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Moving up to Windows 8.1 without an MS account

Microsoft makes it difficult — but not impossible — to run Windows 8.1 without a Microsoft account. There are ways around Redmond’s demands, but only if you know the right path. Plus, solving other problems with the Win8.1 upgrade.

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CryptoLocker: A particularly pernicious virus

Online attackers are using encryption to lock up our files and demand a ransom — and AV software probably won’t protect you. Here are ways to defend yourself from CryptoLocker — pass this information along to friends, family, and business associates.

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Protect yourself from the next big data breach

Huge online attacks, such as the recent Adobe break-in, bring to mind a pressing question: What should we do if our credit-card data or sign-in credentials are stolen? Plus, what steps will help minimize future exposures when large corporate sites are cracked — as they no doubt will be — by malicious hackers and cyber thieves?

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Creating customized recovery images for Win8

Windows 8′s easy-to-use and built-in backup, restore, and rebuild tools go far beyond those found in previous versions of Windows. When using Win8′s Refresh option, the advanced Recimg tool can preserve your current Win8 setup — including desktop apps that Refresh would, by default, remove.

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How to spend your first hour with Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1, currently available on MS TechNet and MSDN, should roll out on Oct. 17 for both new PCs and Win8 upgrades. Here’s what every knowledgeable Windows user should know about setting up Win8.1, whether they’re coming from Windows 8, Win7, Vista, or XP.

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From PC to HDTV via Google’s Chromecast

Google has a new way to stream video from your PC or mobile device to your high-definition TV. But its capabilities are relatively limited, and it leaves much to be desired — especially if you’re using a Windows PC.

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Touring through the final Windows 8.1

After much public criticism and internal debate, Microsoft made an abrupt about-face and released Windows 8.1 RTM to TechNet and MSDN subscribers — well before the OS’s public debut. With release-to-manufacturer, Windows 8.1 is effectively complete and will roll out to Windows 8 users in mid-October.

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A clean-slate reinstall for Windows 8

Windows 8′s built-in, automated ‘Remove everything and reinstall’ option provides a fast way to give systems a totally fresh start. Used properly, it can clear up even the worst types of software trouble and malware infections — it can even help improve your privacy and data security.

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Ways to secure a router — and other helpful tips

In this special-edition LangaList Plus column, a half-dozen easily implemented settings can help make your Wi-Fi setup much harder to crack, snoop, or poach. Plus: Scheduling Windows Defender malware scans in Win8, mirroring a solid-state drive, a DIY CPU-cooler repair, and recommending a free taskbar-tweaking utility.

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Service helps small businesses move from XP

Despite copious warnings about the official end of MS support for Windows XP, millions of small businesses are not prepared to migrate to Windows 7 or 8. A new organization is matching up small businesses with IT professionals who can help with the transition.

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