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Question and Answer
Last week my home PC was attacked by a virus and spyware that I have since removed. But now Windows 8 shuts down or freezes unexpectedly. Plus, Google Chrome is very slow and today I noticed my homepage keeps changing. My friend thinks my browser was hijacked. I've checked everything I can think of. Do you have a suggestion what could be causing my problems and how I can safely fix it? Thank you TouchStoneSoftware?
– Sharon B., Delray Beach, FL
Your situation is pretty common. There are several causes for Windows shutting down and slow browsers after a virus or malware attack, such as corrupt or missing files, a hidden virus or spyware. All can cause PC havoc. Our top suggestion is to use a program called Reimage. Within minutes of checking your system, Reimage not only repairs & replaces corrupted files, but it removes virus damage & much more. First, Reimage's free scan will safely detect any Window's errors on your PC. Next, Reimage actually repairs damage to Windows by replacing corrupted and deleted files with fresh Windows files and components from their updated database. Within minutes, your PC's performance, stability and security will be restored and improved.

» Click here for more information on Reimage
I've recently been getting an "invalid path" error when I try to install programs on my Windows 7 netbook. I've Googled the term, but all the instructions to fix seem complicated. Can you suggest an easier solution? I don't have time for these types of problems!
– Joe F., Baltimore, MD

TouchStoneSoftware has a program named RegistryWizard that will fix these invalid path errors. RegistryWizard is your all-in-one tool for correcting errors in your registry and will help optimize and stabilize the performance of your computer. The new version has a "Windows Tweaks" feature for optimized Windows performance and now offers a complete browser cleaner tool.

» Download RegistryWizard

I have Windows 7 running on a Dell desktop, which I leave turned on but logged off of the Internet. Every six weeks or so, when I clear the screen saver first thing in the morning, I get a Windows message, "An external storage device has been connected." Before I can acknowledge it, it disappears. Any idea of the source of this? I'm mostly concerned that some type of virus could be downloading info from the PC?
– David K., Denver, CO

Driver Tip: Installing Drivers Without A Setup or Install File

We are still asked how to install drivers that do not contain a Setup or Install file. If the file is not a single executable file, then most likely it will be a CAB file or a ZIP file. In those cases, extract the file to a location on your hard drive. Then:

1. Right-click My Computer
2. Choose Properties
3. Choose Device Manager
4. Right click on the device and click Properties
5. Choose Driver and click Update Driver
6. You will be asked to browse for the new driver. Locate the folder you placed it in choose the appropriate file

PC Performance Tip: Change Your Logon Screen Background

Changing the wallpaper on your desktop is one of the easiest things to do in Windows. But if you can have that display any image you want, why not do the same with your logon screen?

1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows

2. Find the OEMBackground key; or right-click in the right pane and select New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value to create it (and then give it that name)
3. Double-click on OEMBackground to open it
4. Change the value in the Value data field to 1
5. Click OK
6. Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your Windows directory, then System32oobe. If there’s a folder in here called info, go into it; if there’s a folder inside of that one called backgrounds, go into that. If neither exists, you’ll need to create them both first.
7. Copy the image (it must be a JPEG, and smaller than 256KB in size) you want to use as your logon screen background into the infobackgrounds folder
8. Rename the image backgroundDefault.jpg (Note: If you choose an image that’s sized differently than your desktop and you change your resolution, it will be adjusted to fit—with a possible loss in quality. The infobackground folder also supports 12 other files of specific resolutions. The files should be named backgroundXXXXX.jpg, where the XXXXX is one of the following: 900×1440, 960×1280, 1024×1280, 1280×1024, 1024×768, 1280×960, 1600×1200, 1440×900, 1920×1200, 1280×768, or 1360×768. For example, background1920x1200.jpg will be used at 1,920-by-1,200 resolution, and so on)

The next time you restart your computer, or log out, you’ll see this image as the new logon screen. If you chose an image that prevents the buttons and text from looking their best on the logon screen, you can adjust their appearance as well.

1. Navigate back to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows
(you’re not going into Background this time)
2. Add a DWORD value called ButtonSet
3. Change its value to either 1 (darker text shadows and lighter buttons, intended for lighter backgrounds) or 2 (no text shadows and opaque buttons, for darker backgrounds); 0 is the Windows default

Please Note: Before performing these tweaks, we recommend backing up your systems registry.

To back up the Registry the easy way, simply open Control Panel, click System, and then click System protection on the left sidebar. Click the big Create button to have Windows walk you through the straightforward process of creating a System Restore Point--it's as easy as that.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip – When is it Time to Update My BIOS?

We get a lot of people who ask, "How do I know when I should upgrade my BIOS?" It could be different for everyone, but usually there are some tell-tale signs.

If you’re experiencing strange behavior such as blue screens or your system restarting, or you’re looking for more functionality such as the ability to add a larger hard drive to your system, then a BIOS update is definitely something you will need to consider.

Motherboard makers are constantly enhancing the BIOS firmware and the end result can be significantly improved performance, less buggy behavior, additional functionality, improved overclocking performance, and much more.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Is Your Windows 8 Computer Having Trouble Keeping the Correct Time?
Right click on the clock icon in the bottom right corner of your Windows 8 screen. When the options menu pops up, select 'Adjust date / time.' A new window will then appear. Click on the 'Internet Time' tab and then click 'Change settings'. From the next screen you can select the option 'Synchronize with an Internet time server'. Once the drop-down menu appears you can select the option ''. After that's complete, simply tell the system to 'Update now'.

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Quote of the Month
"Think Globally, Act Locally."

- Paul McCartney

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Ain’t It Cool News
Dedicated to news, rumors and reviews of upcoming and current films, television and comics projects.
Useful Site
Editing your photos is easy with PicMonkey. Add filters, frames, text, and effects with this free online photo editing tool.

Did You Know?

October is National Pizza Month in the United States.

Vocab Test

One who combines hacking skills with activism in order to attack (as in, shut down or deface) certain Web sites as a form of political protest.

Browser Add-On
Turn Off The Lights

With one click on the lamp button, the page will be fading to dark. And automatic focus to the video you’re watching. Click again, the page will return back as normal.

SmartPhone App

A simple tool for saving web pages to read later on your iPhone, iPad, Android, computer, or Kindle.

Twitter Tip

Twitter is a two-way conversation. Tweet questions to encourage your followers to interact with you.

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.

  • 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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