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Driver Tip: The Advantages of Updating Video Card Drivers

We get asked a lot if there really are any advantages to upgrading the drivers for your video card. Does it really make a difference?

Well the answer is yes. It does make a difference. There are several reasons to update your Video Card drivers. Here are a few:

First, if you are a gamer you will notice the difference much more than the average computer user. Secondly, if you are someone who watches a lot of movies or videos on your computer, up to date drivers are a must.

With many of today's game titles and streaming video technologies, the need for more advanced video cards has arisen. Along with the new equipment it is important that you keep your drivers up to date.

Keeping your video drivers up to date fixes Limited Screen Resolution settings, along with providing support for higher refresh rates, It will also eliminate jitters in 3D modeling.

The newest driver will help with video creation/editing software and eliminate skips and pauses during video playback. The drivers will fix issues where videos play normally when scaled down, but play poorly or refuse to play at full

BIOS Tip: Using Default BIOS Settings

Are you having trouble with your computer? Do you have a suspicion that the issues may be BIOS related? Perhaps you are receiving BIOS or CMOS error messages, or Beep Codes at startup. Perhaps you are receiving hardware related errors in Windows, or even experiencing periodic Blue Screens in Windows. Maybe you have updated your BIOS and some things just don't seem right.

These problems can be the result of a Windows Update, installation of new hardware, installation of new drivers, overclocking, configuration changes in the CMOS setup, or just a single change in your system's configuration. The result is often configuration or compatibility issues stored in the CMOS Setup. If this is the case, these problems can often be resolved by resetting CMOS settings by loading either the default CMOS/BIOS settings, clearing the CMOS, or by upgrading the BIOS.

Always start with the simplest solution first. Enter the CMOS setup utility during the startup of your PC. Then load the defaults by selecting Load Fail-Safe Defaults, Load BIOS Defaults, or whatever your BIOS manufacturer has named this function in your particular type and version of BIOS. Be sure to save your changes before exiting the CMOS Setup.

If this has resolved your problem you can then start tweaking the CMOS settings again to optimize performance, or try loading the Optimized defaults from the CMOS setup. Continue tweaking the CMOS settings until you have configured your system to meet your requirements and preferences. If problems reoccur, repeat the process until you pinpoint the setting that is causing the problem and make the appropriate change.

If loading the defaults does not correct the problem clear the CMOS by powering off the system, unplugging it, and removing the CMOS battery for 8-10 hours. Then put the battery back, reconnect the power, and restart the PC. Note: You will need to enter the CMOS setup reset the date and time, and save the new date and time settings before exiting. Confirm if your problem is fixed, and again, proceed to tweaking the CMOS settings if desirable.

If you still suspect you have BIOS related issues after loading default CMOS/BIOS settings, or clearing your CMOS, you may need to upgrade your BIOS to support the latest system/configuration changes made to your PC. Visit your system manufacturer's website, or use a program like BIOSAgentPlus ( to see if there is a newer BIOS available for your PC.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Add Registry Editor to Control Panel

We have many customers that use the Registry Editor a lot and have asked if there is an easier way to access it. Maybe through the Control Panel. There is a registry tweak to add the registry editor as another option in your Control Panel in any version of Windows.

Open Notepad. Write down the following code:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
@="Registry Editor"
"InfoTip="Launch the Registry Editor"



@="Add Registry Editor to Control Panel"

Click file -> Save as -> name as you like.reg ; change file type from text to all files and click OK. Just double click the registry file and accept the security prompts.

Alternatively, you can download the reg file here. Unzip the file, and click on the file to add this to your registry. The zip file also contains a file to undo this registry change.

  » Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
Lately when I click on an attachment in my Outlook Express, a new window opens, but the window is blank. What could be causing this?
— Amanda C., Carlin, NV

Perhaps your email client doesn’t allow you to open attachments. This may be because it is trying to prevent viruses. You need to change your security settings to fix this. In Outlook Express, click Tools, and Options. When the Options dialog box appears, select the Security tab. Look for the option that says Do Not Allow Attachments To Be Saved Or Opened That Could Potentially Be A Virus. There may be a check mark in this box. If so, remove it. You should now be able to open attachments.

I keep getting messages such as "Windows needs your permission to continue" when I try to change things in Windows. How do I disable these annoying prompts in Windows 7 or Windows Vista?
— David W., Cleveland, OH
These messages are caused by User Account Control (UAC) settings. Here is how you can disable those prompts. In Windows 7, Click Start and choose Control Panel. Then choose User Accounts, User Accounts (again) and then Change User Account Control Settings.

A window will open saying Choose when to be notified about changes to your computer”. In this window, drag the slider on the left all the way to the bottom to “Never Notify” then click OK. This will completely disable UAC. You may be prompted to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Do so when you can. If you are not prompted the changes will take effect immediately.

In Windows Vista, Click Start, and choose Control Panel. Then choose User Accounts and Family Safety. Click on User Accounts, then Turn User Account Control on or off.

The standard User Account Control Prompt will display “Windows needs your permission to continue”. Don’t worry; these pesky prompts will be disabled shortly. Click Continue. You should now be presented with a window that says “Turn on User Account Control (UAC) to make your computer more secure”. Uncheck the box next to “Use User Account Contol (UAC) to help protect your computer”. Now click OK. This will completely disable UAC. You may be prompted to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Do so when you can. If you are not prompted the changes will take effect immediately.
I'm having a problem with files opening in the correct programs automatically. For example, when I try to open an MPG filer, it asks me which program to use when it should be using Media Player. I went to the file association list and the file type is not listed. What am I doing wrong?
— Henry P., Greensburg, PA
To associate any file with the program that should be able to open it, save the file to a folder on your hard drive. Right click on it, and select Properties. On the >General tab under Open With, click the Change button. If you do not see program listed, click Browse. Navigate to the program file (this will likely be on your C: drive in the Programs folder), and select it to force Windows to associate that file type with that program with a double click.

Tech Tip
Notebook Problems? Perhaps a Dead Laptop? TouchStoneSoftware has the tools to find the problem!

Do you or a family member work on PCs?
We are now offering the award winning CheckIt PC Diagnostics Software for FREE to customers that take advantage of our PC DIAG POSTcard. This unique gift is perfect for the techie in the family.

» Click here for details and our special offer.

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Quote of the Month
"The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before."

- Bill Gates

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Show a list of free WiFi access points in a town or city of your location. The contents of web site are updated regularly, so the information is always fresh and relevant.
Techie Sites
Provide in-depth reviews of the latest and greatest PC and consumer electronics technology.

Stat of the Month

Amazon will sell 12 million units of the Kindle Fire in 2012, grabbing 15% of the tablet market, 2nd only to Apple.

Source: Business Insider 11/23/11

Vocab Test

Slang for a software version that has so many extra features, it takes up a large amount of space on your hard drive and slows down your computer system for no valuable reason.

Browser Add-On

Displays tabs in tiles within Firefox. Tiles can be arranged horizontally, vertically or in a grid.

Windows 7 Gadget
Magic Folder

This gadget can make your file managing task easier with just a simple drag and drop. Magic Folder mainly helps you categorize and move files in their specified folders on the Windows Explorer.

  Twitter Tips
Let other Twitter users know you're tweeting to them or about them by including users' Twitter usernames in your tweets. For example, instead of saying "I love TouchStoneSoftware," you might tweet "I love @TouchStoneSoftware."

TouchStoneSoftware Recommends

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