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.

Making sense of Windows’ confusing RAM stats

“Available RAM” statistics can be confusing and even lead to poor hardware decisions.

But once you know what the numbers really mean, you can make an informed judgment about your PC’s RAM requirements.

Read More »

Security Essentials test drive — month 6

After half a year of real-life testing, Microsoft’s Security Essentials anti-malware application is batting 1.000.

All nine test computers — a mix of Windows 7, Vista and XP systems (including two portables with 20,000 miles of travel) — remain malware- and virus-free.

Read More »

Recover from a disastrous hard-drive crash

Losing Windows’ file names can be almost as bad as losing the files themselves.

Getting all your data back the way it was may be possible, but it’ll take some serious digging.

Read More »

Tracking down and preventing unwanted reboots

Unwanted restarts can be more than an exercise in frustration and wasted time — they can easily result in lost data.

Fortunately, there are only three main causes of unintended reboots, so finding — and
controlling — them is usually not hard.

Read More »

Preparing Windows XP for the long haul

Microsoft’s support for Windows XP may be fading, but a loyal horde of XP users plans to stick with this venerable OS for as long as possible.

If that’s your long-term goal, there are a number of steps you can take now to ensure a finely tuned XP system for months — possibly years — to come.

Read More »

Are the benefits of defragmentation overblown?

One of the never-ending, always-simmering debates between PC users is whether defragging modern hard drives provides any measurable benefits to PC performance.

Unfortunately, the answer is not an absolute yes or no but instead depends on how you defrag your system.

Read More »