From the moment Microsoft released it, Service Pack 3 for Windows XP has been the subject of almost daily reports of bugs, incompatibilities, and general headaches.
You can install SP3 with confidence — providing you take certain precautions — or, if you prefer, use Windows’ Automatic Update settings to keep the service pack off your system.
A new virus strain pretends to remove malware but actually does just the opposite: it infects your system.
Fortunately, you can use a few simple steps to tell the difference between these rogue antivirus programs and legitimate security software.
Microsoft will soon install a new version of Windows Update on your computer, even if you’ve set your PC not to download and install any updates.
With such a potential for confusion, it’s a good idea for you to know what’s going to be done to your machine by this important but often misunderstood tool.
Don’t count on Microsoft to shut down ActiveX vulnerabilities when they arise, as Microsoft Access users learned last Patch Tuesday when the company had no fix to offer for a leaky ActiveX plug-in.
ActiveX security holes appear all the time, so you need these tips and tools to keep your system safe from flawed or malicious Internet Explorer add-ins.
Although you can find free tools to help keep Windows and your other software up-to-date, you’ll have to pay to get the best tool for scanning your system’s drivers and downloading the updates you need.
I found some good driver updaters but also one full-on scam — Prosoft3D’s Driver Update 5 — that simply points you to Windows’ Device Manager and tells you to do the job yourself.
As free Web-based e-mail services get better and better, you may soon be able to leave your desktop e-mail apps behind.
But which of the Big Three webmail services — Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo Mail — has the features that meet your needs?
These days, even the software we like often comes with hidden annoyances designed to help the vendor at the expense of us poor customers.
Here are five examples of sneaky marketing — snarketing, as I call it — and what you can do to mitigate the practice’s ill effects.
When your computer is behaving strangely, you want answers and you want them in a hurry.
My hands-on tests evaluated a dozen searchable sites to find the ones that get you the answers you need.
The next time your computer acts up, drop the mouse, put down the phone, and use this troubleshooting checklist to find and fix the problem.
Whether it’s a slowdown, some strange behavior, or a total crash, a few basic troubleshooting tricks and tools may be all you need to get your PC back to peak performance.
Simplify file management by generating new folders from your right-click menu that automatically have the current date in the folder name.
Run a four-line batch file from your context menu that creates whole hierarchies of folders that you name from the Command Prompt.