Long delay on Windows XP Shutdown

I had been wondering for a while why my XP machine took so long to shut down. Very close to the end, only the background image showing, full disk activity, waiting in the range of a few minutes to finally shut down power.

The it dawned on me, that maybe I had once set something up to clear the paging file before shutdown to remove all accidentally left behind decrypted passwords in that paging file.

And I did indeed, I found that I had forgotten I set this once. So, if you ever wonder what your computer thinks about so long before going off to never-never land, maybe you have set that as well.

1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
2. Change the data value of the ClearPageFileAtShutdown value in the following registry key to a value of 1:

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

If the value does not exist, add the following value:

Value Name: ClearPageFileAtShutdown
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 1

This obviously the instructions of doing the opposite – to clear out the paging file, but set the value to 0 to turn it off.