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Forcefully rooting out a bad hardware driver

Sometimes you have to rip out a bad driver by its roots in order to install a new and better driver.

A skillful reader tracks down and solves a driver problem before Fred can even reply!

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Beware bogus ‘Security Essentials’ downloads!

What’s a sure sign of success? If you’re a Microsoft product, you become the favorite target of hackers — and the newest mark is Security Essentials.

Hackers are offering fake copies of the popular security app to snare the unwary — but a few simple steps easily thwart this ploy.

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An old PC speed-up hoax reappears

Like bad pennies and Nigerian money scams, those bogus offers to speed up your online connection keep coming back.

Most of these speedup come-ons give bad advice — disable Windows’ networking Quality of Service feature.

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Finding a cure may mean looking elsewhere

Sometimes, what seems to be a networking problem is actually caused by the actions of a totally different PC subsystem.

By making simple adjustments to that second system, you can often resolve the networking problem.

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What speed LAN hardware do you really need?

It’s always tempting to buy the fastest-possible hardware, but sometimes it’s just a waste of money.

Fortunately, some free tests can help you ensure that your networking gear is the right speed for the tasks you actually perform.

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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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