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Driver Tip: Laptop Battery Charging Issues

Are you having problems with your laptop battery not charging? Have you ever thought that it could be a device driver issue? Well it very well could be.

There are some default battery device drivers which are bundled in Windows 7. These drivers try to control the battery charging properly, but for some laptops, these drivers may not function well. In such cases, users face problems like the laptop battery does not charge even when the battery is low and the power adaptor is properly plugged into the laptop. In such cases, it’s better to download compatible battery drivers and install them instead of the Windows default drivers.

To uninstall the default drivers, navigate to your Device Manager in Windows. In the Device Manager, locate Batteries > Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, right click on it and choose Uninstall. After you do this, restart the laptop and the battery charging should start to function normally.

BIOS Tip: HDD S.M.A.R.T. Monitor

One of the settings you will find in your BIOS is something called HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability. What is that setting and what does it do? Well S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Smart Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology.

S.M.A.R.T. is supported by all current hard disks and it allows the early prediction and warning of impending hard disk disasters. You should enable it if you want to use S.M.A.R.T.-aware utilities to monitor the hard disk's condition. Enabling it also allows the monitoring of the hard disk's condition over a network.

S.M.A.R.T. is useful in providing a modicum of data loss prevention by continuously monitoring hard disks for signs of impending failure. If you have critical or irreplaceable data, you should enable this BIOS feature and use an S.M.A.R.T.-aware hardware monitoring software. Just don't rely completely on it. Back up your data on a CD or DVD!
Some of the newer BIOS now come with S.M.A.R.T. monitoring support built-in. When you enable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability, these new BIOS will automatically check the hard disk's S.M.A.R.T. status at boot-up. However, such a feature has very limited utility as it can only tell you the status of the hard disk at boot-up. Therefore, it is still advisable for you to disable HDD S.M.A.R.T. Capability unless you use a proper S.M.A.R.T.-aware monitoring utility.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Removing “Shortcut” text from Shortcut icons

A source of annoyance for many Windows users is when the word “Shortcut” is added to the name of newly created shortcuts, and every time you have to manually edit the shortcut and remove that text.

There is an easy registry tweak that will remove the word “Shortcut” from all shortcut icons. This tweak works in Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

  1. Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

  2. On the right-hand side you’ll find a key that is just called “link”, with a default value of 1e 00 00 00. Open this key up and change the 1e to 00 instead, leaving you with 00 00 00 00.

  3. You’ll have to log off and then back on to make this change take effect. Please note that this won’t affect existing shortcuts, only shortcuts that you create from now on.
To change the setting back, just change back to the 1e value, log off and back on.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
I've learned the importance of updating the drivers on my Acer Aspire notebook. However, before I install the latest drivers, is there an easy way to back-up or save my current drivers?
– Kathy C, Albany, NY

The best driver back up tool that TouchStoneSoftware tested is called and it's FREE! Driver-Backup is designed to quickly locate your drivers and back them up to the CLOUD or locally on your PC. You can then download those drivers at a later time from any location and restore them. is a very useful tool to have when updating drivers.

When I start up my laptop one thing I usually do is increase the display brightness to its maximum setting. Someone told me I shouldn’t do this because it can harm the laptop. What’s the real story?
– Eddie T., Rock City, WA
Older laptops used to rely on Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tubes as the backlight source. These had a pretty short lifespan and using the maximum brightness settings could decrease that life even more. These days the Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tubes have a much longer life and in many systems White LED’s are used instead. White LED’s have an incredibly long working life. So if you are using a newer laptop turning up the brightness will have no adverse effect on the system or the display hardware.
I’m using Windows 7. In the past whenever I was having issues with my computer, I would do a System Restore to fix it. But lately when I try to do that, I get “System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer’s system files and settings were not changed.” Can you tell me what is wrong?
– Daniel A., Kent, OH
System Restore can fail for a number of reasons, and when a user encounters problems, one of the best procedures is to run it in Safe Mode. To start Windows 7 in Safe Mode, restart the computer. Press and hold the F8 key as the computer restarts. If you see the Windows logo, you waited too long to press F8. Eventually you will see an Advanced Boot Options screen. Use the Arrows on your keyboard to highlight the Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter. Now that you’re running in Safe Mode, you can try System Restore again. Click Start, then Control Panel, and select System and Security. Select Action Center and finally select Recovery. Click on Open System Restore and then select a restore point.

Tech Tip
TouchStoneSoftware’s iOptimizer - The Ultimate App to Get the Most Out of Your iPhone!
iOptimizer is the ultimate application for getting to know your iPhone, iPad or iPod better. iOptimizer monitors the performance of your device, so that you can configure it for optimal use. It will also help you find out everything about your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch both on the system and on the user level. iOptimizer is powerful, intuitive, and extremely easy to set up and use. Best of all – it’s FREE!

» Download iOptimizer here.

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Quote of the Month
"Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest."

- Isaac Asimov

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
This site monitors the availability of hot products across a variety of websites. A very useful site for your holiday shopping.
Techie Sites
The aim of this site is to be the best self-help guide to resolving problems you may have with your Windows-compatible computer.

Stat of the Month

Worldwide 4G LTE Subscriber Forecast

IHS iSuppli Research
November 2011

Vocab Test

A citizen of the Internet, as in, one who spends a significant amount of time online or is an experienced user of the Net.

Browser Add-On

Automatically finds lower prices and money-saving coupons from thousands of retailers while you shop. PriceBlink stays hidden until you are shopping.

Windows 7 Gadget

This gadget allows you to bring Facebook right into your windows desktop. With it you'll be able to change your status, see your friend’s statuses, groups, notifications, albums and events without even having to open your web browser.

  Twitter Tips
Instead of having to absorb a wide range of tweets from the perhaps hundreds of tweeters you follow, you can use Twitter Lists to better organize the content that is shared and zero-in on a particular topic. Tweeters can create their own lists, or follow lists other people have created.

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