Q: I’m trying to show photo slides from my Windows 10 desktop PC on my Samsung Smart TV. But the TV’s software apparently isn’t compatible with Windows 10. Any ideas?
Joanne Strate, Minnetonka
A: Since 2013, Samsung Smart TVs have had a built-in wireless feature called “Smart View.” It allows you to view what’s on your PC’s screen on the TV, a process called “screen mirroring.” But so far, Smart View isn’t compatible with Windows 10.
Fortunately, there’s a workaround: Use a Miracast device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and takes the place of Smart View. Miracast, which is the name of a wireless technology rather than a specific product, works with Windows 10, Samsung Smart TV and other newer HDTVs. Miracast devices (sometimes mistakenly called WiDi, a related wireless product made only by Intel) are made by several manufacturers, and include the Belkin Miracast Video Adapter ($60), Google Chromecast ($35) and Microsoft Wireless Display adapter ($60.) To set up Windows 10 to work with a Miracast device, see tinyurl.com/zxv2dt8.
For the curious, Miracast works by using “Wi-Fi Direct” technology, a cousin of the Wi-Fi home networking standard. Wi-Fi Direct allows a PC, tablet computer or smartphone to communicate directly with a TV without going through a Wi-Fi router.
Q: I would like to clean the files of an old computer before giving the PC to a friend. What’s the best way to do that?
Charlie Riddle, Ham Lake
A: Since you’re giving the computer to a friend, the question is how completely you want to erase the PC’s data.
You could delete the files you want to get rid of, but that only makes them invisible to the average user by removing their data addresses on the hard disk. Reformatting the hard disk deletes the PC’s file system for managing data (as well as Windows itself), but some data may remain. In either case, anyone with a file recovery program can retrieve the leftover data.
A better alternative is file-shredding software that permanently eliminates selected files on the PC. Those files are overwritten (and thus obliterated) using “data sanitization” methods, some of them also used by the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency (see tinyurl.com/hgwbvfb.) For a list of free file-shredding programs, see tinyurl.com/zlsnho2.
You can also eliminate everything on the hard drive by “wiping” it with a “data destruction” program. However, these programs eradicate all data on the hard disk, including Windows. That means your friend would need to buy a new copy of Windows in order to use the PC. For directions on how to wipe a hard drive, see tinyurl.com/8xjorb5. For a list of free data destruction programs, see tinyurl.com/7zsjtbm.
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