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BIOS Tip: Improving Boot Speed Through BIOS Settings

Tweaking your BIOS settings can be a good way to get your system to boot faster. Just a simple change of some of the key settings can make dramatic differences in how fast your system boots up.

Enable the "Quick Boot" Feature: Many newer PC's have a special BIOS setting, usually called "Quick Boot" or "Quick Power On Self Test" that can be enabled to make the boot take less time. Try enabling this setting; this will cause the BIOS to skip some of the normal test routines that it performs at boot time, speeding up the boot process.

Remove the Boot Delay Setting: Some PC's have a BIOS setting that you can use to intentionally delay the boot-up of the PC by several seconds. This setting is often called "Boot Delay" or "Power-on Delay". This can be useful when the BIOS is booting too quickly, causing hard disk drives to be booted before they are ready. However, it also slows the boot process down, so make sure that it is only enabled if it is needed.

Disable Floppy Drive Seek: Also called "Boot Up Floppy Seek." Most PCs have a BIOS setting to disable floppy drive seeking, which is the short access the BIOS makes to the floppy disk just before it boots the system. This seek (unless disabled) is performed regardless of whether the system is being booted from the hard disk or floppy disk. Disabling the seek speeds up the boot process by a couple of seconds. This doesn't really have any negative impact on the system, although if you are having problems with your floppy drive you will probably want to re-enable the seek as this makes troubleshooting some types of problems easier.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Registry Tip: Opening Explorer from My Computer

Are you the kind of person who wants a lot more control of your computer and that "My Computer" icon just isn't cutting it? Would you rather windows explorer opened when you clicked on "My Computer"? Then this little trick is for you.

By default, when you click on the My Computer icon, you get a display of all your drives, the Control Panel etc. If you would like to have this open the Explorer:
  1. Open RegEdit by clicking START then typing REGEDIT in the search box. Click REGEDIT in the program list to open the Registry Editor.
  2. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\ {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}\Shell
  3. Add a new Key named "Open" if it does not exists by right clicking "Shell" and selecting new.
  4. Add a new Key named "Command" by right clicking "Open" and selecting new
  5. Set the (Default) value for the Command Key to "Explorer.exe" or "C:\Windows\Explorer.exe"

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
Time for a new notebook? My problem is my HP notebook has become sluggish and will randomly shut down for no reason. I have a 3 year old HP Pavilion running Windows 7 with 4GB of RAM and a huge hard drive that is only half full. It was suggested that I reinstall Windows, but I am nervous about losing important files and photos on my hard drive and it seems complicated. Can you suggest a simple tool that will safely restore Windows and help clean up the junk programs? Thanks...hopefully this will bring my notebook back to life.
- Bobby F., Pittsburgh PA

Thank you for the question. A wonderful tool that we have suggested in the past is Reimage. Reimage is a safe and easy to use program that fixes your Windows OS and eliminates the need for reinstalling the entire operating system like Windows 7 or Windows XP. Reimage automatically reverses the damage already done with a full on-line library of replacement files. This should be exactly what you are looking for to pump some new life into your notebook.

» Download Reimage
When I visit websites now, the text on the page is so small I can hardly read it. What happened and how do I fix it?
- Nancy L., Sacramento, CA

Most likely, you were using your mouse scroll wheel when on the web and you accidentally pushed the CONTROL key. You can return the page to the correct size by pressing the CONTROL again and scrolling the mouse wheel up. Another way to fix it is to set the Zoom setting to 100%. In Internet Explorer, click View, Zoom, 100%. In Chrome, click the wrench icon and then enter 100 next to Zoom.

I'm trying to decide on whether to install a 64-bit operating system on my computer or stick with a 32 bit. Is there any advantage to using a 64-bit version over a 32-bit version?
– Richard C., Taylorville, IL

There are several benefits in going with a 64 bit operating system. With a 64 bit operating system you can use a maximum of 4GB of RAM. 64 bit operating systems run very fast with 4GB of RAM and you can upgrade your RAM to 8 or 16GB later. Security is also much better with 64 bit versions of Windows. 64 bit device drivers are digitally signed, which means you will not have random crashes. Since 64-bit systems process more information and support more RAM, they are more responsive when running complex applications or many applications simultaneously. If you're someone who uses graphics applications like Photoshop, video editing, games, etc. You should definitely go with 64 bit.

Tech Tip
Find a file on your system FAST!
Find a file fast. If you know the name (or even part of the name) of the file you're looking for, click the Start button and then enter the name into the Search Programs And Files folder. When you press the ENTER key, Windows will scour your hard drive for the file and display a list of files related to that name. You can find your file here. Right-click it and then click Open File Location to see the file in its folder.

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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."

- Stephen Hawking

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Allows users to find out what their friends are reading, and what tweets they have added to their list of favorites to save and read later. Good for people who want to search for some top tweets regarding a certain topic or subject.

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

Stat of the Month

US Video Game Console Sales - March 2012
(Thousands of Units)

US Flat Panel TV Shipments Forecast
Courtesy of Digital Digest
April 2012

Vocab Test


A term used to describe the act of driving around looking for an unsecured wireless network to break into, which is illegal in most U.S. states.

Browser Add-On


TabJump is a Google Chrome tab manager / navigator. It lets you quickly jump to most used tabs, related tabs to your current tab and much more.

Windows 7 Gadget

Ultimate Explorer

Search popular sites from your desktop without having to go to those sites first in your browser.

  Twitter Tips

Sometimes it makes sense to not run a link at the end of the tweet. More people may click on it if it's in the middle or at the beginning — partly because it looks different, so it draws the eye.

TouchStoneSoftware Recommends



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!
(New version released
Nov. 2011)

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