TouchStoneSoftware Monthly Newsletter

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Question and Answer
I'm considering a new notebook out of pure frustration. However, I hate the idea of spending good money, seeing that I have a HP Envy notebook running Windows 10 that's just two and a half years old. The problem with my HP Envy notebook is it has become incredibly slow at times and locks up at least once a day. Now today I'm getting Chrome "not responding" errors. And I'm forced to re-boot. Can you tell me the easiest and safest way to fix my HP Envy or should I just spend the money on a new notebook?
– Taylor S. Los Angeles, CA

The good news is you don't need a new notebook. Your HP Envy is a solid PC that simply needs a little maintenance. Let's start with Windows. Whether you have a stubborn virus, malware or perhaps a corrupt file(s), you need to fix Windows from time to time. This is very common. The safest and easiest way to do this is to use a simple, yet powerful PC diagnostic and repair program named Reimage. For 10+ years the folks at Reimage have helped millions of users avoid the risk of reinstalling or restoring Windows. Here's how: Reimage's free scan will safely scan your system for all sorts of problems, like corrupt files, a deep hidden virus, malware and even browser injections. After the scan, Reimage will actually repair the damage found on your PC using their patented technology that repairs your Windows OS with a database of certified replacement files. Reimage's award winning technology actually reverses the damage done to your Windows operating system and tunes-up your PC. The result is a much cleaner, faster and secure system.

» Download Reimage

It seems everyday I'm reading about people whose personal identity has been stolen or compromised online. With several PCs at home running anti virus software, is that enough to protect our privacy and personal identity? If not, what else can we do to truly protect ourselves from these online identity thieves?
– Rudy G. NY, New York

Anti virus software alone will not protect your online privacy against identity theft. Today's Internet is a dangerous place. The fact is you are unknowingly being tracked online using technology referred to as "Digital Fingerprinting". These online identity thieves know your every move on the web. They know where all of your personal information is stored on your PC. All this info makes up your unique "digital fingerprint". Next these malicious people actually sell your personal info, online whereabouts and activity to others in order to influence your digital life. Sound scary? It certainly is! Here's a great solution. We've tested and highly recommend using an app named TrackOFF. TrackOFF's patented encryption technology instantly stops on-line privacy thieves from tracking and stealing your personal information such as your family (age, religion, work and school), your finances (income, debt, credit, loans, bank accounts) and website history (articles, videos, shopping). Try TrackOFF's free on-line scan to see and hide the digital tracks you're leaving behind.

» Download TrackOFF

Recently I was asked to send someone a screenshot of something and I have no idea how to do it. Can you help me?
– Brenda M., Austin, TX

Snapping a picture of your screen is very simple. Simply press the PRTSCN key on your keyboard. This key is often located either next to the BACKSPACE key or in your top row of keys next to the function keys. Once you have pressed the PRTSCN button, open a document and click PASTE to paste that image into the document. Many users open Microsoft Paint. This method gives you an image of the entire screen. For more functionality, Click Start, type SNIP into the search field and then click the Snipping Tool when it appears. This feature gives you control over the size and shape of the screenshot you take. If you then need to send someone that screenshot, simply save the document and attach it to an email. Alternatively, you can also simply compose a new email message and Paste the image directly into the email.

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: Windows 10 'Disk Cleanup'

Remember disk cleanup? Disk Cleanup is a simple way to delete files and to ensure your Recycle Bin is cleared out. On Windows 10, type “disk cleanup” into your taskbar where it says, “Type here to search” >> Click on Disk Cleanup app >> Put a check mark next to each folder you want to be deleted, such as temporary files.

» 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 10, 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

Easily Search Websites

In Google Chrome, when filling in a web address, for example, press TAB instead of ENTER and you can perform your search on the site from the address bar.

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Quote of the Month
"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."

- Albert Einstein

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Cool Interesting Stuff
As the name suggests the website is the bank of interesting stuffs which are mostly mysteries.

Useful Site
How Stuff Works
The website focuses on detailing how all kinds of stuff works.

Did You Know?

Over 8.7 Billion Machines Are Currently Connected to the Internet.

Vocab Test

An endangered Hawaiian bird.

Browser Add-On
Video Download Helper

Browser extension to download videos from the Web.

SmartPhone App

You can set your location, the type of food you want, and your budget to find suitable local restaurants.

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