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Driver Tip: Rolling Back Drivers in Windows

We've realized from talking to our customers, that many of them are unaware of the driver rollback feature in Windows. This feature can come in very handy when installing drivers. If a driver doesn't work very well for you, and you want rollback to the previously installed driver, here is how you can do that:
  1. Open the Device Manager.
  2. In Device Manager, locate the device that you want to rollback the driver for. You can navigate through the hardware categories by clicking the + or > icon. You can find specific devices under these major hardware categories.
  3. After finding the hardware you're rolling back the driver for, right click on the device's name or icon and click on Properties.
  4. In the Properties window for the device, click the Driver tab.
  5. On the Driver tab, click the Roll Back Driver button. If the Roll Back Driver button is disabled, Windows does not have a previous driver to roll back to so you won't be able to complete this process.
  6. Click the Yes button to the "Are you sure you would like to roll back to the previously installed driver software?" question. The previously installed driver will now be restored. You should see the Roll Back Driver button as disabled after the roll back is complete.
  7. Click the Close button at the bottom of the device properties screen. Click Yes on the System Settings Change dialog box that says "Your hardware settings have changed. You must restart your computer for these changes to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?" If this message is hidden, closing the Control Panel window might help. You won't be able to close Device Manager. Depending on the device driver you're rolling back, it's possible that you won't need to restart your PC. If you don't see the message, consider the roll back complete.
  8. When Windows starts again, it will load the device driver for this hardware you had previously installed.
Driver Roll Back only allows you to roll back a driver once. In other words, Windows only keeps a copy of the very last driver installed. It does not keep an archive of all previously installed drivers for the device.

BIOS Tip: Improve your Boot Up Speed by Upgrading Your BIOS

Does your system take a little too long to boot up? You can cut considerable time off of your boot time by tweaking the BIOS settings a bit. One of the ways is to adjust the QUICK POWER ON SELF TEST setting. This may also be called FAST BOOT, or QUICK BOOT.

Do you really want your system to test the RAM each time you boot up? Let me tell you that if you have more than 265MB, then no, you don't, because the process can take minutes. Also, the RAM test won't catch anything but the most catastrophic of RAM issues so it's next to useless. So, to save time, leave the setting enabled.

Another way of improving your boot time is by simply updating the BIOS. Upgrading your BIOS can improve not only the boot up speed, but also significantly improve the overall performance of your computer as well.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Prevent Your Data from Being Copied

If strangers have physical access to your PC, it's easy for them to plug in a USB flash drive and make copies of your data. If you're using Windows XP SP2 or later, though, there's a simple way to prevent this from happening.
  1. Click Start, type regedit.exe and hit ENTER.
  2. Go to the following registry key:
  3. Search for a key WriteProtect
  4. If there is such a key change the value to “0".
If you can’t find the key StorageDevicePolicies in step (3) you have to create it manually.
  1. Right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ and select New -> Key.
  2. Enter the name StorageDevicePolicies.
  3. Click on the new registry key StorageDevicePolicies and on the right pan right-click, select New > DWORD and give it the name WriteProtect.
  4. Double click on it and set its value to 0.
Please Note: This procedure will also prevent you from writing to any external drives as well. In order to allow yourself to write to external drives, you must set the WriteProtect setting back to 1.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
Help! My Windows installation has become so unstable. It's crashing all the time and running very poorly. People have told me to do a repair of Windows to fix it. I tried that and it still is happening. I don't want to reinstall Windows if I can help it. If I have to, I will, but I was hoping you could tell me a better way?
- Karen S., Albany, NY
Reinstalling Windows can be a real pain. Not only does it take valuable time, but it would also result in losing everything on your system that you haven't backed up. One great tool that may help you is a program named Reimage. Reimage is a program that fixes your Windows OS, eliminating the need for reinstalling. It also reverses the damage already done with a full database of replacement files. You can find it at Good Luck!

Defragmenting my hard drive really takes a long time to run; do I really need to do it?
- Tim R., Sacramento, CA
When the fragments of the files are scattered all over the hard drive it can run inefficiently and cause performance problems. When you defragment your hard drive you are reorganizing those fragments. Once the fragments are reorganized, the hard drive does less work and responds faster. So the answer to your question would be that if you want a boost in your computer's performance and the way your hard drive runs then defragmenting your hard drive is recommended.

Tech Tip
Is Your PC Slow? Boost Your Internet Speed
If your PC is moving like a snail - try Auslogics BoostSpeed 5, containing over 18 tools to optimize your computer. The program will clean up, speed up and repair your system, tweak Windows settings to your liking and protect your privacy.

» Download BoostSpeed5

Quote of the Month
"The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom."

- Jon Stewart

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
This site lets you grab the MP3 audio from any YouTube video clip and download it as an MP3 file to your computer. Just copy the video's URL address, paste it into the box, hit the Go button and in a few moments out pops your MP3 audio file ready to download.

Techie Sites
Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics.

Stat of the Month
Top U.S. Smartphone Platforms - Q3 2010

Platform Share +/- vs. Q2
RIM (Blackberry) 37.3% -2.8%
Apple (iPhone) 24.3% 0.0%
Google (Android) 21.4% +6.5%
Microsoft (Windows) 10.0% -2.8%
Palm (webOS) 4.2% -0.5%

comScore MobiLens 2010

Vocab Test

Stands for "Peer to Peer." In a P2P network, the "peers" are computer systems which are connected to each other via the Internet. Files can be shared directly between systems on the network without the need of a central server.

Windows 7 Shortcuts

Right Shift for 8 seconds
Filter Keys on/off

Left Alt+Left Shift+PrtScr
High Contrast on/off

Left Alt+Left Shift+Num Lock
Mouse Keys on/off

Shift 5 times
Sticky Keys on/off

Browser Add-On

TwitterBar allows you to post to Twitter from Firefox's address bar. A small Twitter icon sits to the right of your address bar; clicking on it will post your tweet.

Windows 7 Gadget

Language Translator Gadget
This gadget comes in handy all the time if you have to switch between languages every so often. Able to translate between 54 different languages this gadget is really awesome. It uses Google's translate service and does a pretty good job translating text.

TouchStoneSoftware Recommends

AIDA64 offers a complete set of tools to benchmark, overclock, monitor, fine-tune, and troubleshoot Windows based desktop and mobile computers.

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