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How to safely test file and image backups

Imagine this: You’ve lost important files, but when you go to restore them, you discover that your backups are completely unusable — and your next words are unprintable. Fortunately, this nightmare is completely avoidable; here’s how to ensure that your backup files are valid, complete, and usable.

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Linux for Windows users: Installing Ubuntu

In a February article, we gave a brief introduction to Linux and its history, showing why some Windows users might want to experiment with this open-source OS. This follow-up story will tell you how to install and run one of the more popular Linux distributions — Ubuntu (pronounced, “oo-boon-too”).

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Changing names again: ‘Metro’ becomes ‘Windows’

An obscure notice that ‘Metro apps’ are now ‘Windows apps’ leaves more than a few Windows observers confused. Microsoft has a long history of bungled product branding, but its latest decision plumbs new depths.

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Working with Windows 10 Preview, build 10041

After a nearly two-month hiatus, Microsoft has finally released a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build. You might run into a few hurdles when installing build 10041, but the changes and new features are worth the effort.

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Microsoft touts Universal apps, once again

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time and money trying to convince developers and customers that “Universal” (formerly “Modern,” formerly “Metro”) apps will drive the future of Windows. This is the third time we’ve heard variants of the same spiel, but it (finally!) just might work.

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New ways to get free Windows-installation media

Sooner or later, you’ll need to repair, refresh, or reinstall Windows — a task that will require your original Windows installation/setup files. But most new PCs no longer come with classic Windows setup discs; the vital recovery files are typically stored on the hard drive — where they are vulnerable to loss or damage.

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Tools for testing your Internet speed

There are many reasons an Internet connection will become noticeably slower — including not getting the bandwidth you’re paying for. Internet speed-testing services might help reveal whether your ISP is at fault, but only if you understand how they work.

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Exploring Win10 Technical Preview for phones

While there’s been a lot of discussion about Windows 10 Technical Preview, there’s another Windows on a parallel development track — Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones. Its similarities with Windows 10 for PCs might make you reconsider which phone you get next — or maybe not.

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An introduction to Linux for Windows users

Linux might not have found a comfortable home on the desktop, but for backend services, it’s everywhere. Here’s a guide to Linux, showing why intermediate and advanced Windows users might want to take a look at this open-source operating system.

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Tools for finding PC-performance bottlenecks

That old saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” has its Windows analogue: “A PC is only as fast as its slowest subsystem.” You can use Windows’ built-in performance-monitoring tools to detect which of your PC’s major subsystems could be causing slowdowns.

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