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Question and Answer
Is our PC beyond help? I'd say it's been several days since I noticed that our HP Pavilion Entertainment PC notebook with Windows 7 will either shut down for no reason or just lock up. I am then forced to shut it down and reboot. This takes forever and I'm told it's bad for Windows. My husband insists it is much slower than when we first purchased it about 18 months ago. After reading a few things online, I'm concerned we might have a virus or maybe Windows 7 has been corrupted. Based on what I've mentioned, can you offer any advice on how we can identify and repair our notebook? P.S. The simpler the solution the better. Thank you so much.
– Mary Ann T. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Believe it or not your problems are quite common. There are several causes for Windows shutting down, locking up and becoming sluggish over time. Corrupt or missing files, a hidden virus, malware or spyware. You can try to do a repair of Windows or re-install Windows. Our #1 suggestion is to use a well regarded 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 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
Recently I had an issue where my email and my online banking account were hacked by cyber thieves. My bank had explained to me that there has been a rash of these types of cyber attacks in recent years and I should make sure that I change my password periodically. In addition, they also mentioned that many of their customers had fallen prey to key logging. Can you explain to me what that is and if there is anything I can do to prevent key logging? This has been a real hassle!
– Walter W., Albuquerque, NM

Keystroke Logging or Key Logging is usually the byproduct of a trojan horse, virus, or malware installed on a computer. The goal of these small programs is to secretly record any time that you type on the keyboard. The keys and sequence of the keys are being recorded for everything that you type, with particular attention being paid to websites and fields that require log in credentials. The key logged data is then sent to a cyber thief who will exploit your accounts. As a preventive measure, TouchStoneSoftware recommends Zemana AntiLogger to detect and eliminate malware on your computer. AntiLogger adds an extra layer of essential protection to your computer.

» Download a 15-Day Free Trial of Zemana AntiLogger

» Read More About Zemana AntiLogger

I have Windows XP. Microsoft will not issue security updates after April 8. Do I need a new computer? I do some banking and stock-market transactions.
– Steve D., Tulsa, OK
You do not need a new computer. But if that is your primary desktop PC, upgrading to Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, would probably make sense. The company said in a recent blog post that the malware infection rate surged during the two years that it stopped supporting an earlier release of Windows XP. That could be a sign of things to come for the operating system when Microsoft ends all support. If your old computer doesn't meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 8, consider switching to a Mac, which offers a more stable and secure operating system. If you have XP on a low-end laptop or netbook, consider switching to a Chromebook, a relatively inexpensive and bare-bones laptop powered by Google's Web-based Chrome OS.

Driver Tip: Why You Should Always Keep Drivers Up To Date

Drivers are simply a piece of software that allows higher level computer programs like Windows to interact with a hardware device. In other words, a driver allows Windows to recognize and work with the hardware in your computer. Windows itself incorporates some basic drivers for things like mice and keyboards but most drivers are created by the manufacturer of the specific hardware device.

Drivers are required for integral devices like graphics cards, sound cards, wireless adapters and network (wired/LAN) adapters but are also needed for external hardware like printers, webcams and scanners.

Updating a driver is often a useful first step in troubleshooting any hardware related issue in Windows. Also, driver updates are often released to fix an issue with how Windows works with a piece of hardware or to enable new features for it. Therefore, even if your hardware appears to be working fine now, we normally recommend updating drivers as a preemptive measure. This helps ensure that you don’t have issues in the future, especially if the date of your existing driver is already more than a year old.

PC Performance Tip: Prevent Windows 8 Account Users From Changing Internet Settings

To begin, make sure that you have logged in as Administrator or have required administrative rights to change local group policies. First, go to Start Screen, type gpedit.msc, select Apps from right sidebar, and then click gpedit.msc in main window

This will open Local Group Policy Editor. Now, go to the following location and open Network Connection policy settings.

Local Computer Policy/ User Configuration/ Administrative Templates/ Network

In the main window, double-click Prohibit access to properties of components of a LAN connection policy setting.

This will open a separate window, from where you can tweak with the default policy setting. At the top, there are Not Configured, Enabled and Disabled options available. Selecting each setting will let you read its effect in Help section. To enable Prohibit access to properties of components of a LAN connection, just select Enabled from the list and click OK.

It will take you back to the Local Group Policy Editor. Now, look for Prohibit access to properties of a LAN connection and double-click it to change this policy setting. In its' policy setting window, select Enabled and click OK. If you did everything right, you will see Enabled under the State column for both aforementioned policy settings.

Once done, you need to enforce the changes made to policy settings. To do so, close the Local Group Policy Editor and open the Run dialog box. Enter the command gpupdate /force and click OK. The policy will be updated and applied on all user accounts.

This will immediately disable Properties button in the Internet connection dialog, restricting your PC users from changing the internet connection settings.


» Perform a registry scan now!

BIOS Tip – State After Power Fail

We get asked a lot of questions about what each setting in the BIOS does. Every so often we will review a setting in this space and explain what the setting does. In this issue we are going to discuss the setting State After Power Fail.

The setting State After Power Fail deals with the state of your system after the system loses power. In some systems it may be called Power On After Power Fail. In that case the setting is self explanatory. If you set Power On After Power Fail to YES, then when power resumes the system will power on. If you set it to NO, then the system will remain off when power resumes.

However with State After Power Fail, you will have several options.

The first option is a setting called Stay Off. This setting, when selected, will keep your computer off when the power is restored.

The second option is a setting called Last State. This setting, when selected, will put your system in the state it was in when power was lost.

The third option is a setting called Power On. This setting, when selected, will turn the system on when power is restored. If you have a setting that you would like explained in a future newsletter, please let us know.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Use a Picture Password in Windows 8
Using a picture password is a fun way to keep your device secure while not having to remember a complex password. To enable it, press the Windows key + I to get to the settings charm. Click "Change PC settings" at the bottom right, and go to the Users tab. Under "Sign-in options" will be the "Create a picture password" button. This will give you the option to choose any picture, and then define three gestures anywhere on the image.

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Quote of the Month
"Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant."

- Mitchell Kapor

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Watch hundreds of movies and TV shows online. Crackle offers all your favorite genres uncut, unedited, and unbelievably free.
Useful Site
Fast, Friendly, Free general computer help.

Stat of the Month

Next-Gen Video Game Console Sales

Next-Gen Video Game Console SalesMillions of hardware units sold. As of March 08, 2014

Vocab Test


A form of shareware in which the author requests that in lieu of sending him or her money, you donate blood to the Red Cross.

Browser Add-On

Facebook Sidebar

Brings Facebook right into your Firefox. Get notifications, status and photos from Facebook instantly.

SmartPhone App

TuneIn Radio

Lets you listen to the world’s radio with music, sports, news, talk, and comedy streaming from every continent.

Twitter Tip

You’ll have a better chance of being retweeted by others if you make it easy for them to do so. While you have 140 characters to play with in Twitter, try to restrict yourself to 120.

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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