Patrick Marshall answers your questions each Saturday about everything from recovering deleted files to the pros and cons of handheld technology.
The end of Microsoft support for Windows XP means a lack of ongoing security updates, writes Patrick Marshall. Computers still using the operating system are vulnerable in ways anti-virus and anti-malware programs don’t guard against.
Java’s history of vulnerabilities could explain different takes on vigilance from Chrome and Internet Explorer, writes Patrick Marshall. He also responds to questions about a “High Disk Usage” notice and annoying pop-up malware.
SSDs are relatively new and they haven’t been in widespread use, so I haven’t been able to find reliable data on failure rates.
Commercial discs and archival CDs and DVDs are made to last, and favorable storage conditions could extend the shorter life spans of those you burn yourself, writes Patrick Marshall. He also helps a reader looking to buy a new computer.
Radio frequency exposure from Wi-Fi networks seems to be safe, writes Patrick Marshall, but he personally takes steps to reduce any possible effects from cellphone emissions. Other topics: replacing an outdated desktop computer, and use of Windows Media Player to play DVDs.
A community project called Android-x86 seeks to extend the useful lives of Windows XP computers, but the particulars remain unclear, writes Patrick Marshall. Other topics: getting Media Player on Windows 8.1 to play commercial DVDs, and security-certificate pop-up warnings.
Each night a computer seems to lose its ability to go online without restarting, and another reader needs a way to export old Outlook Express emails to a new Windows 7 computer. Patrick Marshall offers advice.
A user fears what will happen in April when Microsoft shuts down support for Windows XP.
Technology columnist Patrick Marshall offers tips for avoiding an encounter with the nasty malware.
A worker desperate for a full-screen view and a larger font size gets help from Patrick Marshall, who also writes about what may be an iTunes-related problem and a glitz in using HDMI ports to link two computers.
Use an extra hard drive as a substitute for additional RAM? It’s possible but could be inconveniently slow, Patrick Marshall advises a reader. Unless the drive would only infrequently come into play, better just to add RAM.