Author Archives: Fred Langa
It can happen in any Windows version: Instead of shutting down promptly, your PC stays on and unresponsive for several long minutes. Here are some easy fixes for shutdown delays. Plus: Information about HerdProtect, an anti-malware meta-scanner that employs 68 different anti-malware engines. Win10 shutdowns taking far too long Under ideal conditions, a clean Windows setup can shut down in seconds. But out here in the real world, shutdowns can take longer — sometimes, far, far longer! Some shutdown delays creep in bit by bit, accumulating over time. You can prevent this type of slowdown with good routine maintenance. (See the January 10, 2017, Best Practices, Top Story, “Start 2017 right with a clean Windows PC.”) This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
A little time spent now on preventive maintenance can save hours of system troubleshooting later. It’ll also provide better computing all year long. This article is something of a Windows Secrets tradition: We update, refresh, and then publish a new version of this story in the first issue of each new year. In this iteration, you’ll find more references to top-notch, detailed PC-maintenance how-tos and related information than ever before! Undo a year’s worth of wear and tear This past year was tumultuous for Windows — and most likely for your PCs, too. To start, Windows Update released hundreds of new patches (see list), some in a new cumulative/ roll-up format. And along the way, you’ve probably installed some new third-party software, uninstalled other programs, and upgraded or patched apps and utilities. You may have also altered, tuned, and tweaked various aspects of your system’s user interface, and software and hardware settings. And you’ve undoubtedly created and deleted myriad emails, documents, photos, MP3s, videos, spreadsheets, and so forth. You might even have upgraded your Windows 8, 7, or Vista system to Windows 10. And if you were already using Win10 at the start of last year, you hopefully survived … Read More
A dual-boot PC has 32GB of RAM, but the 32-bit Win10 partition sees only a paltry 1.6GB — far below the expected 4GB. Here’s why and a fix. Plus: Win10 steals an apps’ F1 key function, and how to stop Windows Groove — or any other default Win10 app — from automatically launching. Win10 PC has a ‘Hardware Reserved RAM” problem Reader Alvin Davis’ wonders why his 32-bit version of Win10 sees only 1.6GB of memory — on a system with 16GB of installed RAM. “I have been a Windows Secrets subscriber for a number of years. I finally have a question that I’d like to ask. “It’s about Win10 x32 assigning too much memory to ‘hardware reserved.’ “I built a computer system with a Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7 motherboard, Intel 6700K processor, and MSI Geforce 1060 video card with 6GB of RAM. I also added 16GB (two 8GB sticks) of system memory. “The machine is a dual-boot system; it’ll load 64-bit Win10 from a hard drive or 32-bit Win10 from an SSD. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Microsoft is changing Win10’s default command processor to PowerShell. Here’s how to ensure batch files and other legacy operations still work. Plus: Should you uninstall old apps before installing new versions; also, a question about questions and an end-of-year best-wishes to all!Read More
Although Win10 is capable of excellent performance, it can run slowly on some systems — even on new “Made for Windows 10” PCs! If you want more speed from your current Win10 setup, or you’re thinking of getting a new Win10 PC this holiday season, here are the major performance-sapping pitfalls you can avoid.Read More
Over time, more and more browser add-ons — toolbars, helper objects, extensions, etc. — are having trouble with Internet Explorer 11. Here’s what’s going on and what you can do about it. Plus: Sorting out Windows Registry frustrations and misconceptions — some of which date all the way back to Windows 3.1!Read More
A reader asks why his new Win10 setup can’t access an old drive’s data, when an XP system can. Plus: Annoyed by the too-frequent “Defender needs to scan your PC” messages? Here’s help.Read More
Windows 10 has always received cumulative updates, but now Win7 and Win8.1 are, too — and it’s causing no small amount of confusion and trouble. In this special, single-topic column, I’ll show what steps you can take to help resolve the current spate of Windows Update problems — and how to improve the odds of successfully installing future cumulative updates.Read More
A reader discovers that his carefully created backups are totally useless for restoring his PC. Plus: Why would a PC fail to boot properly in the morning but work fine the rest of the day?Read More