bit rot

Why do some of my programs crash in Windows?

Episode 1071

Kevin from Mountain View, CA

Kevin has a friend who is having trouble with apps like Adobe Reader crashing intermittently. Leo says that it sounds like bit rot. Some programs like Adobe Reader use the same dynamic link library (DLL) and that if that get corrupted, it make sense that anything else that uses it will crash. So Leo suggests removing Reader and then downloading and installing the latest version. He should also update to the latest version of Internet Explorer.

Is there a utility that would actually speed up my computer?

Episode 1062

Joe from Bellflower, CA

Joe's computer is slowing down and he'd like to buy HP's speed up program. Leo says that Joe needs to be sure he's getting it from HP and not a third party because it could be malware. Leo says even a utility from HP is just a way to sell him something he doesn't need. The best thing to do is just do an annual format and reinstall. It will refresh the drive and get rid of all the "cruft" or bit rot that builds up over time. So John should backup his data, format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and update it completely.