Speed up shutdown times

It’s not only start-up that you’d like to speed up; you can also make sure that your system shuts down faster. If shutting down XP takes what seems to be an inordinate amount of time, here are a couple of steps you can take to speed up the shutdown process:

* Don’t have XP clear your paging file at shutdown. For security reasons, you can have XP clear your paging file (pagefile.sys) of its contents whenever you shut down. Your paging file is used to store temporary files and data, but when your system shuts down, information stays in the file. Some people prefer to have the paging file cleared at shutdown because sensitive information such as unencrypted passwords sometimes ends up in the file. However, clearing the paging file can slow shutdown times significantly, so if extreme security isn’t a high priority, you might not want to clear it. To shut down XP without clearing your paging file, run the Registry Editor (click Start > Run, then type regedit in the Run box) and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management

* Change the value of ClearPageFileAtShutdown to 0. Close the Registry, and restart your computer. Whenever you turn off XP from now on, the paging file won’t be cleared, and you should be able to shut down more quickly.

Note: Please be careful when editing the Registry; you can do a lot of damage here. Don’t change or delete anything unless you know exactly what it is.

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