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Monthly Newsletter | Issue #20 | August 2010

TouchStoneSoftware Products

Driver Tip: Installing Legacy Audio Drivers

Legacy audio drivers can get corrupted or go missing for some strange reason and it is one of the most common problems that a person encounters with his computers. It can be pretty frustrating because you have to log on to the Internet and then visit the manufacturer's website to look for the Legacy Audio driver updates. If you ask some technical support people, they will tell you to uninstall and then reinstall the program. This doesn't work at all.

Uninstalling and reinstalling the program can sometimes solve the problem, but not for long. Sometimes, there are updates that you need to do on your hardware to make it work with the system that you have. The problem with your driver could be that it has a bug. Downloading an update will help fix this bug. This also means that the update will improve your computer's performance.

To download the update for your Legacy audio drivers, you just need to go to manufacturer's website to download the driver. You will be able to find the driver updates there, and you will probably be overwhelmed with the number of drivers that you can see. It really can be confusing.

BIOS Tip: How to Clear a BIOS Password

One of the most common questions we get is how you clear a BIOS password. A BIOS password can prevent access to the BIOS Setup or even prevent a system from booting. Well, there are basically 3 ways to clear a password:
  1. The most common is to open your computer and remove the lithium battery, wait a few seconds to clear the data from the well and put back CMOS battery. Normally this will erase the password and is not complicated. Some systems require the battery to be out longer. If possible take it out before going to bed and replace it in the morning.
  2. In extreme cases, such as in the old 386, 486 and some other models that have the battery welded, the board does not contain jumpers. In these situations you can use certain programs that will allow you to clear the CMOS. There is one called CLRCMOS that can be run from DOS or Windows. CLRCMOS is available in the support section of our site here.
  3. DEBUG. It runs under DOS and does not require any specific program; the first thing you have to do is start the computer with a DOS system disk. Once it is booted, run the DEBUG as follows:

    c: \> Debug -> enter
    c: \> o 70 17 -> enter
    c: \> o 71 ff -> enter
    c: \> q
» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Turn Off Programs Loading on Startup

Do you ever wish you could stop certain programs from loading when the computer starts?

You can start or stop programs from executing at boot up by adding or deleting them to/from the run Keys in the Registry. Windows loads programs to start in the following order; Program listed in the Local Machine hive, then the Current User hive, then theWin.ini Run= and Load = lines. Then finally programs in your Start Up folder.

To add or remove programs in the Registry
  1. Open RegEdit
  2. Go to the desired Key
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \Run
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \RunServices
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \Run
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows \CurrentVersion \RunServices
  3. Add a new String Value and name it anything you like
  4. For the value data, enter the path and executable for the program you want to run.
By adding the value to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER hive instead allows the program to start only when that user is logged on.

If you add the value to the RunOnce key the program will run once and be removed from the key by Windows.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Windows 7 Tip: Access Hidden Themes

Windows 7 offers you location specific Aero themes based on the language and location you pick during installation. Here we will take a look at accessing other hidden themes from different countries.

When you first start the Windows 7 installation the first thing you will do is select a language, time and currency format. This is where Windows determines what themes you're presented with by default.

Being from the US I'm presented with location specific themes from the United States with desktop backgrounds such as scenery from Maine, Idaho, Oregon etc. To access the other international themes copy and paste the following path into the search box and hit Enter. C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT

In the MCT folder you will find additional themes for Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Great Britain.

You can go in and grab just the Wallpapers or go into the Theme folder double click on the thumbnail to add it.

This is a neat little trick that will let you customize Windows 7 with hidden themes already available.

Question and Answer
My sister is driving a truck and needs to have internet access for her personal use. I heard about a USB attachment, but have no idea how they work, or their names. Can you direct me to sources and info?
- Roger T., Boulder, CO
Most of the major wireless service providers offer 'aircards' (also called USB modems) which will provide internet connectivity anywhere the user would have cell phone service. The user actually receives a mobile phone number for the device. You have to purchase the device (though usually can be gotten free with a service plan time commitment) and pay for a monthly service plan, which typically runs $30-60/month. There are other options if the need is short-term. Your sister should check out her mobile service provider's website.

I see a USB Emulation setting in my BIOS, what is this?
- R. Walker, Pittsfield, MA
The purpose of USB Emulation is to allow USB devices to operate under an operating system that doesn't have direct USB support. USB Emulation is always operating at boot up, but when set to OFF, control is passed to the OS. If you're using a newer operating system, then this shouldn't be an issue.

How can I determine the quality of my Wireless LAN (local-area network) signal? What can I do to improve the signal quality?
- Sandra T., Dayton, OH
The easiest way to check your wireless LAN signal is to move your cursor over the wireless LAN icon in your System Tray. A pop-up bubble should report that name of your connection, the connection speed, the signal strength, and the connection status. As long as your speed is near optimum and the strength is Good or Excellent, your connection should be solid.

However, greater distances between your PC and the access point or other interference sources such as wall and floor can reduce your connection speed and signal quality. If you notice low speeds and poor quality, try moving the PC and access point closer together to eliminate cordless phones from the area. An alternative is to use a wireless range extender located between the PC and access point.

Tech Tip
Did you delete a photo accidentally?
Try our file recovery program FileRestorePlus for Free!
It may be able to undelete that lost file.


Quote of the Month
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."

- Ken Olsen, President of Digital Equipment, 1977

Sites of the Month

Fun Site

View the front page of every newspaper in the US and some from other countries as well. Also view front pages from historical events such 9/11 and the 2008 US Presidential election.

Techie Site

Are you an Internet addict? Do you love reading about new technologies and web-based applications? Webupon is the site for you.

Vocab Test

Access Point
A device, such as a wireless router, that allows wireless devices to connect to a network.

Stat of the Month
As of the end of 2009, there were 1.73 billion Internet users worldwide, an 18% increase from the previous year.

234 million websites existed as of Dec. 2009, 47 million more than the previous year.

Windows 7 Shortcuts

Lock your workstation

Display the desktop

Preview desktop

Maximize all windows

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