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Question and Answer
My girlfriend is begging me to fix or tune-up the Acer notebook I gave her this Christmas. Last week it started running extremely slow and freeze. I cleared temp files, scanned for malware, viruses and spyware, defragged the hard drive, and even removed unwanted programs. But, there's still a problem. She called Acer yesterday and they believe Windows 8 system files have been damaged or corrupted by a virus or malware. Can you folks suggest what I can do to repair the damage to her notebook?
– Taylor J., Chicago, IL
We suggest using a nice program called Reimage. It's fast, easy and safe to use. Within minutes, Reimage will deactivate then quarantine all malware found and remove nasty virus damage. Next Reimage reverses the damage done to Windows by replacing corrupted or damaged files with new Windows files from their online database. Try it today and your notebook's performance, stability and security will be restored and improved.

» Download Reimage
Is there a way to block an entire domain from sending email to me? The reason I ask this is because I constantly receive spam email from numerous web domains which seem to exist for the purpose of sending spam emails only, and therefore deserve to be totally blocked. I would like to be able to fill in a domain name in Outlook, and then never see emails again from those web domains in my inbox. Thanks.
– Sharon L., Omaha, NE

Unfortunately, blocking an entire email domain is not an effective way to block spam because the FROM: field in an email can be forged. Most likely the domains you are receiving emails from don't even exist. Even if you blocked a domain, spammers will make up another randomly generated domain name, and spam will make its way straight into your inbox.
A better solution for blocking spam would be to choose an email service provider that incorporates numerous anti-spam technologies. For example, SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (Domain Keys), greylisting, DNSBLs / RBL (DNS-based Blackhole Lists) all operate at the mail server level and are very effective at blocking spam.

Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, GMail, and all the other major email service providers already use these technologies, and because they operate on the mail server, there is need to configure your email client to use them. Unfortunately they are not 100% effective, which is why some spam email will get through and some legitimate emails will be redirected to a spam folder.

I'm not sure what happened, but my desktop icons are gigantic and are taking up most of the space on my screen. I can't seem to figure out how to make the icons go back to the original size they were on the desktop. Any idea why this happened and how I can fix it?
– Karen S., Rye, NH

Most likely what happened with your icons on the desktop is that your CTRL key was stuck and you used the scroll wheel on your mouse (up). The combination of pressing the CTRL key + using the mouse scroll button (up or down) will increase or decrease your icon size on the desktop.
To decrease the size of your icons, you can press CTRL + mouse wheel down to get it where you want.

Driver Tip: Laptop Battery Charging Issues

Are you having problems with your laptop battery not charging? Have you ever thought that it could be a device driver issue? Well it very well could be.
There are some default battery device drivers which are bundled in Windows 7. These drivers try to control the battery charging properly, but for some laptops, these drivers may not function well. In such cases, users face problems like the laptop battery does not charge even when the battery is low and the power adaptor is properly plugged into the laptop. In such cases, it’s better to download compatible battery drivers and install them instead of the Windows default drivers. DriverStore is a central location in Windows Vista and Windows 7 where all the driver files are stored, before they are copied to their final destination during the device driver installation.

To uninstall the default drivers, navigate to your Device Manager in Windows. In the Device Manager, locate Batteries > Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, right click on it and choose Uninstall. After you do this, restart the laptop and the battery charging should start to function normally.

PC Performance Tip: How To Disable Windows 8 Lock Screen

The newly added Lock Screen is basically designed for tablet PCs, allowing users to quickly view the applications notifications, battery status, date and time, WiFi status/dynamic network icon etc. Although Windows 8 lets you tweak both Start and Lock Screen UI elements, it doesn’t provide an option to permanently disable it. You may know that Microsoft Management Console snap-in called Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE) allows system administrators to tweak system core components and change default behavior of native utilities. Using the LGPE, you can easily disable the Lock Screen for all PC users. By default, Windows 8 shows Lock Screen at startup, but when it’s disabled, it takes you directly to Logon screen to choose the user account to log in to Windows.

Changing system settings from Local Group Policy Editor requires administrative privileges. So, log in to Windows as administrator, and on Start Screen, type gpedit.msc. Hit Enter to open Local Group Policy Editor.

Next, expand Administrative Templates settings from Computer Configuration, and then navigate to Control Panel –> Personalization. In main window, you will find Do not display the lock screen policy.

Simply, double-click this policy and tick Enabled checkbox. This will permanently disable Lock Screen. When disabled, users will see the Logon screen when they log off or lock Windows. Similarly, you will be taken to Logon screen, instead of Lock Screen, at startup.

It’s worth mentioning here that if it fails to disable the Lock Screen, then you may need to reboot your PC to implement the Lock Screen policy. In order to enable the Lock Screen for all users, all you need is to open the Local Group Policy Editor from an admin account, navigate to aforementioned setting, and enable Not Configured option.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip – How to Set a BIOS or UEFI Password

A Windows, Linux, or Mac password just prevents people from logging into your operating system. It doesn’t prevent people from booting other operating systems, wiping your drive, or using a live CD to access your files.

Your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware offers the ability to set lower-level passwords. These passwords allow you to restrict people from booting the computer, booting from removable devices, and changing BIOS or UEFI settings without your permission.

These passwords are set in your BIOS or UEFI settings screen. On pre-Windows 8 computers, you’ll need to reboot your computer and press the appropriate key during the boot-up process to bring up the BIOS settings screen. This key varies from computer to computer, but is often F2, Delete, Esc, F1, or F10. If you need help, look at your computer’s documentation or Google its model number and “BIOS key” for more information. (If you built your own computer, look for your motherboard model’s BIOS key.)

In the BIOS settings screen, locate the password option, configure your password settings however you like, and enter a password. You may be able to set different passwords — for example, one password that allows the computer to boot and one that controls access to BIOS settings.

You’ll also want to visit the Boot Order section and ensure the boot order is locked down so people can’t boot from removable devices without your permission.

On post-Windows 8 computers, you’ll have to enter the UEFI firmware settings screen through Windows 8′s boot options. Your computer’s UEFI settings screen will hopefully provide you with a password option that works similarly to a BIOS password.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Go to Windows 8 Task Manager for Startup items

You no longer have to run the MSConfig program to change startup items. Startup items now show up in a tab on Task Manager. Simply press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager. Click the "More details" tab at the bottom and find the Startup tab at the top.

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Quote of the Month
"I always look for a challenge and something that's different."

- Tom Cruise

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Radio Lovers
Listen to hundreds of old time radio shows online for free.
Useful Site
A global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job.

Did You Know?

In the U.S, Frisbees outsell footballs, baseballs and basketballs combined.

Vocab Test

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

Browser Add-On
The Great Suspender

Automatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resources.

SmartPhone App

Lets you keep track of your phone and tablet whenever missing, whether you're in town or abroad.

Twitter Tip

If someone regularly retweets or replies to you, add them to a list so you can return the favor.

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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