How to save a webpage as a PDF or MHT file

Tom Stallard asked for a way to save webpages, with all of the formatting and images intact, to local storage.

I know of two ways to save webpages as single, contained files. They won’t reproduce the exact layout of the page, but they’ll come very close. One will give you a standard .pdf file. The other technique produces a less ubiquitous .mht or .mhtml file. You’ll have fewer options for reading .mht files, but they usually get closer to the look of the original pages.

Both techniques work, with some variation, in Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox.

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Use third-party ink at your own risk

Norm Denard is using non-HP, third-party ink in his HP printer. “My  printing is interrupted by warnings and urging to buy their ink.” Should he switch to the safer but more expensive HP option?

Few items in this world are as pricey as printer ink. You can easily spend $20 or more for a small cartridge of colored liquid, whose chemical content and actual cost are closely guarded secrets.

There are other options, but they can be scary, as we found when we tried several options in our real-world “Portrait of a Serial Refiller” series a few years back. 

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Keep encrypted files encrypted when you back them up to the cloud

After reading my article on encrypting sensitive data, Ian Cooper asked if it was safe "to use one of these encryption tools in conjunction with an online backup service?"

In that previous article, I discussed two separate ways to encrypt a folder filled with sensitive files: Windows’ own Encrypted File System (EFS) and VeraCrypt, a free, open-source fork of the well-remembered TrueCrypt. This time around, I'll look at how files encrypted with either of these work with two popular online backup services, Mozy and Carbonite.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to]

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A few good reasons to partition your SSD or hard drive

Chidi Okwara asked why one would choose to partition a hard drive

Partitions split one physical drive into multiple virtual drives. Each one uses an assigned piece of physical real estate on the media, and is treated by the operating system as a separate drive with its own drive letter.

Technically, every drive is already partitioned. A physical drive needs a partition to hold files. And if you bought your PC with Windows pre-installed, it probably already has two or three partitions. Only one of them, C:—which fills almost the entire physical drive—is for your regular use. The others, all of which are quite small, are for maintenance and recovery purposes.

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Does your computer have malware? Here are the telltale signs

Windows wouldn’t update on Warren Blake’s PC. Nor would system restore work. A malware infection seems likely. Here are some symptoms that could suggest foul play.

I’m received countless letters from readers who think they have a “virus.” The problems they describe—Blue Screens of Death, no audio,  grinding sounds inside the PC—can be attributed to virtually anything but malware.

Real malware is generally designed not to be noticed. The people who write these programs don’t want you to clean them off of your computer. But if you know what to look for, you can recognize a symptom that might be caused by malware.

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What you need to know about the cloud

Peter Mwanyama asked for a better understanding of the cloud.

The cloud is the Internet, when used for chores that are traditionally handled by local hardware and software. For instance, if you back up your files to an external hard drive, that’s local. But if you use an online service such as Mozy or Carbonite, you’re using cloud-based backup.

Another example: If you use the installed Outlook program to read email, you’re using the Internet, but not the cloud. But if you read your email on the webpage, you’re reading it in the cloud.

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Windows 8 and Windows 7 Safe Modes: How to enter and when to use them

No reader question today. Instead, I want to discuss Safe Mode, Windows’ stripped-down, minimum-driver environment. For years now, there’s been one quick way to enter Safe Mode—pressing F8. But that  trick doesn’t work for all Windows 8 PCs.

And even in older versions, it’s not always the easiest form of entry.

Safe Mode gives you a low-resolution, visually ugly, feature-limited Windows environment useful for diagnostic and repair purposes. You wouldn’t want to create a PowerPoint demonstration there, but if things are misbehaving, it can be a fruitful place to visit. For instance, if a program’s uninstall routine keeps failing, it just might uninstall properly in Safe Mode.

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