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Synching with Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive

Have you ever been in a meeting or hotel room and suddenly realized that the only copy of an all-important document was on your home/office PC? Both Windows Live Mesh and SkyDrive provide cloud storage and a remote-access path to your files, but Live Mesh is the more flexible of the two.

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Protecting PCs from the next zero-day threat

For every zero-day vulnerability we patch, there’s another waiting in the wings — and yet another, no doubt. One of the better tools for protecting our systems from the new threats is Microsoft’s oddly named Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit.

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A cheap, effective home server — using Windows 8

Windows 8 has taken it on the chin for all sorts of transgressions — both real and imagined — but for one application, it’s an excellent option. As a home or small-office server, it might be just the excuse you need to take advantage of Microsoft’s discounted Win8 pricing.

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Rethinking the process of hard-drive sanitizing

Standard drive- and file-wiping tools are no longer adequate for completely removing data — especially when used with the newest hard drives. But researchers have identified new procedures that reliably make old data virtually unrecoverable on any drive, whether magnetic or solid-state.

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Near-certain ways to improve PC startup times

Four free tools offer safe and certain ways to pare your boot times to the minimum. The process takes a little time and effort, but if you follow the steps outlined here, better boot times are all but guaranteed!

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Where we’re all headed with Windows RT

Last week, Microsoft released Windows 8 RTM to MSDN and TechNet subscribers and companies with volume licenses and Software Assurance. So a lot of people are getting a look at the final Windows 8 version. However, we’ve not seen much about its lighter compatriot — Windows RT.

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Exploring Windows’ Administrative Tools: Part 3

When the need arises to check system RAM, try the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool that comes with Vista and Windows 7 — and is a free download for XP. This app thoroughly exercises your system’s random-access memory, uncovering problems that can cause crashes, hangs, and other errors.

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Test-driving ‘free scan’ tune-up suites

Even on well-maintained systems, free system scanners might find hundreds of “problems,” as I discovered from a test of three products from well-known companies. These suites typically offer to fix system problems — for a fee — but are these problems real or just scare tactics to drum up sales?

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What to expect from the Windows 8 rollout

By the time you read this, chances are good that Microsoft will have its final, final version of Windows 8 ready. Basing my take on a few announcements and drawing on a little bit of history, here’s what’s likely to happen as Windows 8 makes it way to store shelves.

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Software that updates your other software

The release of Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 3.0 prompts a test drive of the new version, plus six alternative general-purpose auto-update tools. One surprise: Some of these automatic-update programs can worsen your PC’s condition.

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