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Question and Answer
I have a one year old HP Envy running Windows 10 that cost $1100 and a low cost $200 Acer Chromebook. Over time, my HP notebook has become like 50% slower than my Chromebook. That's right. It takes several minutes to boot-up and get me onto the web. Occasionally I get a message about something being corrupted. My anti-virus says it's clean. I've tried a bunch of online tips, but nothing helped. HP support recommends that I reinstall Windows, but warned me it can be difficult. Is there anything I can do that's safe and simple to restore my HP notebook?
– Connie B., Portsmouth, NH

Everyday use of a Windows PC without proper care will take its toll on performance and stability. Windows becoming sluggish over time can be caused by many factors including corrupt or missing files, a hidden virus, malware, even spyware. Our #1 recommendation is an application trusted by millions of people named Reimage. Within minutes, Reimage can find, repair & replace corrupted files, removes virus damage & much more. First, the Reimage total system scan will detect all of the errors on your PC's Windows OS. Next Reimage's patented repair process begins by removing and replacing damaged files with new up-to-date Windows files and critical components from their certified online database. Finally, Reimage safely performs a complete system tune-up that will restore your PC back to optimal performance and stability.

» Download Reimage

With the decline in online privacy and increasing number of cyber attacks I feel the need to learn how to protect myself when going online. Do you have a suggestion on the best way to accomplish this?
– Chris P. San Jose, CA

More and more people are discovering the benefits of virtual private networks (VPNs). VPN stands for a virtual private network and refers to software that is used to encrypt users' Internet traffic and mask their online identity by hiding their IP address. Therefore, the main purpose of this technology is to help you stay secure and private when browsing the Internet. Using a VPN is by far the most reliable way to protect your privacy and secure your online activities. However, remember that safety directly depends on the company that provides the VPN service. We have reviewed all the major VPNs and have determined that NordVPN provides both the best protection and features along with the most competitive plans. We reached out to NordVPN and have secured a special deal for our loyal readers.

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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: Stop Automatic Driver Updates In Windows 10

One of the Windows 10 related complaints we hear regularly is the mandatory delivery of universal drivers through Windows Update.

Well it turns out you can actually disable the downloading of these universal drivers in Windows 10 and avoid this issue all together plus it is very easy to do.

a. Click the Start Button and search for System. Click the Control Panel result - it should be the top one.

b. When System Properties opens up click on Advanced System Settings.

c. Click on the Hardware Tab (#1) and then click Device Installation Settings.

d. Click on No, let me choose what to do to expand your other options.

Once you click on No, let me choose what to do (Option #1) there are three other options to set. Option #2 continues to download and install the best driver software from Windows Update. Option #3 prevents the automatic install of driver software from Windows Update and Option #4 toggles the ability for Windows Update to download hardware related apps and other info from Windows Update.

» Perform a driver scan now!

Internet Privacy Tip: Protect Your Online Privacy

Protect your online privacy by preventing your digital fingerprint from being tracked.

Run TrackOff's free digital fingerprint test today.

» TrackOFF Scan

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

Access the Windows Power User Menu

Get quick access to Windows Power User Menu by pressing the Windows key + X.

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