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Question and Answer
Hello. I have a two year old HP Pavilion Entertainment PC. It is the best notebook I've owned by far. I'm running Windows 7 and do my best to keep it clean and bug free. That is until last week. That's when I noticed it appeared to be much slower and now it locks-up for no reason. My anti-virus software came back clean, so I contacted HP support. After some more tests they suggested I re-install Windows 7. But they warned me there's a risk of losing important files when re-installing Windows. Can TouchStoneSoftware suggest a program that will allow me to run a complete check-up and restore my HP notebook without having to re-install Windows?
– Carmen D., Scottsdale, DC
Thanks for the question Carmen. We get this sort of question a lot. Yes, re-installing Windows is not an easy task. Many users have lost valuable documents, files, and even photos when doing so. We think the easiest and safest option is to run a free system scan using a popular program that is named Reimage. Within minutes Reimage will safely detect and fix all of the serious errors on your PC. If there's a hidden virus, malware or spyware on your notebook, Reimage will find and removed it. Plus, if you have a corrupted file, Reimage's patented technology reverses the damage to the file, including the Windows OS, using a full database of replacement files.

» Click here for more information on Reimage
While using my wireless internet connection, it gets slow at times and other times runs great. Could this be a problem with my router?
– A. Burke, Palmdale, CA

The most common reason for a slow connection is that it is being shared with others who are using up the bandwidth, possibly for video streaming or downloading large files. When this is happening, you should notice a drop in web speed. If you are using cable internet, it could also be possible that your connection is affected by the number of people in your area. Cable internet is sent of the same line as cable TV and you may be sharing the line with a large number of people. When many people in your area are online or watching TV, you may experience a drop in your connection speed.

I’m using Windows 7. In the past whenever I was having issues with my computer, I would do a System Restore to fix it. But lately when I try to do that, I get “System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer’s system files and settings were not changed.” Can you tell me what is wrong?
– Daniel A., Kent, OH

System Restore can fail for a number of reasons, and when a user encounters problems, one of the best procedures is to run it in Safe Mode. To start Windows 7 in Safe Mode, restart the computer. Press and hold the F8 key as the computer restarts. If you see the Windows logo, you waited too long to press F8. Eventually you will see an Advanced Boot Options screen. Use the Arrows on your keyboard to highlight the Safe Mode with Networking option and press Enter. Now that you’re running in Safe Mode, you can try System Restore again. Click Start, then Control Panel, and select System and Security. Select Action Center and finally select Recovery. Click on Open System Restore and then select a restore point.

Driver Tip: The Advantages of Updating Video Card Drivers

We get asked a lot if there really are any advantages to upgrading the drivers for your video card. Does it really make a difference?
Well the answer is yes. It does make a difference. There are several reasons to update your Video Card drivers. Here are a few:

First, if you are a gamer you will notice the difference much more than the average computer user. Secondly if you are someone who watches a lot of movies or videos on your computer, up to date drivers are a must.

With many of today’s game titles and streaming video technologies, the need for more advanced video cards has arisen. Along with the new equipment it is important that you keep your drivers up to date.

Keeping your video drivers up to date fixes Limited Screen Resolution settings, along with providing support for higher refresh rates, it will also eliminate jitters in 3D modeling. The newest driver will help with video creation/editing software and eliminate skips and pauses during video playback.

The drivers will fix issues where videos play normally when scaled down, but play poorly or refuse to play at full screen. The new drivers will also help with higher frame rates (or Frames per Second) during game play or video playback resulting in smoother appearance and better experience, which will lead to increased system stability.

PC Performance Tip: Corrupted Registry Symptoms

There are a few symptoms that your system which tells you that you have a corrupted registry. Certain computers show several of these symptoms while others only some. The degree in which your computer displays these symptoms is dependent on how bad the corrupted windows registry may be.

Common Symptoms:

  • Slow Running Windows Applications – This is one of the most widely reported symptoms of a corrupt registry. Opening documents and switching between programs takes longer and longer to accomplish, leading to massive frustration.
  • Computer Screen Freezes – A very common error. Most screen freezes happen when you switch between programs or try to exit a program.
  • Random Error Messages – This is the scariest problem because the messages are very hard to diagnose. An example would be the ever popular “Blue Screen of Death” memory dump error screen.
  • Slow PC Shutdown and/or Startups – Extremely slow loading and shutdowns. More than 5 minutes.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip – Keep Unauthorized Users From Making Changes

The Security section of the BIOS can be used to keep unauthorized people from making changes to the BIOS.

The option called Security Option can be set to either Setup or System. When it is set to SETUP the security is on the BIOS Setup screens. A user would need a password to be able to make changes to the BIOS Setup screens.

When the option SYSTEM is set, the user will need a password to even get the system to boot.

There are also settings for Supervisor Password and a User Password. If you choose to set the Security Option then you will need to set your Supervisor and User Password options.

If you choose to select a Supervisor Password, a password will be required to enter the BIOS after you choose setup, as described above. If you choose SYSTEM, as described above, then a password will be required for cold-booting as well.

With the User Password option, a different password assigned to users is required to boot the PC, and if a Supervisor Password has also been selected, permits the user to only adjust the date and time in the BIOS.

» 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
"Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason."

- Jerry Seinfeld

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Internet Arcade
Over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s through the 1990s and made them all playable in your browser.
Useful Site
Learn how to make use of tech and gadgets around you and discover cool stuff on the Internet.

Did You Know?

Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

Vocab Test

Someone who is constantly texting or IMing due to a need to be in constant contact via digital communication.

Browser Add-On

Lets you create a short URL for the current page or selected link using the URL shortener of your choice.

SmartPhone App

Consolidates your phone and social network contacts together into a convenient app.

Twitter Tip

Try keeping tweets short -- 100 characters instead of 140 -- to let people add their own commentary.

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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