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Do you mean attaching a bootable thumb drive to the computer and rebooting off of it? If so, then most motherboards allow you to set a bios password. You can't do anything until you enter the password.
the bios is the most sure fire way to do that. set it up to only boot from the drive with the OS on it, then lock the bios with a strong password. unless you really know what you are doing, the bios password will stop you from getting into the bios in the first place. then, put a lock on the case itself- preventing someone from pulling the cmos battery (though the bios will retain it's settings except for RTC even through a power loss.)
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison