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Best techniques for the safe disposal of drives

The design of today’s solid-state drives has made classic data-wiping techniques ineffective. But there are sanitizing procedures that will effectively render sensitive data on SSDs — and other rewritable storage devices — unintelligible.

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What you should know about the Win10 launch

Microsoft has begun its major push for Windows 10 on billions of PCs. If you’re running Windows 7 or 8.1, there’s a good chance you’ve had alerts for the new OS — on your system. The mighty Microsoft marketing system is taking an entirely new approach to introducing the next Windows. Here are the facts, not the hype.

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Free first aid for a wide range of Windows ills

Did you know that Microsoft offers over 500 automated, online solutions for common problems you might encounter with Windows software and hardware? And that’s on top of the dozens of always-available troubleshooting tools built into Windows 7 and Windows 8.

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Third time’s the charm with Microsoft’s Surface

Is the Surface tablet best platform for Windows 8? Or is Win8.1 the ideal platform for a powerful and fully functional tablet? This chicken-or-egg question came to mind while I was reviewing the new Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3. And the answer to both questions is — yes!

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Win10 build 10122: Two steps forward, one back

May’s Win10 build 10122 release is a bit shaky, but many of its new features are coming into sharper focus. Improvements include a more functional Edge browser, a cleaner start menu, a much improved Tablet Mode — and even the return of an optional Win7-style backup/restore.

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How a packet sniffer reveals local net traffic

How often have you looked at an ostensibly idle PC’s flashing drive-access light and wondered: “What’s my computer doing?” Some of that activity is internal, but much of it also involves external devices and services. Here’s how to get a peek at that otherwise hidden network chatter.

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Win10 build 10074: What’s new, what’s unknown

With the recent release of build 10074, Windows 10 Technical Preview should be nearing the feature-complete phase. But while there’s lots to see in the latest build, there’s also much that’s still unknown. Here’s a look at what’s new, what’s been killed, what’s likely, and what’s still obscure.

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How to defend yourself from ransomware

Despite the CryptoLocker headlines, ransomware is still a growing threat to both individual PC users and small-to-medium businesses. Though our malware defenses have improved, ransomware authors are finding new ways to infect our systems. Fortunately, we have options and solutions.

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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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