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Originally published Friday, August 17, 2012 at 5:06 PM

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Options for speeding up slow-loading Web pages

Getting a faster Internet connection is ultimately the way to go.

Special to The Seattle Times

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Get a faster Internet connection; avoid websites that (slowly) load a bunch of... MORE
Another thing to make sure of is that you're running a modern browser. The latest... MORE
The best way I have found around ads that take forever to download is to use Simple Adb... MORE

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Q. I have noticed that — even though I have great download speed, as evidenced by Speedtest.net — when loading pages such as the news pages (even yours), the initial page comes right up, then I have to wait as more and more ads load up. The little green worm at the bottom of the page runs about four or five times before I have control over my cursor. Pages with no ads come up right away and I have no problem calling up items on those pages. Is this just an evil side of the Web we have to live with?

— Joe Black

A. The only three realistic options you have are: Get a faster Internet connection; avoid websites that (slowly) load a bunch of advertising; complain to the webmaster of the site. But, yes, let's face it. Commercial websites either have to charge you for access or they have to sell advertising. So getting a faster Internet connection is ultimately the way to go.

Q. My wife's Windows 7 PC has been infiltrated by "PC Might Max 2011." It does not show up in Control Panel so I can't do an uninstall. How do I get rid of this annoying program?

— Barry Chernick, Bellevue

A. Yes, you're definitely going to want to get rid of that program. And what you need to do so is install an anti-malware program. The one I use most often is Malwarebytes' AntiMalware. You can download the free version at www.malwarebytes.org.

Q. I'm pretty much a novice at this. The drive labeled "Recovery" in my computer is almost filled. How do I delete all this stuff?

— Bob Lalande, Tacoma

A. Not to worry. That's a partition on your drive that holds recovery information in case you need to return your computer to its original state. No files are written to that drive, so don't worry about it filling up.

Q. A few weeks ago, you answered a question about intrusive ads or messages popping up while viewing the selected topic. You mentioned that there was a free download to block that kind of activity. Would you please give me that info? I saved that page but I must have been overly protective for now I cannot find it!

— George Wright

A. Hmmm. I don't recall recommending a specific product. That's because pop-up blockers are now built into all of the major web browsers. In Internet Explorer 9, for example, you'd go to the Tools menu and select "Pop-up Blocker." Just make sure it's turned on. There's also a utility available that allows you to allow pop-ups on sites you specify.

Q. Your advice on getting rid of clutter on the hard drive doesn't work on my HP Pavilion a810n with Windows XP. When I click on Windows Explorer, I do not see a "Properties" option. Please help.

— Gerry McAuliffe

A. Yes, I'm afraid that the directions might vary a bit from one version of an operating system to another, and Windows XP is kind of old now. When you call up Windows Explorer, under the Computer entry in the navigation panel you should see something labeled "Local computer (C:)" That's your first logical hard drive. If you right-click on it you should see a pop-up list. Properties should be at the bottom of that list.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111.

More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.

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