Removing unneeded applications and making sure your hardware devices will work with Windows 7 are good things to do before you purchase and install the new operating system.
A merciless approach — ruthlessly excising software clutter prior to the OS upgrade — will help ensure that the process goes smoothly.
Dozens of Windows Secrets readers confirm that Windows sometimes installs updates without displaying a list of patches that a user can accept or decline.
If Automatic Updates were set to install patches without user intervention, no notice would be expected, but a bug appears to be installing patches upon shutdown in certain cases, even though Windows is configured to require user approval.
Windows XP and Vista have started installing updates at shutdown, in certain cases, without displaying a warning or requesting permission, according to reports by several readers.
The forced-install behavior has been witnessed at least three times by Windows Secrets editors, but Microsoft says its procedure for Automatic Updates hasn’t changed in the last 10 months.
If you’re thinking of skipping the next expensive Microsoft Office upgrade, you can begin preparing today for the move to a free Office-like suite or Web service.
A gradual and easy transition allows you to avoid any possible file incompatibilities, because you can still keep an old copy of Office available as a safety net.
While most Windows versions include their own tools for controlling a remote PC, there’s a much-better way.
Remote-access software gives you full access to PCs running any version of Windows via an Internet link, letting you do much more than simply transfer files.
The good news is that Google has eliminated a security hole that could allow a hacker to get into your Gmail account, as I reported in an
The bad news is that Google chose to remain so tight-lipped about the change that even its own engineers and many security researchers were unaware of the fix, something that doesn’t inspire confidence.
Exploits allowing hackers to break into Gmail accounts are likely to occur, if they’re not already circulating, after security researchers released details of a hole that Google has reportedly declined to patch.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of using a webmail account, but it appears that the usual tricks won’t solve the Gmail problem until Google fixes the software.
If you’d like to know how it feels to be ignored by malware authors, add Ubuntu to your existing Windows installation.
A free utility makes creating a dual-boot Windows/Ubuntu machine fast, simple, and safe.
Numerous perplexed Windows users have discovered that attempting to connect their PCs (especially Vista) to their existing networks or Wi-Fi hotspots results in flaky or nonexistent connections.
One reason: a change by Microsoft in Vista’s Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) is causing conflicts with some networking hardware, which can require a Registry edit to fix.
The apps in OpenOffice.org 3 provide the same basic functionality as their Microsoft Office counterparts and offer many enhancements of their own.
Still, just because they’re free doesn’t mean they’re the best choice for everyone, particularly Office-centric organizations.