I'm trying to create a secure setup on my new Windows 8 laptop. Not worrying about the NSA, just want to keep a serious thief away from my data. I know 100% security is impossible. I'm planning to swap out my mechanical hard with with an SSD with 256-bit hardware encryption which requires a password on boot. So my data will be quite secure on boot. But if a thief were to get my laptop with the lid closed it will be in sleep mode (I won't shut down and reboot each time).
When coming out of sleep, Windows 8 is at the login screen. There are many free and paid software that run from a USB stick or CD/DVD that can retreive or reset a Windows 8 password. I'm wondering if a thief can run or load a program from a USB stick or DVD/CD from the Windows 8 login screen to get my Windows 8 password, whereby they could then log on and grab my data. This could be done if Windows 8 allows access to the CMD prompt from the login screen.