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Question and Answer
My Fujitsu Lifebook with Windows 8 is running slower by the day. In addition to being forced to reboot, I've killed programs running in the background, ran disk defrag and scanned for malware, but nothing has helped. I don't want to reinstall Windows, as I am VERY nervous that I will lose precious data on my hard drive. Can you suggest a safe and easy fix that will restore my PC?
– Teresa V., Arlington, VA
TouchStoneSoftware recommends the easiest and safest option is to run a free complete system check-up using a popular program called Reimage. Within minutes Reimage will safely detect and repair all of the serious errors on your PC. If there's a virus or malware or even spyware on your notebook, it will be detected and removed. Plus, Reimage's patented technology reverses any damage already done to the Windows OS with a full database of replacement files. Let us know how you make out.

» Download Reimage
When I first connected to the internet on my new computer, it asked me to setup a HomeGroup. What is a HomeGroup?
– James D., Hartford, CT

HomeGroup was one of the new features that Microsoft added to Windows 7, and it’s also found in Windows 8. A HomeGroup is designed to simplify the process the sharing images, songs, movies, documents, and printers on your PC. When you first set up your network connection, you’ll create a HomeGroup, which is a single place from which other Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers on your local network can access your files and share their files. Thus, you’ll no longer need to search the network or double click a PC to remotely access the files, and you can view files from several Windows 7 computers at the same time. All of the shared content from all of your PC’s can be found in the HomeGroup.

I'm having a problem with files opening in the correct programs automatically. For example, when I try to open an MPG filer, it asks me which program to use when it should be using Media Player. I went to the file association list and the file type is not listed. What am I doing wrong?
– Henry P., Greensburg, PA

To associate any file with the program that should be able to open it, save the file to a folder on your hard drive. Right click on it, and select Properties. On the General tab under Opens With, click the Change button. If you do not see program listed, click Browse. Navigate to the program file (this will likely be on your C: drive in the Programs folder), and select it to force Windows to associate that file type with that program with a double click.

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: Lock The Screen Image

If you share a Windows 8 PC with others and don't want them messing with the lock screen image, you can lock it so that it can't be changed. To do it, though, you're going to have to get down and dirty by editing the Registry.

When you're on the Start screen, type REGEDIT, click Apps on the right-hand side of the screen, then click the regedit.exe icon that appears on the left side of the screen.

A security window appears asking if you want to allow the Registry Editor to make changes to your PC. Click Yes, and the Registry Editor launches.

Navigate to:


See if there's a key called Personalization there. If the key already exists, don't create another one. Instead, follow the instructions in the next paragraph. If the key doesn't exist, you'll have to create it. To do so, click Edit --> New --> Key. That creates a new key, but it will have a name like "New Key #1." You have to rename it. Right-click it, select Rename, and rename it Personalization.

Now that the Personalization key is there, create a new DWORD value under it called NoChangingLockScreen. To do that, right-click the Personalization key and select New --> DWORD (32-bit) Value. Rename the DWORD value NoChangingLockScreen. Double click-it and change its value from 0 to 1. Exit the Registry Editor.

Log out of Windows or restart it, then log back in. The lock screen background shouldn't be changeable -- consider it locked. If you want to allow the background to be changed in the future, use the Registry Editor to change the value of NoChangingLockScreen from 1 to 0.

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 – Securing Your BIOS

Many people do not know it, but your computers BIOS can become infected with malware. The most famous was the Chernobyl virus back in the 90’s. These days, there is less of a chance of this happening, but it is much better to be safe than sorry. There is a way to make sure your BIOS is secure and to protect it from any potential malware infections.

The first step in your safety plan is to protect your BIOS with an administrator password that must be entered before a BIOS update can occur. Boot or reboot your PC. While it’s starting up, repeatedly tap the ‘DEL,’ ‘F1,’ or whatever other special key is required to launch the BIOS. This information is typically displayed onscreen during the boot process, although it might not be immediately obvious. This text, for instance, appears verbatim at the bottom of the screen for just a few moments after we start our computer. Once your BIOS setup menu is loaded, look for the menu item that enables you to set up a password. There might be more than one. It may be listed as SET SUPERVISOR PASSWORD or SECURITY OPTIONS. Select the menu item for creating the password and enter a password (usually twice, to verify what you typed the first time). If you think you might have trouble remembering the password later, as you’ll access your BIOS infrequently, make sure you write it down somewhere. Save your BIOS changes and your computer will reboot. From here on out you’ll need to enter this password before any changes can be made to your BIOS, ensuring malware will have a harder time harming your PC.

» 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
"Things don't have to change the world to be important."

- Steve Jobs

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Tastebuds is the best place to meet new people who share your taste in music.
Useful Site
Your guide in modern tech. Learn how to make use of tech and gadgets around you and discover cool stuff on the Internet.

Did You Know?

The average person falls asleep in 7 minutes.

Vocab Test

The act of embedding a product or service link in a video..

Browser Add-On
No Squint

Allows you to adjust the text-only and full-page (both text and images) zoom levels as well as color settings both globally (for all sites) and per site.

SmartPhone App
Find My Friends

For finding your way to the party, keeping track of family at a crowded amusement park, or getting picked up at the airport, Find My Friends is your app.

Twitter Tip

If you tweet spoilers while live-tweeting TV shows or sporting events, use the right hashtag so people can filter it out.

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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