If you followed the instructions in my May 21
to build new systems without installing the trouble-prone Windows Genuine Advantage app, you may want to patch your PC using something other than Windows Update, which offers again and again to install WGA.
My favorite third-party software update service is currently the Shavlik Patch Google Gadget, although Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is a worthwhile alternative.
If you’re a legitimate Microsoft customer, you can download and install all the Windows updates you need without running Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and exposing yourself to the false positives it’s become known for.
In today’s article, I explain how to install Windows XP and upgrade it with every available security fix and many optional updates as well, without ever installing WGA.
If you’ve ever wondered why it’s so difficult to manage and share files in Windows, you’ll be delighted with two significant new features in Windows 7.
These new capabilities, called Libraries and Homegroups, make finding files and connecting with resources on other PCs so easy you’ll think you’re using a Mac!
Internet service providers are cooperating more and more with copyright holders to crack down on illegal downloading and peer-to-peer file-sharing.
Some of the changes are due to strict new piracy laws, but others appear to arise from sheer self-interest on the ISPs’ part.
Exploits allowing hackers to break into Gmail accounts are likely to occur, if they’re not already circulating, after security researchers released details of a hole that Google has reportedly declined to patch.
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of using a webmail account, but it appears that the usual tricks won’t solve the Gmail problem until Google fixes the software.
Microsoft’s system for validating Windows before users can download most updates continues to be a problem for legitimate customers and for Internet security as a whole.
Despite claims of offering better security, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) serves only Microsoft’s marketing interests — but you can eliminate the need for WGA if you know the trick.
An old urban myth claims that the microprocessors used in PCs and other consumer electronics are designed to fail within days or weeks of their warranty expiration.
For tens of thousands of people who bought Dell and HP notebooks whose motherboards fried — often a few weeks after their warranty expired — there’s nothing mythical about it.
Microsoft touts Internet Explorer 8 as a big improvement over previous versions of the browser in terms of security, speed, and compatibility.
While that’s basically true, the inevitable new-release glitches — which are already appearing — suggest you should wait at least a month before upgrading.
Computers infected with the infamous Conficker worm will start scanning the Internet for instructions this April Fools’ Day, and the results won’t be a funny joke.
I’m publishing a special news update today to correct some misinformation that’s been circulating and to give you a 1-2-3 approach that should cure most Conficker infections before April 1.
Windows Secrets readers have been giving me their feedback loud and clear: they hate Norton all-in-one products and love standalone antivirus, antispyware, and firewall apps.
Still, I have to say that security suites do remain a valid option for people looking for no-muss, no-fuss protection for their PCs.