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Definition: Syskey

(SYStem KEY) The Windows function that encrypts the data in the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database. The encryption key is stored locally. Syskey Mode 1 is automatic, and the computer reads the key on startup. Mode 2 requires the key to be typed in by the user at startup, while Mode 3 requires the key to be entered from external media such as a USB drive. See SAM.