Clear system page file at shutdown

by Wayne Maples [Published on 20 April 2004 / Last Updated on 20 April 2004]

Virtual memory support in Windows NT uses a system page file to swap pages from memory of different processes onto disk when they are not being actively used. On a running system, the page file is opened exclusively by the operating system and is well-protected. To ensure that any sensitive information from process memory is not left on the hard drive and thus not available to a user booting the PC with another operating system, apply the following Windows NT / Windows 2000 / Windows XP registry hack:

Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
Key: SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management
Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

Note that this protection only works with a clean shutdown. The ClearPageFileAtShutdown is part of the normal shutdown process when this value is set. Valuable for shared PCs or if you have something very valuable needing protection.

See Also

Featured Links