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Monthly Newsletter | Issue #19 | March 2010 TouchStoneSoftware Products

Driver Tip: Install Drivers Without a Setup or Install file

Many people have been asking how to install drivers that do not contain a Setup or Install file. If the file is not a single executable file, then most likely it will be a CAB file or a ZIP file. In those cases, extract the file to a location on your hard drive. Then:
  1. Right-click My Computer.
  2. Choose Properties
  3. Choose Device Manager (In Windows 2000, you have to choose the Hardware tab first and then Device Manager). This will display a list of the devices that are on your computer.
  4. Right click on the device and click Properties.
  5. Choose Driver and click Update Driver.
  6. You will be asked to browse for the new driver, locate the folder you placed it in choose the appropriate file.

BIOS Tip: Counting Up Your RAM When Your PC Boots

Do you hate your PC counting up your RAM when it boots? You can eliminate this and allow the system to boot faster. There is an option in your BIOS labeled Quick Power On Self Test. Enabling this option will allow the system to skip that annoying memory count and boot even faster. You can usually find this option in the Advance BIOS Setup screen.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Turn Off Programs Loading on Startup

Did you ever have a program that starts up whenever you start windows that you wish would just go away? Most good programs will have options to turn startup when windows starts up right in their options or settings page, however there are some badly behaved programs that just don't give you the option to disable them. In most cases you can find the offensive program being started under one of these keys in the registry

This is a registry edit so as always we recommend backing up the registry before proceeding.
  • Open regedit.
  • Find the following keys in the registry
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \RunServices
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \RunServices
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \RunServices
Usually the offending program will be in one of these locations. Simply delete the specific key to the program and restart windows. Another note if you want a program to run each and every time windows starts you can make an entry under \Run in either location. Just put the full path as the string data for example:
  • Right click on the Run and select new --> string value
  • Name it my_program
  • For a value enter c:\myfolder\myprogram.exe
This will start myprogram.exe every time windows starts if in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE if you put it under Run in HKEY_CURRENT_USER it will only start when you log into that account.

Another interesting thing to note under Run there is another key RunOnce. If you put your entry there the program will be run the next time that windows starts and then it will be deleted from the key so it will not run again, at least not when windows starts. This is useful for diagnostics.

» Perform a registry scan now!

USB for the rest of us.

What is USB?

In Simplest of terms USB is a way of connecting cool gadgets to your computer. Without a standard, nothing would work the same. Every camera or MP3 player would require a different plugin card just to connect to the computer.

So now we have this standard, but you keep hearing about USB 1.x and 2.x and now even 3.x what does it all mean? The first answer that comes to mind is plain, and simple, SPEED. Each generation of USB is faster than the previous generation. USB 1.x offered speeds of 1.5mbit/second to 12mbit/second. USB 2.x further boosted that speed with a HI-speed mode of 480mbit/second. Now USB 3.x is set to offer speeds of up to 4.8gbit/second. That's enough to stream any video to your Hi-Def TV with perfect quality.

So will my old camera work with this USB 3.x? The answer is both yes and no. Yes the camera will work, and no, the camera won't work faster. While compatibility standards require that all USB devices work, most older devices will not see any performance boosts. However, you can expect new USB 3.x compatible devices to be coming to a store near you very soon.

Question & Answer
How can I find out how much memory is installed in my computer? - Samantha T., Austin, TX
In Windows XP, open the Control Panel. Select Performance and Maintenance and then select System at the bottom of the Window. The RAM will be listed in MB under the General tab. To find the amount of RAM install in a Windows Vista system, open the Control Panel, click on System and Maintenance and then open System. Windows 7 users can check the amount of RAM they have by opening the Control Panel, selecting System and Security, and then clicking System.

How can I connect an external display such as my TV to my laptop? - Mike M., Dayton, OH
All laptops today will have a VGA or other video connection port that will allow you to connect your laptop to an external monitor, TV, or flat panel display device like a projector. To do this, simply connect your monitor to the VGA connector on the laptop. Once the external display has been connected to the computer, depending on the type of laptop and it's settings, it will either automatically start displaying what is being shown on the laptop display, or in the case of many laptops, you'll need to press a series of keys on the keyboard in order to switch how to display the picture on the laptop. For example, pressing the keys FN (Function) + F4. This key will often have a picture of a monitor next to it to help indicate what key it is.

If I purchase a "Wi-Fi Ready" laptop, do I still need a router? - Annie D., Albany, NY
Yes. If you want to use your computer at home without plugging it in, you will need to purchase a wireless router to generate the Wi-Fi signal to your computer. If you do not have a router, you can plug it directly into your cable or DSL modem to get an Internet signal. If you are positioned near a Wi-Fi "hotspot," or a place that offers Wi-Fi such as a local Starbucks, then they have provided the router internally, and you'll be able to pick up their signal with only your laptop as well.

Quote of the Month
"I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them."

- Isaac Asimov

Monthly Contest
Do you have a computer question that you would like answered? Do you have a tech related topic that you would like us to research and write about? If so, we want to hear from you!

iPod NanoThe subscriber with the best question or topic suggested for our next issue will win a free iPod Nano.

Sites of the Month

Fun Site

Where's George
Do you ever wonder where that paper money in your pocket has been, or where it will go next? This is the place to find out. All you need to do is enter the denomination, series, and serial number of any US dollar bill, and your current USA ZIP or Canadian Post Code in the box. You will get back a list of all the cities/states where that bill has been, as well as travel time, distance and speed of each hop!

Techie Site
A website that provides smaller scale programs that are designed for use on a flash drive, portable hard drive, or even an iPod. The programs are written in an open source format that any hardware or software vendor can use. The applications are available for free and can be downloaded in three different suites, based on download size and desired functionality. A few examples of the programs you can download include a portable version of, a PDF reader, a portable edition of Firefox, a calendar, and few other games and productivity software.

Vocab Test


Short for "malicious software," malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. In Spanish, "mal" is a prefix that means "bad," making the term "badware," which is a good way to remember it (even if you're not Spanish).

Stat of the Month
By 2012, 190 million households will use a next-generation video game console.

80% of them (148 million households) will have this console connected to the Internet.

Windows 7 Shortcuts


All windows become transparent so you can see through to the desktop.


Clear all but the active window.

Win+number (1-9)

Starts the application pinned to the taskbar in that position, or switches to that program.


Creates a new folder in Windows Explorer.

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