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Question and Answer
Is my Dell notebook worthless? It's less than two years old, running Windows 8 with 8 GB RAM. Sounds good, but lately my PC has a life of its own. It is taking longer and longer to boot up. By the time I get to my Chrome browser I could have made a cup of coffee. LOL! Then today my system just locked up for no reason. Do you have any thoughts what is causing this problem? How can I figure out what is suddenly causing this problem? And most importantly, how can I tune up and restore my system? Thanks TouchStoneSoftware!
– Stephanie R., Austin, TX
The good news is your problems are quite common. There are several causes for Windows shutting down, locking up and becoming slow over time. Issues like, corrupt files, a hidden virus, malware, or browser hijacking can be the cause. Our #1 suggestion for a thorough Windows repair is a well regarded program 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.

» Click here for more information on Reimage
I have a 10-year old Dell computer with a matching monitor and keyboard. Of course it is time to update, and I am wondering if I can replace the processor with a newer model Dell with Windows 8.1 and keep the same monitor and keyboard. Or would you recommend I replace the whole thing?
– Doris C., Dover, NH

If you are upgrading to Windows 8, I would recommend replacing the entire setup and purchasing a desktop with a touch screen monitor. The operating system's interface is touch-friendly. Though it will work with a traditional mouse, your experience with Windows 8 will probably be more enjoyable if you also have a touch screen monitor. Additionally, with 10 years of technical advancements, a new monitor will provide a far better picture.

I've noticed that the Power Menu in Windows 7 and Windows 8 offers options for Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down. Can you tell me the difference between them?
– Jim G., Fremont, NE

The Sleep and Hibernate modes are similar, both save the state of your open programs so that you'll have quick access to the files and programs you were using before you shutdown. In Sleep Mode, all of the information is saved to the memory in your system, and the PC uses only enough energy to supply power to that memory. With Hibernate, information about your open applications and files is saved in the computer's internal storage. The advantage of using Hibernate is that no power is necessary to keep the data on hand. However, Sleep Mode offers a faster restart, often only a matter of seconds, compared to Hibernate mode. You should use Sleep Mode when you plan on using the PC again in a short period of time. Hibernate is best when you don't plan on using the computer for an hour or more. Shut Down will close all of your applications and completely turn off power to the computer. This is the ideal mode for those who want a hard restart when they start their PC, which can be a good way to avoid bugs and memory leaks. Shut Down is also the mode you want to select after a program or Windows has installed updates and instructs you to reboot before the changes can go into effect. Of these three options, turning the computer on from Shut Down will take the longest.

Driver Tip: Common Fixes for Driver Problems

If you are having problems with drivers after you have installed them, here are some common fixes that will solve most of your driver problems.

Restarting Your Computer – After installing a driver be sure to restart your computer. Many drivers will not work properly until the system is restarted.

Reinstall the Driver - If you are facing hardware issues, one of the first steps you should take is to reinstall the hardware driver. In many cases this will solve your problem. When you do this, Windows automatically detects and installs the hardware, like new. To do this, go to "Device Manager" on your Windows machine and select "Confirm Device Removal". Then reinstall the driver and reboot the system.

Rolling Back a Driver - This is a very easy process and there is nothing unsafe about it. To roll back a device driver means to revert to the old version. Windows will use the previous version of your driver. In your Device Manager, right click on the device and choose Properties. Click on the Driver tab, and then click Rollback Driver.

PC Performance Tip: Removing the Web Service Window

If you’ve used Windows for any length of time, you’ve likely tried to open a file with an unknown extension. Instead of getting a list of programs to open the file with, you get an annoying dialog asking you to use a web service to find a program. This tip will explain how to change this behavior.

You can use a registry tweak to force Windows to skip this dialog altogether, and give you a list of applications to use to open the file instead, just as if you had selected the second option.

Open regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key (create the key if it doesn’t exist)


Create a new 32-bit DWORD value on the right-hand side with the following values:

  • Name: NoInternetOpenWith

  • Value: 1
The change should be immediate, no need to restart anything. To reset back to default, set the value to 0 or delete the key.

» Perform a PC performance 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

Shut Down Windows 8.1 Quicker

Did you know there was a quick way to shut down Windows 8.1? In Windows 8, the shutdown command was hidden somewhere in the Charms bar, which most people never figured out. In Windows 8.1, however, you can shut down your PC by right-clicking the Start button to display the Quick Access menu, then selecting Shut Down or Sign Out > Shut Down.

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Quote of the Month
"I have no regrets, because I've done everything I could to the best of my ability."

- Robert Redford

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
A trivia quiz website on which users have a set time limit to name all the items within a given subject.
Useful Site
A free tutorial on how to build your own PC.

Did You Know?

2pm is the most effective time to send an email.

Vocab Test

One who consumes online information on a daily basis.

Browser Add-On

A tool to keep you off distracting websites when you really need to get something done.

SmartPhone App

The easiest and quickest way to post entire photos on Instagram without cropping.

Twitter Tip

Share images in your tweets to increase engagement, since images now appear inline on Twitter.

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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