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Driver Tip: Driver Store

One question we get asked is where are drivers stored in Windows 7? In older operating systems such as Windows XP and 2000, the driver source files needed for installing the devices were typically found in several locations.
  • %SystemRoot%\Driver Cache\i386\
  • %SystemRoot%\Driver Cache\i386\
  • .inf files under %windir%inf
  • .sys files under %SystemRoot%\System32\Drivers
  • Support DLLs under %SystemRoot%\System32
  • Third Party co-installers in various locations.
DriverStore is a new and a central location in Windows Vista and Windows 7 where all the driver files will be stored, before they are copied to their final destination during the device driver installation.

For example, the driver package developed by Microsoft that contains the core mouse support files is present in the following folder:


Keeping the drivers in a central store allows for a much faster device installation and a more reliable driver rollback.

BIOS Tip: Virus Warning

Many BIOS will have a setting called Virus Warning. This is different than any Anti-Virus software that you may have installed on your system. This is Boot Sector virus protection which protects the boot sector or partition table of your hard drive. When this function is enabled, if someone or something attempts to write to the boot sector or partition table of the hard drive, a warning message will appear on screen and an alarm will sound. When disabled, you will not get a warning message and no alarm will sound. This feature only protects the boot sector of the hard drive, it does not protect the entire drive. Your anti-virus program installed on your system will take care of the rest of the drive. Obviously, it is a very good idea to keep this option enabled in the BIOS.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Disabling Notification Balloons

If you find the popup notification balloons in the Windows system tray to be too annoying, you might be interested to know that you can completely disable them. If you want to disable them across the board, this is the solution.

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:


Right-click on the right-hand pane, and create a new 32-bit DWORD with the following values:
  • Name: EnableBalloonTips
  • Value: 0
You’ll have to logoff and log back in order for the change to take effect.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
My Dell Inspiron laptop with Windows 7 is really running poorly, it has even blue screened a few times. I have been told that I should reinstall Windows, but I'd rather not do that and lose a lot of my important documents. Is there a simple fix that that will prevent me from having to reinstall Windows and losing data?
- Steve C., Brooklyn, NY

TouchStoneSoftware recommends a great program that is very simple to use called Reimage. Reimage saves you the time and hassle of doing all this work manually and even saves you from having to back up and reinstall the entire operating system. Simply download and run Reimage and the app will scan and diagnose your PC, then quickly repair your damaged PC with technology that not only fixes your Windows Operating System, but also reverses the damage already done with a full database of replacement files. Reimage's patented technology actually reverses the damage done to your Windows operating system. You can find it at

I like to keep all of my important and private documents in one separate drive on my laptop and I always wish that no one else could touch them without my permission. Is there a way I can block access to certain drives in Windows 7 Ultimate?
- Annie S., Columbus, OH
Yes there is a way to block access to that drive.

Click on Start, go to Computer. Right click on the drive you want to restrict access to and select properties.

In the properties window click on the Security tab, select the user account you want to restrict and click on edit. Change the permissions according to your need for user groups or a particular user and click Apply and then OK. It will not work for users with admin account as even they have the same rights as you, so they can revert all permissions. You will need an admin account to perform this task.

I have this one program that I need to "Run as Administrator" every time I run it in order to do certain things. Sometimes I forget to right click and choose that option and then I need to close the program and restart it. Is there something I can do that makes that program run as an administrator every time it opens automatically?
- Daniel K., San Diego, CA
There sure is. Here is a little work around to avoid right clicking the application every time you open it.
  1. Right click on the application icon or shortcut and click on Properties.
  2. Click on Compatibility tab.
  3. There check the Run this program as an administrator box.
  4. Click on Apply and Ok.
  5. If you want to allow all the users to run the application as Administrator then click on Change settings for all users.
  6. Again check the Run this program as an administrator box in the newly opened dialogue box.
  7. Click Apply and Ok.
  8. You are done.

Tech Tip
Have you accidentally deleted a very important document or an irreplaceable family photo or video? Wondering how you'll get it back?
Try TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus. It will help you recover that file quickly and easily.

» Click Here to Download TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus

Quote of the Month
"I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image."

- Stephen Hawking

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
TubeLoop is a web app that can help you create loops of videos and easily share them across social networks.

Techie Sites
Tech news about Apple, Windows 7, Ubuntu, Mac, Iphone, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft.

Stat of the Month

Forecast of Quad- and Six-Core Processor Penetration in
Notebook PCs

(Percentage of Global
Network PC Shipments)

IHS iSuppli
July 2011

Vocab Test


The name for the hash sign (#) added to a word or phrase that lets Twitter users search for tweets similarly tagged.

Browser Add-On

Google Shortcuts

Display all Google services as buttons or as a space-saving dropdown menu next to your address bar. Reach services like Gmail, Google reader, Google maps, Google calendar, and many more in a single click from your browser.

Windows 7 Gadget


Search from any search engine from this small and compact gadget. Search Google, Live, Yahoo, Ask, AltaVista, news, maps, images, music, software, weather, YouTube, eBay, Amazon, dictionary and even Wikipedia.

  Twitter Tips

Shrink your URL. Given that there is a 140-character limit for your tweets, it would be best to make use of URL-shortening services like and so you wouldn't have to waste a number of characters on those long URLs you share in your tweets.

TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus

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