Don't-Miss Hardware Stories

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How to know when your SSD could die

SSDs have a finite lifespan. Here's how to tell how "old" your drive is, and whether you need to prepare for an untimely death.

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Why your USB drive's file format matters: FAT32 vs. exFAT vs. NTFS

You have options when it comes to formatting a USB drive for use in a PC: FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS. We'll explain what they are and how to choose the best file system for your needs.

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When your computer beeps at you, that's a cry for help

When your computer beeps at you, pay attention because it's crying out for help—and it's giving you a code you can decipher.

Weekend Project: Build an ADS-B receiver for less than $120

Find out information about what planes are flying around you with this homemade device

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How to fix a dead key on your keyboard

If you have a dead key on your keyboard, you probably need to clean whatever is under that key. Here's how to do it with a regular keyboard and a laptop keyboard.

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7 things I learned once I built my first PC

There's always a first time for building a PC, and the guides can only go so far when it gets to specific details for each part. Read on for seven things I wished I'd known before I started.

How to print from Android with an app or Google Cloud Print, and a compatible printer

You can carry the entire Internet in your pocket, but you still sometimes need to put something on paper.

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When water, coffee, or liquid spills on your laptop, do this

A water spill can seriously mess up a laptop. Soft drinks or alcohol can do much worse. Work quickly and you might be able to save it.

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The hidden challenges of booting from a USB flash drive

Booting from a USB drive lets you get into your PC when its main operating system. But Windows and even your motherboard could work against you. Here's how to find out.

USB-C Explained: Why some devices are 5Gbps and others are 10Gbps

USB-C promises up to 10Gbps data transfer, but the first generation of USB-C devices aren’t as fast as they could be. Here's what to look out for.

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Do you have bad RAM? Here's how to find out

Defective RAM can cause all sorts of problems. If you're wondering why your PC isn't behaving, a RAM diagnosis may be in order.

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7 steps for setting up a new Windows 10 PC

You've got a new computer running Windows 10. Here's what to do, and what not to do, to start off right in the new OS.

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How to decide between laptop or desktop deployment

Ask an employee what they want, and they'll surely pick the laptop. But that may not be the best fit.

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What to do when a power outage or surge damages your PC

A power outage can be bad for your PC, but a power surge can severely damage your hardware. In all but the worst cases, however, you should be able to revive the PC, or at least retrieve any files stored on it.


How to know if your PC is ready for virtual reality

With Oculus Rift on preorder and HTC Vive coming soon, the big question is whether your PC will be up to the VR task. The Rift compatibility tool will tell you—and you don't need to preorder anything to use it.

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Your PC's dead, but you may still be able to save its hard drive

Your hard drive may not have gone down with the ship. But the way to rescue it involves having the right adapter.

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Why you should turn off your PC, laptop, modem, router, and other tech routinely

Why leave stuff on? Why not? This has been debated since the birth of tech.