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Question and Answer
Last week I opened a suspicious email that turned out to be SPAM. The next day our Dell notebook shut down without warning twice and took forever to boot-up. Both Firefox and Chrome are noticeably slower. And today I got a security warning. I've tried several online tools but I don't know who to trust. Can you suggest a good application to test and repair my notebook?
– Mike O., Washington, DC
It appears your PC was attacked. The result can lead to bad things including corrupt or missing files, a hidden virus, malware, or spyware. We recommend a great program from Reimage. Within minutes of downloading Reimage it will repair and replace corrupted files, detect and remove virus damage and 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.

» Click here for more information on Reimage
I like to keep all of my important and private documents in one separate drive on my laptop and I always wish that no one else could touch them without my permission. Is there a way I can block access to certain drives in Windows 7 Ultimate?
– Annie S., Columbus, OH

Yes, there is a way to block access to that drive. Click on Start, go to Computer. "Right Click" on the drive you want to restrict access to and select Properties. In the properties window click on the Security tab, select the user account you want to restrict and click on edit. Change the permissions according to your need for user groups or a particular user and click Apply and then OK. It will not work for users with admin account as even they have the same rights as you, so they can revert all permissions. You will need an admin account to perform this task.

Why is the total space of the hard available on a hard drive less than what it is supposed to be?
– Peter C., St. Louis, MO

The biggest difference comes in the way that drive space is measured in the first place. Drive manufacturers measure drive space in decimal terms. For example, they call one gigabyte 1,000,000,000 bytes. Operating systems use binary terms, so Windows considers one gigabyte 1,073,741,824 bytes. So when Windows reports available space on a drive, the resulting calculation suggests that the drive is smaller than what is advertised. Another issue is that drive manufacturers measure the size of the drives in terms of TOTAL space, meaning every single bit on the disk. The problem is that you cannot store date on every single bit on the disk. Formatting the drive takes up some space and Windows takes up space as well.

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: Clean Your Windows Registry Often

This is an essential, but often overlooked, task to improve PC performance. In fact most PC users are unaware of the necessity to regularly clean the Registry as Microsoft does not include a cleanup tool in any version of Windows.

Every time a program is installed it makes changes to the Windows Registry - a huge internal database of Windows' settings. Virtually all Windows programs, and Windows itself, store a massive array of information inside the database. These thousands of entries control the behavior and appearance of virtually everything on your system.

Changes to your PC system are not always handled correctly in the Registry, leading to conflicts and the slowing down of your PC. Over time this leads to a bloated and possibly, corrupted Registry. Reasons for this include:

  • Frequently installing or uninstalling programs
  • Removing a program which leaves traces behind
  • Leftover entries from a hardware uninstall
  • Unused drivers on your system
  • Spyware or similar programs that reappear every time you reboot

You can edit the Registry manually using a Windows program called Regedit, but this is really a job best left for hardened PC experts.

Thankfully, programs are available that can clean up your Registry automatically to help improve PC performance, such as Registry Wizard. Registry Wizard scans your Registry, looks for entries that are redundant or invalid and lists them so that they can be corrected with one mouse click.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip – Will An Updated BIOS Fix That?

A question we get quite often is “Can a new BIOS fix my problem?” The answer depends on what the problem is. There are certain things that a BIOS update will not fix. The following are a couple of examples.

Increasing Amount of RAM or Updating the CPU – This one is a little tricky. Here’s why… While, in most cases, you may need a BIOS update to help with your RAM and CPU support, it isn’t the only factor. The chipset on the motherboard must also support the amount of RAM and the speed of the CPU that you want to upgrade to. For example, if you want to upgrade to 4GB of RAM , and the system chipset only supports 2GB, then a BIOS update isn’t going to make a difference. However if the system chipset supports 4GB and your system will only see 2GB, THEN a BIOS update is necessary. With the CPU, the system chipset must support the speed that you are upgrading to If not, then the BIOS doesn’t matter.

USB Boot Capability – USB Boot Capability is another function that is dependent on the chipset. The system chipset must support this function in order for the BIOS to enable it.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

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.

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Quote of the Month
"Decisions are made by those who show up."

- Aaron Sorkin

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
An online broadcast network that specializes in after-show podcasts for a wide range of television series.
Useful Site
Free software that allows you to connect and share with all your social networks and instant messaging services in one place.

Did You Know?

Every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube by individual users.

Vocab Test

The inability to remember where you spotted a piece of information.

Browser Add-On

A simple extension that replaces your "New Tab" screen with a new one that shows you the current time and the weather.

SmartPhone App

Allows users to identify music by humming, singing or playing a recorded track.

Twitter Tip

Don't try to start arguments with people on Twitter. A friendly debate is fine, but respect others' opinions.

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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