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Windows® 7 Visual™ Quick Tips by Paul McFedries

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3.12. Prevent Others from Starting Your Computer

You can configure Windows 7 to require a special media to be inserted in your computer before starting up. Without the media, Windows 7 does not allow anyone to log on to the computer.

As a security feature, Windows 7 stores passwords in encrypted form and Windows 7 uses a system key to decrypt the passwords. This system key is normally stored on your computer, and if for some reason the system key were lost, you would not be able to start your computer. For this reason, the system key is also called a startup key.

You can take advantage of this security precaution to make sure that no unauthorized user can start your computer. You do that by having Windows 7 move the startup key to a removable ...

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