What to do if you absolutely can’t, or won’t, give up XP

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Greg Salone doesn’t want to give up Windows XP. He asked for advice on what could “keep me from being vulnerable” after support ends on April 8.

You’ve heard this from me and pretty much every other tech journalist: You need to stop using Windows XP. It will gradually--or maybe not so gradually--become less secure after Microsoft stops updating the OS. I won’t go into the details, since I covered them in Should you keep using Windows XP?

But you might not be able to give it up. Your business may depend on a specialized application that won’t run on Windows 7 or 8. Or you may not be able to afford a new PC and your old one isn’t powerful enough for an upgrade. Perhaps you’re just stubborn.

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Move your libraries to an external drive without messing things up

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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After reading Move your libraries to a second drive or partition, D.R. Sams, Jr. asked if he could move them to an external hard drive.

It’s easy to understand why people would want to do this. With today’s mobile PCs and the proliferation of SSDs, internal storage capacity is shrinking for the first time since the invention of personal computers. People simply can’t keep all of their music, photos, and videos inside their PCs anymore.

Technically, you can do what I described in that earlier article, telling Windows to look for the library on an external drive. But doing so would be a really bad idea.

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The many ways to copy, move, or delete multiple files

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Bill Verner asked for the easiest way to delete a group of files. I offer more information than he asked for.

Even the most experienced Windows veterans have holes in their knowledge of the operating system—tricks they forgot or never learned. I’m using Bill’s question to go over some basics that even experienced readers may find useful as a refresher course.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

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What you need to know about SD cards

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Maryam Mousavi asked for information on the many types of SD Cards and how they relate to each other.

I’ve seen this happen over and over again: A new, simple-to-use technology arrives, with its own new acronym. Then someone improves upon it, extending the acronym. Then there’s another one. Soon you’ve got a market of confusing alphabet soup.

So let’s start with the basics. Secure Digital (SD) is the current standard for removable flash storage cards in mobile devices. They come in three physical sizes with numerous speeds and capacities.

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How to upgrade to a larger hard drive

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Corinda Farley bought a new hard drive for her old computer. How does she get Windows, her programs, and her files onto the new drive?

You can’t simply remove your old hard drive, then install a new one, and expect Windows to boot. You need to bring everything, including Windows itself, to the new drive. That’s not a difficult task, but it’s not an intuitive one, either.

[Email your tech questions to answer@pcworld.com.]

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How to keep your neighbors from hijacking your Wi-Fi

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Rose’s Internet service intermittently slows to a crawl. She wants to make sure that her neighbors haven’t hacked her Wi-Fi for free connectivity.

A number of issues can produce intermittently slow Internet access, and most of them don’t involve foul play. You could have bad cables, a bad modem or router, or simply outdated firmware on either of these devices. The problem may be with your ISP, and therefore completely out of your hands. For more on these possibilities, see my past column on obscenely slow Internet connections. Also, check out Nick Mediati’s primer on how to test your home Internet connection speed.

But as much as we’d like to think otherwise, your problem could be with a dishonest neighbor. And in these days of data caps, such neighbors could be running up your bill as they’re slowing down your connection.

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How to recover files after a malware attack

Lincoln Spector Contributing Editor, PCWorld

When he isn't bicycling, prowling used bookstores, or watching movies, PC World Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector writes about technology and cinema.
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Malware infected Jones888’s computer, and important files are no longer accessible. How can Jones get them back?

A malicious program infects your PC and makes your documents and other important files inaccessible, then it pops up a message demanding money to get the files back. You’ve got a ransomware infection, and that isn’t good.

How do you get the files back without paying for them? That’s simple: Restore them from a backup. That is, of course, if you’ve been backing up daily.

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