LangaList Plus

Readers weigh in on MS Security Essentials

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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