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Clear pagefile on shutdown

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 »  Home  »  Miscellaneous Page 2  »  Clear pagefile on shutdown
Clear pagefile on shutdown
By  Super Admin  | Published  02/27/2005 | Miscellaneous Page 2 | Unrated
Clear pagefile on shutdown

Windows uses this file as extra ram.  Lets say that you are working on a confidential MS Word doc.  When you load this document it is loaded into ram.  To save ram windows places certain items in the page file.  The page file can then be opened and the document can be extracted as well as any other open program or files.  However Microsoft has implemented a feature that will clear the page file but they do not have it enabled by default.  Please note, this will slightly increase the amount of time it takes to shut down your computer but it is well worth it.

Start Regedit.  If you are unfamiliar with regedit please refer to our FAQ on how to get started.
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
Select ClearPageFileAtShutdown from the list on the right.
Right on it and select Modify.
Change the value to 1 to enable.
Reboot your computer.

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  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
    thanks for your help as I knew I'd done this hack before and couldn't remember the key! I know I'll be wanting to thank you again in the future at some point, so you can count on me coming back.
  • Comment #2 (Posted by Larry Miller)
    Clearing the pagefile on shutdown might reassure the paranoid but in most cases it will do little. The pagefile is locked for exclusive access while Windows is running and cannot be accessed by any application. Access is possible only by booting into an alternate operating system, such as a DOS boot disk with the necessary software. Even then finding anything of value in several hundred MB of raw data would be very time consuming. In most systems there will be other ways to access confidential data, and usually requiring less effort. Good security requires a well thought out security policy with many things to consider. There are no quick fixes. Outside of such a policy clearing the pagefile will do little. Clearing the pagefile has absolutely NO performance advantages. This does not delete the pagefile but overwrites it with zero's. If it was fragmented it will remain so. After a reboot Windows pays absolutely no attention to the pagefile's previous contents. Of course, clearing the pagefile will lengthen shutdown times. If shutdown times are not excessive, then it does no harm but it might give users a false sense of security. Larry Miller Microsoft MCSA
  • Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Very easy to understand (no instructions as to select hexadecimal or decimal when changing the value to 1)
  • Comment #4 (Posted by an unknown user)
    I would have appreciated an easier method which didn't expect 'ME' to tinker with the system registry. As you might have noticed I have 'Registry-phobia'.
  • Comment #5 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Very well explained and extremely useful. I wouldnt be surprised if you receive a performance boost (slight possibly) when starting up. well worth the 3 seconds extra at shutdown. I have vista homepremium and even it thanks you. "D
  • Comment #6 (Posted by an unknown user)
    inst telling if it is decimal or what or hexadecimal, this value of your....Well, have you seen personally these options for a value specification on regidit?
  • Comment #7 (Posted by an unknown user)
    Excellent, thanks heaps - very well written with clear instructions for an idiot like myself - I DID IT! Yaaaaa
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