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Question and Answer
Is it time to buy a new notebook? Up until recently, my Dell Inspiron notebook has been great. But for the past week, it takes several minutes to boot-up, has shut off without notice and is operating noticeably slower. Can you share some insight as to what can be causing these problems? I am not a "computer geek". Therefore, I need a simple and safe solution to identify the problem and more importantly, fix it. Thanks TouchStoneSoftware!
– Marcus A., San Francisco, CA

Believe it or not your problems are not uncommon these days. Everyday use of a PC over time can and will take its toll on performance and stability. For instance, Windows shutting down or locking up, coupled with becoming sluggish over time can be caused by corrupt or missing files, a hidden virus, malware, or spyware. Our #1 trusted suggestion is to use a well known application called Reimage. In a matter of minutes, Reimage repairs & replaces corrupted files, removes virus damage & much more.

First, the Reimage preliminary scan will detect all errors on your PC's Operating System. The repair process removes and replaces damaged files found during the scan. During repair, Reimage's not only removes damage, but also reverses the damage done to your Windows OS by replacing corrupted and deleted files with fresh Windows files and components from their continuously updated online database. Your PC's performance, stability and security will be restored and improved.

» Download Reimage

I have been reading about the benefits of keeping your PC in shape. Is there such a thing as a PC "Tune-Up" program that you can recommend?
- Camille S., Boston, MA

That's an interesting way to put it. If you want to give your PC a quick tune-up or cleaning, try TouchStoneSoftware's all new award winning RegistryWizard application. It's super fast and easy to use. Best of all RegistryWizard has a free trial. RegistryWizard's powerful scan and repair technology will automatically identify Windows registry problems and provides a complete registry report detailing harmful system conflicts and errors. Plus the new version has a "Windows Tweaks" feature for optimized Windows performance and now offers a complete history cleaner tool.

» Download Registry Wizard

I plan to buy a smartphone in the next week or two and I’m wondering if you think there is any advantage in getting an iPhone (versus say, a Samsung Galaxy S III) since I have a Mac. Does it really matter what kind of cell phone you get in terms of computer compatibility?
– Sandra L., Raleigh, NC

It doesn't matter much because you can transfer photos, music and other files from Android smartphones and iPhones to both Windows-based computers and Macs, and vice versa. Major e-mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo sync easily with both mobile operating systems. Your carrier should be able to transfer any contacts stored on your old phone or SIM card, while contacts stored on your e-mail service will sync automatically.

If your music library is stored in Apple's iTunes and having access to those files on your phone is the top priority, then going with an iPhone would be the better choice. But outside of that, consider other factors, such as how well you like the smartphone's physical attributes and user interface.

Driver Tip: Check Your Driver Versions

If you are having issues with your computer it’s often necessary to check the versions of drivers that you have installed on your system, especially when the problem is with display drivers, which always seem to have the most issues.

There’s a command line utility that comes bundled with Windows that gives you similar output. It’s called driverquery.

Running the command with no parameters will give you the default output.

To get detailed output you can use the /v parameter: driverquery /v

Or to output in list or csv format instead of the default table format, you can use the /FO switch:

Driverquery /FO [list, table, csv]

You can check out the full list of parameters to use with the command here

PC Performance Tip: How To Disable Windows 8 Lock Screen

The newly added Lock Screen is basically designed for tablet PCs, allowing users to quickly view the applications notifications, battery status, date and time, WiFi status/dynamic network icon etc. Although Windows 8 lets you tweak both Start and Lock Screen UI elements, it doesn’t provide an option to permanently disable it. You may know that Microsoft Management Console snap-in called Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE) allows system administrators to tweak system core components and change default behavior of native utilities. Using the LGPE, you can easily disable the Lock Screen for all PC users. By default, Windows 8 shows Lock Screen at startup, but when it’s disabled, it takes you directly to Logon screen to choose the user account to log in to Windows.

Changing system settings from Local Group Policy Editor requires administrative privileges. So, log in to Windows as administrator, and on Start Screen, type gpedit.msc. Hit Enter to open Local Group Policy Editor.

Now, expand Administrative Templates settings from Computer Configuration, and then navigate to Control Panel –> Personalization. In main window, you will find Do not display the lock screen policy.

Simply, double-click this policy and tick Enabled checkbox. This will permanently disable Lock Screen. When disabled, users will see the Logon screen when they log off or lock Windows. Similarly, you will be taken to Logon screen, instead of Lock Screen, at startup.

It’s worth mentioning here that if it fails to disable the Lock Screen, then you may need to reboot your PC to implement the Lock Screen policy. In order to enable the Lock Screen for all users, all you need is to open the Local Group Policy Editor from an admin account, navigate to aforementioned setting, and enable Not Configured option.

» Perform a registry scan now!

BIOS Tip – Virus Warning

Many BIOS will have a setting called Virus Warning. This is different than any Anti-Virus software that you may have installed on your system. This is Boot Sector virus protection which protects the boot sector or partition table of your hard drive. When this function is enabled, if someone or something attempts to write to the boot sector or partition table of the hard drive, a warning message will appear on screen and an alarm will sound. When disabled, you will not get a warning message and no alarm will sound. This feature only protects the boot sector of the hard drive, it does not protect the entire drive. Your anti-virus program installed on your system will take care of the rest of the drive. Obviously, it is a very good idea to keep this option enabled in the BIOS.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Accessing All of Windows 8's Features
If you're running into difficulties accessing some of Windows 8's features, it might be because you do not have a registered Microsoft account. You need a Microsoft account to access many of Windows 8's features.

TouchStoneSoftware UndeletePlus RegistryWizard BIOSAgentPlus

Follow Us

Quote of the Month
“I think the Internet is really good in general because it helps people get access to more information.”

– Mark Zuckerberg

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Listen to online radio, find streaming music radio and streaming talk radio with TuneIn.

Useful Site
Computer Tips, Tricks and PC Troubleshooting. provides useful, informative and helpful articles and quick tips for every aspect of computing.

Stat of the Month

Global Shipment Forecast for High-Speed Wireless-Enabled Devices
(Millions of Units)

Global Monthly LCD-TV Panel Shipments
Source: IHS Research
December 2013

Vocab Test

Digital Detox

A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers.

Browser Add-On


Easily organize and share your personal media and online content on all of your devices, no matter where you are.

SmartPhone App


The Dijit Universal Remote app turns your Android phone or tablet into a personalized remote control with TV guide show listings.

Twitter Tip

Retweet and participate in conversations with people with a lot of followers.

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.

(New Version - May 2013)
  • iPad Support
  • Improved 'Activity' Section
  • Improved 'Processes' Section
  • Improved 'Battery' Section
  • Improved 'System' Information
  • Improved 'Network' Section
Best of all — It's FREE!

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