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Question and Answer
I just spoke with Hewlett-Packard support hoping to fix my two year old HP Envy 17. For the past week it has become unresponsive for minutes at a time and takes forever to boot-up. When it finally comes around, it's so slow. I work from home and spend a lot of time on the web, so this is terribly frustrating. HP support ran several remote tests. They believe I might have a deep virus or several corrupt files or perhaps Windows 10 is damaged. Their solution is to re-install Windows, which can be dangerous or send them my notebook at a cost of $300. Neither one is an option for me. Do you have any suggestions how I can restore my notebook and hopefully fix this problem?
– Rob K., Calabasas, CA

We agree. This sounds like a Windows problem. The best solution we've tested and recommend is a complete PC tune-up program named Reimage. Within minutes, Reimage's free system scan will automatically detect any Windows problems like missing or corrupt files and even a hidden virus or malware threats. Next, Reimage's patented repair process will actually reverse the damage to your Windows OS by replacing corrupted and deleted files with fresh Windows files. Lastly, Reimage will remove any virus and malware threats and completely tune-up your system. This will easily and safely restore your PC's so it's like new.

» Download Reimage

Our family is extremely concerned about our online privacy with everything that's happening with Facebook lately. To learn that Facebook and Google and many others are tracking and recording our personal information online and selling it to the highest bidder is wrong and should be illegal. Isn't there something we can do to protect our privacy and identity on-line?
– Mark C., Dallas, TX

Sadly we're learning that on-line companies such as Facebook and Google have been tracking most everything we do online for years. As we have recently discovered, they can actually sell and share your personal whereabouts, activity and habits to others in order to influence your on-line experience. This sneaky practice is called "Digital Fingerprinting". To protect you, we strongly recommend Identity Theft Preventer. Within seconds Identity Theft Preventer will prevent any on-line companies from accessing your personal information about your family (age, religion, work and school), your finances (income, debt, credit, loans, bank accounts) and web history (articles, videos, shopping). Their patent pending technology actually scrambles and encrypts the digital fingerprint and prevents being tracked on-line. Try Identity Theft Preventer's free online protection scan to see the tracks you leave behind.

» Identity Theft Preventer

Why is the total space of the hard available on a hard drive less than what it is supposed to be?
– Peter C., St. Louis, MO

The biggest difference comes in the way that drive space is measured in the first place. Drive manufacturers measure drive space in decimal terms. For example, they call one gigabyte 1,000,000,000 bytes. Operating systems use binary terms, so Windows considers one gigabyte 1,073,741,824 bytes. So when Windows reports available space on a drive, the resulting calculation suggests that the drive is smaller than what is advertised. Another issue is that drive manufacturers measure the size of the drives in terms of TOTAL space, meaning every single bit on the disk. The problem is that you cannot store date on every single bit on the disk. Formatting the drive takes up some space and Windows takes up space as well.

Driver Tip: Updating Drivers Manually in Windows 10

Most drivers these days will install automatically with just the click of the mouse. However there are still some drivers that require a manual installation. Here is a step by step guide on how to do that in Windows 10:

1. Open Windows 10 Control Panel by pressing Win+X (Windows key and X key) at the same time and clicking Control Panel.

2. Click View By and Choose Small Icons.

3. Click Device Manager.

4. In Device Manager window, expand categories and locate the device that you wish to update the driver for. Then right-click on the device name and select Update Driver Software.

5. In the pop-up window, you will see two options. Click Browse my computer for driver software.

6. Choose Browse My Computer For Driver Software.

7. Click on Browse to find the location of the downloaded driver file and browse to the location of the driver file. Keep the box marked Include Subfolders checked.

8. Once the location has been selected, click Next.

Windows will locate the file automatically and install it.

PC Performance Tip: Find Slow Programs

Open up the Task Manager and check out the "Processes" tab. It will show you which apps and background processes are running and how much of your CPU, memory, disk and network resources they are each hogging up.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!

BIOS Tip: Tweaking BIOS to Improve Boot Speed

Tweaking your BIOS settings can be a good way to get your system to boot faster. Just a simple change of some of the key settings can make dramatic differences in how fast your system boots up.

Enable the "Quick Boot" Feature: Many newer PC’s have a special BIOS setting, usually called "Quick Boot" or "Quick Power On Self Test" that can be enabled to make the boot take less time. Try enabling this setting; this will cause the BIOS to skip some of the normal test routines that it performs at boot time, speeding up the boot process.

Remove the Boot Delay Setting: Some PC’s have a BIOS setting that you can use to intentionally delay the boot-up of the PC by several seconds. This setting is often called "Boot Delay" or "Power-on Delay". This can be useful when the BIOS is booting too quickly, causing hard disk drives to be booted before they are ready. However, it also slows the boot process down, so make sure that it is only enabled if it is needed.

Disable Floppy Drive Seek: Also called “Boot Up Floppy Seek.” Most PCs have a BIOS setting to disable floppy drive seeking, which is the short access the BIOS makes to the floppy disk just before it boots the system. This seek (unless disabled) is performed regardless of whether the system is being booted from the hard disk or floppy disk. Disabling the seek speeds up the boot process by a couple of seconds. This doesn't really have any negative impact on the system, although if you are having problems with your floppy drive you will probably want to re-enable the seek as this makes troubleshooting some types of problems easier.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!

Tech Tip

Shake Your Windows

If you have many windows open, and you want to declutter down to just one, do this. Click on the top bar of your desired window, hold it down, and shake the mouse to instantly minimize all other open windows. Do it again to restore those windows.

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Quote of the Month
"The Only Place Where Success Comes Before Work Is In The Dictionary."

- Vidal Sassoon

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
OCEARCH Shark Tracker
The Track Sharker tool by Marine Research Group OCEARCH lets you track tagged sharks, who all have names, by the way, as they travel all over the world.

Useful Site
Do you want to learn something useful about history or technology without feeling like you are back in school? Then, this is the place to go.

Did You Know?

Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

Vocab Test

Style of shoe or boot in the 1950s with a sharp and long pointed toe, typically used to kill a cockroach in a corner.

Browser Add-On
Full Page Screen Capture

Grab a whole web page with a single click and download it as a JPG.

SmartPhone App

Nobly is an app that connects people who want to do good deeds.

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