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Mastering Windows 8’s backup/restore system

Windows 8 has easily the most comprehensive backup-and-recovery system ever seen on a personal computer. With little user effort, and when applied correctly, Win8’s built-in backup tools provide automatic, frequent, triple-data redundancy.

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Win7 reaches milestone; prepare for its demise

It might be difficult to believe, but on Jan. 13 we begin the final countdown for Windows 7. On that date, one of Microsoft’s best and most successful versions of Windows hits its official “end of mainstream support.” Here’s what that means for all Win7 users.

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Start the new year with a clean Windows PC

A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of PC troubleshooting later — and provide better computing all year long. Use the following steps to give your PC an annual checkup — and ensure it starts 2015 as healthy as possible.

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Defying Feds, MS tries to keep user data private

Microsoft is currently fighting a federal search warrant demanding that the company release emails stored in Ireland. Here’s why you should be extremely concerned by a U.S. court’s actions — and what you can do about it.

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How to solve UEFI boot and startup problems

Successor to the antiquated BIOS, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) adds powerful security tools to post-XP systems. Ironically, UEFI can also block important repair, recovery, and backup tools that boot from DVDs, CDs, or USB drives.

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Chromebooks take on cheap Windows laptops

With the tide of yule rapidly approaching, I’ve been repeatedly asked about the relative merits of cheap Windows laptops, tablets — and Chromebooks. Choosing among the three platforms isn’t easy; depending on your needs, any one of them might be right.

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Help for picking your next anti-malware tool

Picking the right anti-malware app can be onerous; there are dozens to choose from, and rapidly evolving exploits are constantly putting them to the test. Fortunately, a few independent organizations such as AV-Comparatives are also testing leading security packages and posting the results.

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Touch Office for iPad/Android — but not Windows?

A touch version of Office is scheduled for release around the time when we’ll see a production Windows 10, but recent releases of Office for iPad strongly suggest that Microsoft no longer considers Windows the “first” platform.

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Ending UAC headaches, once and for all

Windows’ User Account Control (UAC) helps keep us safe from unwanted system changes — but it can also get in the way of routine operations. With the right tools and techniques, you can fine-tune UAC so that commonly used programs don’t trigger UAC prompts.

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How businesses fail to protect customer info

Most Internet users should know by now that personal digital security is in large part our own choice and responsibility. But in truth, our electronic security is also in the hands of the companies we do business with — and they’re not all taking that fact seriously.

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