Author Archives: Fred Langa

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.

Exploring Windows’ Administrative Tools: Part 3

When the need arises to check system RAM, try the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool that comes with Vista and Windows 7 — and is a free download for XP. This app thoroughly exercises your system’s random-access memory, uncovering problems that can cause crashes, hangs, and other errors.

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Test-driving ‘free scan’ tune-up suites

Even on well-maintained systems, free system scanners might find hundreds of “problems,” as I discovered from a test of three products from well-known companies. These suites typically offer to fix system problems — for a fee — but are these problems real or just scare tactics to drum up sales?

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Software that updates your other software

The release of Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 3.0 prompts a test drive of the new version, plus six alternative general-purpose auto-update tools. One surprise: Some of these automatic-update programs can worsen your PC’s condition.

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House Call 2012: One family, four PCs

Lexington, Mass., was in glorious, late-spring bloom when I visited Windows Secrets reader Helene Mayer. Helene had a houseful of PCs (running XP, Vista, and Win7) exhibiting a variety of problems. I was there to help.

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