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Monday, March 17, 2008

Clearing the Paging File

[HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\MemoryManagement] "ClearPageFileAtShutdown"

Myth - "Clearing the Paging File at Shutdown improves performance."

Reality - "Enabling this will clear the Window's paging file (Pagefile.sys) during the shutdown process, so that no unsecured data is contained in the paging file when the shutdown process is complete. If you enable this feature, the shutdown time will be increased. Some third-party programs can temporarily store unencrypted (plain-text) passwords or other sensitive information in memory. Because of the Windows virtual memory architecture, this information can be present in the paging file. Although clearing the paging file is not a suitable substitute for physical security of a computer, you might want to do this to increase the security of data on a computer while Windows is not running.

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