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Driver Tip: Resolving Driver Issues

Whether you have recently installed a device or it came pre-installed, you will definitely have problems if the right driver isn't installed, or has become corrupted. Here are some of the things you can try to resolve a driver related issue:

  • Restart the computer — Before you do anything, try a simple restart of the computer. Sometimes the computer freezes or gets overwhelmed, and restarting the machine may resolve the problem. Bear in mind that most operating systems require that the computer be restarted after a new installation; otherwise the connected device will not work properly.

  • Disconnect and reconnect the device — Especially if the device is connected via a USB (universal serial bus) port, disconnect it and then plug it in to a different USB port. This will allow the operating system to automatically resolve problems related to minor resource conflicts. If all goes well, the OS will detect the device (assuming it is plug-and-play) and install the correct drivers.

BIOS Tip: Full Screen Logo

Rather than display a drab — and sometimes cryptic — POST screen, enabling this setting will instead display the motherboard manufacturer's boot logo, or Splash screen, if one is included. More than just window dressing, these Splash screens often display helpful tips, such as what button to press to get into the BIOS (most often the DEL key) and how to initialize the motherboard's BIOS update utility.

You only have a few seconds before the Splash screen disappears, and at that point, you can no longer get into the BIOS unless you reboot and try again. Alternately, you can usually whisk the Splash screen away by hitting the TAB key, which will then display the standard POST screen.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Increase the Speed of the Aero Taskbar Thumbnails

Many of you may notice that you experience a slight delay when you hover your mouse over a taskbar icon in Windows 7. Here is a Registry tweak that will allow you to increase the speed of it.

First type REGEDIT into the search box in the Start Menu and hit Enter.

Now navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced and right-click to create a new DWORD and name it ExtendedUIHoverTime.

Now double-click on it and give it a Decimal value of "1" click OK, close out of Registry Editor, then logoff and back on for it to go into effect.

When you come back, you'll notice when you hover your mouse over a thumbnail of an open app on the Taskbar the preview pops up instantly with no delay.

If for some reason you want to slow it down you can do that too. Just change the Decimal value to something else like 1000 which is milliseconds. Then the delay will be a lot longer. You can change the value to whatever you want for your needs. We're not sure why anyone would want to slow the preview down, but you never know.

So if you're annoyed by the small delay that takes place when hovering over a thumbnail on the Taskbar, this will fix the annoyance.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
I've heard that deleting files with the recycle bin doesn't really remove files from my hard drive, is that true?
- Richard L., Boulder, CO

Yes! Most users do not realize that Windows simply deletes the references to files and marks the space as free after emptying your recycle bin. To permanently delete files we recommend Easy File Shredder. With EFS you will be able to shred files and free disk space, so that your confidential information can't be recovered even with file recovery software. Easy File Shredder uses the same advanced algorithms that are used by the military, which guarantees secure deletion. Try it for free today!

» Download Easy File Shredder
With today's hard drive technologies, is it still necessary to defragment my hard drive?
- Sam W., Sacramento, CA

Defragmenting your hard drive quite simply means to reorganize the way information is stored on a computer disk so that all of the information belonging to a file is stored in a single, contiguous area on the disk. Since hard disk seek time is one of the most significant bottlenecks in a computer's performance, "fragmented" data can drag down your computer's speed quite a bit. If you have an excessive amount of "fragmented" files on your hard disk, you might hear extra grinding, sputtering, and other weird noises coming from your computer. That is one indication that defragmenting your hard disk is a good idea. A second indication is when your computer doesn't open files as quickly as it did before. While hard drives size have become larger over the last few years, the drives still operate and store data the same way they always have. In fact, fragmentation can eventually become even more of a problem on 48-Bit hard drives (160+ GB), so it's definitely worth checking the fragmentation level on your drives and defragmenting the drives if needed.

Recently I was asked to send someone a screenshot of something and I have no idea how to do it. Can you help me?
- Brenda M., Austin, TX

Snapping a picture of your screen is very simple. Simply press the PRTSCN key on your keyboard. This key is often located either next to the BACKSPACE key or in your top row of keys next to the function keys. Once you have pressed the PRTSCN button, open a document and click PASTE to paste that image into the document. Many users open Microsoft Paint. This method gives you an image of the entire screen. For more functionality, Click Start, type SNIP into the search field and then click the Snipping Tool when it appears. This feature gives you control over the size and shape of the screenshot you take. If you then need to send someone that screenshot, simply save the document and attach it to an email. Alternatively, you can also simply compose a new email message and Paste the image directly into the email.

Tech Tip
Did You Know That You Can Control The Volume for Individual Applications?
Windows 7 has a built-in Volume Mixer feature that allows you to set individual volume preferences for programs and applications that are active and running within Windows. To access the Windows 7 Volume Mixer, simply click the speaker icon in the lower, right side of the Windows 7 task bar, and select Mixer. Each time you access the Volume Mixer, you may see different apps, as Volume Mixer is dependent on which apps you have open. You can completely mute the volume for a specific application by clicking the speaker icon below the app within Volume Mixer. Alternatively, if you don't want to completely mute an individual program, but rather adjust the volume for that specific program, you can simply drag the sliders to the preferred volume level.

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Quote of the Month
"Two years from now, spam will be solved."

- Bill Gates, 2004

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Tubalr allows you to effortlessly listen to a band's or artist's top YouTube videos without all the clutter YouTube brings.

Techie Sites
Online Tech Tips
Computer tutorials, technology news, software reviews, and personal computing tips.

Stat of the Month

Global Media Tablet Unit Shipment Forecast
(Thousands of Units)

US Flat Panel TV Shipments Forecast
IHS iSuppli Research
February 2012

Vocab Test


Software that steals Web visitor traffic, username, passwords, and other digital property.

Browser Add-On

Facebook New Tab

Visit your favorite Facebook page quickly when a new tab is opened.

Windows 7 Gadget

Wireless Network Meter V3 Gadget

The Wireless Network Meter V3 Gadget displays information about the wireless network you are currently connected to. Easy access to information that is otherwise hard to find in Windows.

  Twitter Tips

Always use a URL shortener to shorten any links that you want to tweet. is the most trusted by the Twitter community.

TouchStoneSoftware Recommends


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Best of all — It's FREE!
(New version released
Nov. 2011)

TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus RegistryWizard BIOSAgentPlus

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