it's not my feet dragging it's the cost and complexity of upgrading these systems for a once in a blue moon use. People seem to want the stuff they paid for to work with no fiddling forever and a day.
Will your old devices work with any type of encrypted flash drive? BitLocker, DiskCryptor and VeraCrypt will encrypt flash drives, but unless your devices can run the software, I seriously doubt that will work.
There are hardware encrypted USB drives, but to the best of my knowledge that's all newer technology, so that won't work. THAT is your argument to management regarding their policy -- if it isn't technically feasible, it's just not gonna happen.
Getting any flash drives that will work? New drives will be tough. Are used drives acceptable? [Especially if there are no other alternatives!]
I have a Kingston DataTraveler 128 MB in my briefcase -- I was going to toss it years ago but since I'm a packrat, I didn't. I'm willing to sell it for $50 USD + shipping.
Nope, I'm not making a joke. This is a seller's market for a very rare device, so the price is justified.
Canvas everyone you know -- people will have these tucked away. You'll get the drives you need ... although the prices is stiff.
The last time this was an issue I was a hero as I managed to 'find' 50 2MB Sticks of uncertain provonence that I 'aquired' when I left a company that didn't pay... The main stupid thing is that this security is due to some dozy half wit leaving their laptop case on a train and it disappeared
If the size limit is with what the devices themselves can support, and not between the ears of someone, I wonder if you could use a larger USB drive by putting a partition table on them that has only one primary partition that's only 2MB in size, and uses only the front of the device?
Well, I am pretty sure that won't work. As the actual FTDI device dictates the speed and size of the device. It is possible to 'trick' the device but it requires some handshaking from the hub to wake up.
What about just made one, take some USB eqiuped chip PIC, SiLABS ... They are with up to 2MB of flash to use this days. With little FW you can get from around the web turn it into FLASH drive. You can even sell them to company a get some money back for trouble