How does Windows locking down the drive for Fast Startup work?



Windows Fast Startup is a feature of the Windows operating system that enables a computer to start up more quickly than usual. It was first introduced in Windows 8 and is still available in Windows 10.

The Fast Startup feature works by saving the contents of memory, including the operating system and drivers, to a hibernation file when the computer is shut down. This file is then loaded back into memory when the computer is powered on again, allowing the system to boot up more quickly.

However, the Fast Startup feature can also cause problems for IT administrators. For example, if the computer is shut down while a disk drive is still unlocked, the drive will remain unlocked after the computer is powered back on. This can cause data leakage or other security issues if the drive contains sensitive information.

To address this issue, Windows has a feature called “Drive Lockdown” which prevents the system from loading the hibernation file until the drive is properly locked. This ensures that the drive is properly locked before the system is loaded and prevents data leakage.

Drive Lockdown works by setting a flag in the BIOS to prevent the system from loading the hibernation file until the drive is locked. When the computer is shut down, the flag is set, and the drive is locked. When the computer is powered on again, the system checks the flag and will not load the hibernation file until the drive is properly locked.

Drive Lockdown is a useful feature for IT administrators who need to ensure that sensitive data on drives is protected from unauthorized access. It helps to prevent data leakage and other security issues, and can be enabled or disabled as needed.

It is important to note, however, that Drive Lockdown does not provide complete protection from data leakage. It only prevents the system from loading the hibernation file until the drive is locked, but does not prevent the data from being read if the drive is unlocked. Therefore, IT administrators should still take other measures to ensure the security of their data, such as using strong encryption, setting up access control lists, and using anti-virus software.

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