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Windows 7 shuts down slowly

Shutting down Windows is supposed to be a quick process, but users sometimes find that the “Shutting Down…” screen becomes stuck for several minutes. This is often caused by the page file, a file on the hard drive that stores overflow data from RAM and, if it’s set to be cleared at shutdown, can slow the process.

First, do a Windows search for “regedit.exe” to open the Registry Editor. Once open, go to the following directory.

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

Look for the entry “ClearPageFileAtShutdown” and see if it is set to a value of 1, which means it is enabled. If this is so, change the value to 0.

Be warned, though, that the page file represents a potential security hole. If someone were to steal your drive, they could look at the page file to try and see what you were working on. This isn’t a concern for most people, but it may be an issue if you handle sensitive information.