Monthly Archives: May 2005

Firefox Backup Tool

Hi Fred – I’m one of the many who’s switched to using the
Firefox Browser and Thunderbird e-mail client.  I recently opened the browser
and found, to my dismay, that my profile had completely disappeared – no
bookmarks, and all settings had reverted to the defaults.

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Portable Freeware Collection

Hi, Fred!
Love the Plus version, which I am a charter subscriber to!
I ran across this site, and it is awesome. It has a ton of freeware programs
that can be run without requiring installation. This is great for
consultants who want to run stuff on client’s machines without having to go

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Troublesome Windows Update KB890859

Hi Fred,
I’ve had problems with Windows update kb890859 (
http://langa.com/u/0e.htm ) and I’m not alone. It can
keep an XP system from booting, cause a BSOD and/or endless reboot. In many
cases the Last Know Configuration and Safe Mode will not work. You have to
uninstall it from Recovery Console. I don’t why it only affects some XP
computers and not others. I suspect only a small percentage of computers are
affected, but there are plenty of people who have had problems with this
update. Here are some links about the problem. See [these discussions of the
problems]:

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Let Your PC Breathe Easier

Hi Fred: As a
result of your articles on "Dirtiest PC’s" (

http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-02-28.htm#1 ) , and "Cooking your hard drive"
(

http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-02-24.htm#2 ), "Quiet
Your PC" (
http://langa.com/u/0d.htm ), I took up the "quest" to make my PC quiet and cool.  Thanks
to the information you provided my machine is now running with the case temp at
27C/81F, CPU at 30C/86F and hard drive at 32C/90F.  Full fledged running of burnmax raises my
CPU to 41C/106F.  AND…on top of all that, my machine is now whisper quiet!  THANKS!

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Nightly Scans Worthwhile?

Fred,
I run an automated nightly scan of my hard drive using Norton Antivirus 2004,
Spy Bot Search & Destroy and MS Antispy. Late at night I hear the drive churning
away during the hour+ long scan process and wonder if all this disk activity is
not detrimental to the life of the hard drive. Is the scanning process the same
as a "read", as when the drive is actually accessing files? Does this affect the
MTBF [Mean Time Between Failures] for a hard drive? Is a nightly scan necessary? I use my PC for several
hours daily, primarily for email, banking, shopping and web surfing. I do not
run an e-business or commercial website. Am I any less vulnerable than a business
user? Your thoughts on this are appreciated. —Mike Harms,
Langalist Plus! Fan

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Asked And Answered: Display Question

One of the constant themes in this newsletter is
self-empowerment, where we figure out ways to solve our own PC problems, and set
things up the way that works best for each of us, rather than for some mythical
"average user." So, I love it when this happens— a reader sends in a question,
but then keeps digging and finds his own solution:

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Reusing An Old Drive In A New PC

The item "Delete Just the OS Files; Leave The Rest" (
http://langa.com/newsletters/2005/2005-05-26.htm#5 ) brought this
related mail, which also lets us touch on the subject of reusing an older hard
drive in a newer system:

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