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This is part of a new weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team Getting a new Lenovo system is exciting, but it does create a couple of challenges: what to do with your old PC and, more importantly, how to purge it of personal data. Whether you opt to donate, trade in, recycle or gift it to a friend or family member, you’ll need to delete your data for good. This is extremely important! The challenge is getting everything 100% removed. Simply deleting your files, folders and apps and emptying the recycle bin won’t do the trick. This just hides your files from the operating system until they’re overwritten, so even a dependable friend could unknowingly put your personal information in the hands of a hacker. You’ll need a much deeper clean. Here are four steps you can take to completely erase everything on your old PC: 1. First, back it all up This initial step may be a given, but you should first store important files and memories  in a second, safe location. If you haven’t taken this step, or if it’s been awhile since you checked, make sure everything is copied over to an external hard drive or online backup service as you transfer files and folders to your new Lenovo system. 2. Find a good trade-in program to properly purge data for you Some companies have trade-in...

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This is part of a weekly series featuring content written by the Lenovo Companion App Content Team ‘Tis the season! For cyber threats, that is. In countries around the world, the months between November and January are filled with more shopping, more parties and more online travel bookings. With so many people rushing from one happy activity to the next, cybercriminals have a lot of opportunities for scams and hacks. Lenovo security partner McAfee® recently released its annual 12 Scams of the Holidays—and it includes some surprises this year. You probably know to protect your PC and avoid scammy email attachments. But do you also safeguard your smartphone? And take extra precautions with USB drives? We chatted with McAfee’s Chief Consumer Security Evangelist, Gary Davis, about this year’s list and the important precautions you may not think to take. Here’s what you need to know now: 1. Smartphones are not as safe as you may think People tend to use smartphones as, well…phones. But these devices are actually small computers that need many of the same safeguards used to secure large desktop PCs. In fact, some of the most malicious malware out there today—the kind that can harvest your...

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This is part of a weekly series featuring content from the Lenovo Companion App We want to ensure you have everything at your fingertips to monitor your new PC. Hopefully you won't run into any problems with your new Lenovo system, but if you do, continue reading to find out where to go to diagnose the problem and find our recommended solutions. Lenovo Diagnostics Lenovo Diagnostics contains a suite of quick and extended tests that include memory, storage (SSD, SATA and SAS), optical, wireless, mother board, CPU, video and RAID. The diagnostics are available as a bootable, or a downloadable package that can be run under Windows (or Linux) operating systems. Monitor System Health If you want to check and monitor your system health then check out the Lenovo Solution Center (LSC). LSC acts as a central hub for monitoring system health and security. With LSC, you can monitor your system’s virus and firewall status, update your software, perform a backup, check battery health, and get registration and warranty information. You can also immediately test or schedule a test of your system’s hardware, and learn from hints and tips to achieve maximum system performance. LSC uses a snapshot feature, which allows you to compare your current hardware and software configuration with the earlier configuration that was created the first time you launched Lenovo Solution Center. Download LSC for Windows 8.1 

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This is part of a weekly series featuring content from the Lenovo Companion App (this post originally appeared on Lenovo Support) For our advanced, tech-savvy users out there, we know you may want to enter Setup Utility or the Boot Menu in Windows 8.1. Here’s how to do it. By default, a Windows 8/8.1 shutdown is not a real shutdown. Instead, it is hybrid shutdown where contents of memory are saved to disk. This allows for a faster startup. However, turning on the PC after a hybrid shutdown does not allow for pressing F1 or F12 during startup. There are several ways to enter Setup Utility (F1) or the Boot Menu (F12) on a Microsoft Windows 8/8.1 PC as explained below: Press and hold the Shift key while selecting the Shutdown option in Windows 8. This will make the PC perform a full shutdown instead of a hybrid shutdown. Then F1 or F12 can be pressed successfully during startup. Select Restart instead of Shutdown. Then F1 or F12 can be pressed successfully during startup. Disable the fast startup option in Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options -> Choose what the power buttons do. It is also possible to access these features from within Windows 8/8.1. To enter Setup Utility: Open the Charms Bar by pressing Windows Key-C or by swiping in from the right edge of your screen Click on Settings Click on Change PC Settings Click on General Scroll to the...

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This is part of a weekly series featuring content from the Lenovo Companion App (this post originally appeared on Lenovo Support) We hope you never run into any issues with your new PC, but with that being said, we want to help you troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise. A USB recovery drive can help you, even if your PC won't start. Your PC might have come with a recovery image that’s used to refresh or reset your PC. The recovery image is stored on a dedicated recovery partition on your PC, and is typically 3-6 GB in size. Windows 8.1 includes a built-in tool to create a USB recovery drive. Windows will let you know how big the recovery partition is, and you'll need a USB flash drive at least that big. Please note that creating a recovery drive will erase anything already stored on your USB flash drive. Use an empty USB flash drive or make sure to transfer any important data from your USB flash drive to another storage device before using it to create a USB recovery drive. To create a USB recovery drive: 1.  Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search. 2.  Enter “recovery drive” in the search box, and then tap or click “Create a recovery drive”. You might be asked for an admin password or to confirm your choice....

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