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Chris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

Your computer stores low-level settings like the system time and hardware settings in its CMOS. These settings are configured in the BIOS setup menu. If you’re experiencing a hardware compatibility issue or another problem, you may want to try clearing the CMOS.

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Windows 8 has a new File History backup system that replaces Windows 7′s backup tools. However, Windows 8 still contains the Windows 7 backup tools. They’re particularly useful for creating full system image backups.

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Windows Live Mesh is set to shut down on February 13, 2013. If you still depend on Windows Live Mesh, you’ll need to find some alternatives soon. Remember to download your files before the deadline, too!

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Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera – they all offer bookmark synchronization. Internet Explorer users don’t have to be left out. There are several ways to sync your favorites, including an integrated method on Windows 8.

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Routers protect their web interfaces, where you can configure their networking, parental control, and port forwarding settings, with a username and password. These default passwords can be changed to protect the router’s settings.

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Have you ever had a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any other electronic gadget become unresponsive? The surefire way to recover from the freeze – assuming it’s not a hardware problem – is by power-cycling the gadget.

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Have you had any issues with your Nexus 7? We’ve run into quite a few problems and fixed them all – from bad performance and touch-screen responsiveness issues to tablets that won’t power on and separating screens.

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The “Firefox is already running, but is not responding” error has haunted Firefox users for years. You don’t have to restart your computer when you see this error – you can usually fix it with a quick trip to the Task Manager.

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Android has decent multitasking, but the missing piece of the puzzle is the ability to have multiple apps on-screen at the same time – particularly useful on a larger tablet. Floating apps fill this need.

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Two-factor authentication, also known as 2-step verification, provides additional security for your online accounts. Even if someone discovers your password, they’ll need a special one-time code to log in after you enable two-factor authentication on these services.

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Have you ever noticed that a pixel – a little dot on your computer’s LCD monitor – is staying a single color all of the time? You have a stuck pixel. Luckily, stuck pixels aren’t always permanent.

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Most of the app data on your Android is probably synced online will automatically sync to a new phone or tablet. However, your Google Authenticator credentials won’t — they aren’t synchronized for obvious security reasons.

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Safe mode can help you troubleshoot your Android, but sometimes you’ll need to wipe everything and restore your device to its factory state. You can even perform a factory reset when your Android phone or tablet won’t boot normally.

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The Mail app included with Windows 8 only supports IMAP, Exchange, Hotmail/Outlook.com, and Gmail accounts. Mail offers POP3 as an option when setting up the account – but if you select POP3, you’ll be informed that Mail doesn’t support POP.

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We’ve covered using Google Drive on Linux with third-party software, but why bother jumping through those hoops? You can use a cloud storage service that officially supports Linux instead – several of Google Drive’s competitors do.

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When Google announced Google Drive, they promised Linux support. That was about 7 months ago. While Google said Google Drive for Linux was “still a priority” back in July, it seems it’s no longer a priority.

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We previously covered watching Netflix on Linux and concluded that using a virtual machine was your best bet. There’s now an even better solution – a “Netflix Desktop” app that allows you to watch Netflix on Linux.

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On your Windows PC, you can boot into safe mode to load Windows without any third-party software. You can do the same on Android with Android’s safe mode. In safe mode, Android won’t load any third-party applications.

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Windows 8’s default blue window border color isn’t the only option. Windows 8 automatically selects the appropriate color depending on your wallpaper – you can also select a different color or use a third-party tool to easily select other colors.

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The window borders on Windows 8’s desktop are fairly thick by default, but they don’t have to be – you can customize the side of the window borders with an easy-to-use application or a quick registry tweak.

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The Command Prompt window included with Windows is outdated. The command line itself isn’t outdated – the Command Prompt just lacks modern features like tabs, transparency, support for other shells, easy selection of text, and other modern Windows features.

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Geeks often describe programs as being “open source” or “free software.” If you’re wondering exactly what these terms mean and why they matter, read on. (No, “free software” doesn’t just mean that you can download it for free.)

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The media is full of reports saying Android malware is exploding and that Android users are at risk. Does this mean you should install an antivirus app on your Android phone or tablet?

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The boot order in your computer’s BIOS controls which device it loads the operating system from. Modify your boot order to force your computer to boot from a USB drive, CD or DVD drive, or another hard drive.

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The Nexus 7 may not have a lot of storage space – especially the original 8 GB model – but you can connect a USB drive to it if you want to watch videos or access other files.

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