Data-wiping — securely overwriting deleted files with random ones and zeros — makes deleted data much harder to recover. But is it worth the hassle?
In most cases, the answer is no. There are much simpler methods for making sure deleted files are truly gone.
A flood of reader mail (and comments in the Lounge) followed my report of a six-month, real-life test of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
Many reader remarks questioned the uncontrolled nature of the test as well as MSE’s suitability for novices.
“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.
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.
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.
Most Windows and PC troubles fit into patterns, but every once in a while a truly weird, never-before-seen problem crops up.
In a novel and mysterious case, a reader’s hard drive suddenly fills up with hundreds of huge files.
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.
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.
Even powerful, capable hardware can sometimes get bogged down, and few things are more irritating than a needlessly long boot.
There are many causes for slow PC start-ups, but some simple maintenance will usually set things right.