Top Story

Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec charge cards repeatedly

These days, most antivirus and other security products come with a
subscription to update your virus definitions.

Signing up usually means forced automatic subscription renewal, in which your
credit card is charged every year, and it’s not easy to opt out —
but I’ll show you how.

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Driver signing is a failure for Vista

To back up its claims that Windows Vista is “the safest version of Windows ever,”
Microsoft requires developers to use digital signatures on all 64-bit drivers for
Vista.

This requirement, far from making the new operating system safer, actually does
little to stop hackers but may be partially responsible for a shortage of drivers that are needed
Vista users.

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How DEP can protect your PC

Newer processors, such as those from Intel and AMD, support a useful
feature that Microsoft calls hardware Data Execution Prevention
(DEP).

Unfortunately, it’s not enabled for all the software you may be
running. Here’s how to remedy that situation.

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Save money using OEM software

In last week’s issue, I told you how to get great prices on Windows
and other software using educational discounts. Unfortunately, not
everyone has the credentials to get these discounts.

For those lacking the academic qualifications, Original Equipment Manufacturer
(OEM) discounts offer a tempting alternative.

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Help Fred Langa discover North America

Our esteemed editor, Fred Langa, is taking a much-deserved sabbatical to ride his
motorcycle coast-to-coast across the U.S. and back through Canada —
and YOU can win a day with him, free.

Every subscriber, free and paid, can enter to win one of Fred Langa’s
patented Housecalls, with the master himself riding up to optimize
your PC, scan it for viruses, and more.

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How to get Windows software at half-price

Despite hacks and cracks you can find on the Web, the only
legitimate way to run Windows XP or Vista is to purchase a licensed
copy.

But you can get copies at half-price or less using “educational
discounts” — and qualifying is a lot easier than you may
think.

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How to prevent and remove ‘phantom’ devices

A little ghostbusting is all it takes to free your system of nonexistent
devices.

Windows sometimes displays USB drives and other removable devices that are no
longer connected to your system. Here’s how to cure the problem and prevent it
from happening again.

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Hundreds of hard-drive repair tips!

Having hard-drive trouble? Don’t panic! Odds are, there’s a fix.

If the CPU is your PC’s brain, then the hard drive is its heart,
pumping necessary data throughout your system. Hard drive troubles
are the PC equivalent of a heart attack, but the tips
below will ensure that your data has a long life!

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Microsoft allows bypass of Vista activation

Microsoft always says it opposes “software
pirates” who sell thousands of unauthorized copies of Windows.

But the Redmond company has made things a lot easier for pirates adding a line
to the Registry that can be changed from 0 to 1 to postpone the need to “activate”
Vista indefinitely.

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