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Driver Tip: Having Problems After Upgrading Hardware

If you are experiencing weird issues after upgrading your hardware, or you've just upgraded to the latest hardware device and aren't seeing the performance you'd like? You may want to remove the old drivers, which are still installed for the old hardware, even though you can't readily see them in device manager.

What you have to do is set a less-known flag to allow you to see non-present devices, and then launch device manager. You'll then see the old devices in the list, and can uninstall the drivers for them.

In Windows 7 or Vista, the first thing you'll need to do is open a command prompt in administrator mode. Type cmd into the start menu search box, and then use Ctrl+Shift+Enter to open in administrator mode. (You can also right-click on the command prompt and choose Run as Administrator)

Paste in the following line:


Open Device Manager. Once you are in Device Manager, go to the View menu and choose Show Hidden Devices, which will show all the device drivers including things that aren't currently installed in your computer.

You can right-click on the driver and then choose Uninstall from the menu to remove the drivers for that old hardware.

We've found that this can resolve a lot of weird issues, and even increase performance on some machines where you've upgraded a bunch of times. This isn't necessarily going to increase performance, but it's nice to have a tidy computer nonetheless.

This works the same in Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

BIOS Tip: Improve Your Boot Up Speed By Upgrading Your BIOS

Does your system take a little too long to boot up? You can cut considerable time off of your boot time by tweaking the BIOS settings a bit. One of the ways is to adjust the QUICK POWER ON SELF TEST setting. This may also be called FAST BOOT, or QUICK BOOT.

Do you really want your system to test the RAM each time you boot up? Let me tell you that if you have more than 265MB, then no, you don't, because the process can take minutes. Also, the RAM test won't catch anything but the most catastrophic of RAM issues so it's next to useless. So, to save time, leave the setting enabled.

Another way of improving your boot time is by simply updating the BIOS. Upgrading your BIOS can improve not only the boot up speed, but also significantly improve the overall performance of your computer as well.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

PC Performance Tip: Remove Programs From The OPEN WITH Menu in Explorer

Would you like to clean up the Open with menu in Windows Explorer? Here's how you can remove program entries you don't want in this menu on any version of Windows.

Have you ever accidently opened an mp3 with Notepad, or a zip file with Word? If so, you're also likely irritated that these programs now show up in the Open with menu in Windows Explorer every time you select one of those files. Whenever you open a file type with a particular program, Windows will add an entry for it to the Open with menu. Usually this is helpful, but it can also clutter up the menu with wrong entries.

For example, if you have tried to open a PDF file with Word and Notepad, neither which can actually view the PDF itself. You can remove these entries. To do this, we need to remove the registry entries for these programs. Enter regedit in your Start menu search or in the Run command to open the Registry editor.

Now, browse to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \ Explorer \FileExts\

Here you'll see a list of all the file extensions that are registered on your computer.

Browse to the file extension you wish to edit, click the white triangle beside it to see the subfolders, and select OpenWithList. In our test, we want to change the programs associated with PDF files, so we select the OpenWithList folder under .pdf.

Notice the names of the programs under the Data column on the right. Right-click the value for the program you don't want to see in the Open With menu and select Delete.

Click Yes at the prompt to confirm that you want to delete this value.

Repeat these steps with all the programs you want to remove from this file type's Open with menu. You can go ahead and remove entries from other file types as well if you wish.

Once you've removed the entries you didn't want to see, check out the Open with menu in Explorer again. Now it will be much more streamlined and will only show the programs you want to see.

» Perform a registry scan now!

Question and Answer
I have icons on my desk for web pages I visit frequently. A lot of times I'll be doing something in one web site, when I need to look at another. But, when I click the icon for the new site on my desktop, it takes over the page I'm using. How do I set the properties for the icons on my desktop to always open in their own page?
– George T., Sacramento, CA
  1. Open up Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on Tools --> Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Scroll down to the browsing category and un-check the box that says "reuse windows for launching "shortcuts".

When you now click on a link from your desktop it will now always open the page in a new window. The latest version of IE it now utilizes something called tabbed browsing, which would open the site in a new tab. This would prevent you from having to make any changes to the system.

I have a set of USB headphones plugged into my system, but I am still getting music out of my PC speakers. How come?
- Michael G., San Antonio, TX

What's happening here is that the program playing the audio doesn't realize that you have a set of USB headphones connected. To fix this, check the program's audio settings and make sure that USB Headphones are selected as an OUTPUT source. If the application doesn't have such a setting, click START, CONTROL PANEL, and HARDWARE AND SOUND, then click MANAGE AUDIO DEVICES under SOUND. Click the PLAYBACK tab and then select your USB Headphones. Click the SET DEFAULT button and then click OK.

Can you tell me how to burn a music CD using Windows Media Player? I haven't been able to figure it out.
- Peter C., St. Louis, MO

Open Windows Media Player. Click the BURN tab at the right of the window and then drag music from your library into the Burn List. Place a blank CD into your computer's drive and then click START BURN.

Tech Tip
Want Windows to Boot Up Quietly? Disable Your Windows Startup Sound!
If you don't want Windows to play the Startup sound every time your power on your PC, click the Start button and then click Control Panel. Click Hardware And Sound and then click Change System Sounds in the Sound area. Uncheck the Play Windows Startup Sound box and then click the OK button.

TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus RegistryWizard BIOSAgentPlus
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Stat of the Month

Global Average Selling Prices for the Hard Disk Drive Market
(US Dollars)

Global Average Selling Prices for the Hard Disk Drive Market
Source: IHS iSuppli Research
June 2012

Vocab Test


A slang term for the universe that YouTube spawned, it specifically refers to dozens of video websites.

Browser Add-On

Facebook Touch Panel

Lets you quick check your Facebook Notifications and Messages by a special touch Panel without leaving your web experience.

Windows 7 Gadget

The Magic Folder

Lets you define a custom list of folders that you can open with just a click or two.

  Twitter Tips

Replying, re-tweeting, or simply responding to someone's tweet can have a lot of long-term value. When artists, celebrities, or public figures do this it is the equivalent of an autograph.

TouchStoneSoftware Recommends


Fast, easy, and free updates and downloads of the latest software. Keep track of the latest versions of your installed software automatically.

iPhone App



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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