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Question and Answer
I've relied on TouchStoneSoftware for PC advice for years, so I hope you can help me now. I love my Lenovo Z70 notebook, but I think it needs an overhaul. It's become terribly slow at times, takes several minutes to
turn on, and randomly shuts off. Yesterday I got a message about missing and corrupted files, too. I'm not a "techie", so can you suggest a safe and simple way to give my notebook a nice tune-up and restore its health?

– Lovey H., Balboa Island, CA
This is common with Windows PCs. Such issues as corrupt or missing files, maybe a hidden virus or malware can cause Windows and your system to develop serious problems. Our best advice is to try a super program called Reimage. With minutes Reimage can tune-up your PC and Windows by repairing & replacing missing and corrupted files, and removing nasty virus damage & much more. Reimage's free scan will safely detect all the errors on your PC and Windows. Next, Reimage's patented repair process actually reverses the damage done to your Windows OS by replacing corrupted and missing 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.

» Download Reimage
I’ve heard that you can change the Windows Logon screen to whatever you want. I’d like to customize mine, can you tell me how?
– Tom S., Denver, CO

There are various methods to accomplish this, with and without third-party software. I understand many people might not want to rely on a third-party application, while others would appreciate a quicker, safer route.
This method will require you to modify the registry:
Step 1: Open the Windows Start menu and enter regedit into the search bar.
Step 2: Right click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and select Find.
Step 3: Search for OEMBackground, which should be in Computer \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \Authentication \LogonUI \Background. If the key does not exist, add a new DWORD value with the name OEMBackground.
Step 4: Double click on the entry OEMBackground, and change the value from 0 to 1.
Step 5: Open Windows Explorer and go to the following path: %windir%\system32\oobe.
Step 6: Create a new folder named info, and open it.
Step 7: Create a new folder within info named backgrounds.
Step 8: Rename your desired wallpaper as backgroundDefault.jpg and place it inside the folder backgrounds (images must be less than 245KB in size).
That should do the trick, now just log your PC, log off or reboot and enjoy.

I get so many different opinions from so many different people that I thought you would be my final expert answer to this age-old question: Should I leave the computer on all the time or shut it off when not in use? Two computers are in question, one being my home computer with intermittent use daily, and the other is used about every two weeks on average.
– Mike R., Culver City, CA

It really comes down to your person preference. Don’t worry about factors like if turning off the system too many times will hard the components. It isn’t recommended, however, to leave BOTH computers on all the time. To conserve energy, power off the systems and unplug them when not in use. Personally, I don’t like to wait for my system to boot up, so I rarely shut my system down. Instead, I have it set to turn off the display after 10 minutes of inactivity and enter sleep mode after 15 minutes. The computer wakes up much faster from sleep mode compared with a cold start, but the downside is it may be a little sluggish if lots of programs are left open. An occasional reboot solves that.

Driver Tip: Driver Inventory

Have you ever wanted a list of every driver installed on your computer? A driver inventory? Well there is a very simple way of getting that information.

Running the Driverquery command in the Command Prompt will list out all the drivers installed on the machine. But first you want to open the Command Prompt as an administrator. Click on Start and then All Programs, then Accessories. Right click on Command Prompt and choose RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR.

Once the Command Prompt is open, type: driverquery.

If you want a compact record of installed drivers in a reporting format, use this command with appropriate switches.

You can use the /v switch to produce a detailed verbose information, and add the /Fo switch with the CSV parameter to generate the output in the csv (Comma Seperated Value) format. – driverquery /v /fo csv > driverlist.csv. This will give you the information is a csv file called driverlist.

Further, Opening this file Driverlist.csv in Excel will give you a highly detailed list of all your hardware.

Similarly, using the /SI switch to get all the information on the signed drivers installed on the machine.

For a full list of the switches available for the Driverquery command, run the driverquery with a /? switch.

PC Performance Tip: Adding Control Panel to Right Click Menu

Control Panel is something that most Windows users access quite frequently. So it would be very useful to find a way to access it more quickly. Here is a registry tweak that allows you to add Control Panel to your right click menu.

Open up REGEDIT through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:


Once you are there, you'll want to right-click on "shell" and create a new key called Control Panel.

Once "shell" is created, you'll want to right-click and create a new key called "command".

Select the "command" key, and on the left-hand side right click the (Default) value on the right-hand side and choose MODIFY.

The EDIT STRING box will open. In the VALUE DATA box, type:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL

You should immediately see the new item in your right click menu, and it should be working. To remove, simply delete the Control Panel key.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip – Still Necessary To Upgrade Your BIOS?

One question we get asked a lot is "Is it still necessary to upgrade my BIOS in this day and age?" The answer is most definitely YES!

First, for those of you who do not know, let's go over what a BIOS actually is. The BIOS, which stands for Basic Input/Output System, is primarily responsible for initializing your systems hardware directly after powering up and begins the process of starting your operating system. The BIOS contains the codes your system requires to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial and USB communications, and other miscellaneous functions.

If your BIOS is out of date, your motherboard will not be able to utilize all of its features to their full potential, if even able to use them at all. An out of date BIOS will cause your computer to run inefficiently and eventually may cause the computer to fail to run some devices at all. Updating your BIOS will increase your computer's speed and compatibility with newer hardware. All the hardware attached to the motherboard, such as the RAM, processor, video card and disk drives, can be configured to a greater or lesser degree through the BIOS. Memory timings, processor speed and overclocking, hard disk detection and booting are all properties controlled by the motherboard's BIOS.

If you have an older computer, and want to upgrade to a newer, larger hard drive or to a newer operating system such as Windows 7 or Windows 8, then upgrading your BIOS is definitely a good idea. This will ensure that your computer is up to date and ready for the improvements you are planning.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Accessing All of Windows 8's Features

If you're running into difficulties accessing some of Windows 8's features, it might be because you do not have a registered Microsoft account. You need a Microsoft account to access many of Windows 8's features.

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Quote of the Month
"There is no off position on the genius switch."

- David Letterman

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Television Tunes
TV Theme music and songs from 26923 different television shows. Listen to them all in MP3 format.
Useful Site
Down For Everyone?
Check to see if a site is down for everyone or just for you.

Did You Know?

It will take a person more than 400 years to watch all the videos on YouTube.

Vocab Test

A deluge of private chat messages while one is trying to do something else online.

Browser Add-On

Enables you to see your calls and texts on your computer and easily send links and files from your computer to phone.

SmartPhone App

Allows you to create extensive playlists from iTunes and Spotify and skip through songs with a simple tap.

Twitter Tip

Engage with others and show appreciation for their tweets by using the favorite button as a "like."

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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