When to Reload Your PC's Operating System

"When is the right time to reload my PC's operating system?" This is a question that experts have been trying to answer since Windows(r) first became popular back in the 1990s. Most personal computers start out working fine, but then, over time, their performance gets progressively worse. At some point, the computer is so dysfunctional that there's nothing left to do but just erase everything and start fresh.

Windows introduced us to the registry, a central repository that stores critical information about how your computer should be running, what software is loaded, and how it is configured. When you install or remove software, and make changes to settings and configuration options, Windows is constantly updating the registry with these changes. Over time, the registry can wind up with a lot of incorrect entries that can direct Windows to do things that it doesn't need to do.

Here are a few questions to answer when trying to decide whether it is time to reload your OS:

  • Has your favorite application stopped working and even after reinstalling, it won't run correctly?
  • Has your computer slowed down doing the most basic tasks?
  • Are you consistently getting the dreaded "blue screen of death"?
  • Has some of your hardware stopped working?

If you are experiencing any of the above, we recommend that you try a few of these fixes:

  • Update all your drivers to make sure you have the latest ones installed
  • Scan your computer for viruses or spyware using a commercial anti-virus program like McAfee Internet Security
  • Run a registry cleaner software to automatically correct the invalid or incorrect entries
  • Uninstall old programs that are no longer being used
  • Check for updates to any software that cause the system to run slower
  • Replace suspect hardware

If none of these fixes restore your PC back to the original performance levels you had when you first purchased it, it is probably time to start from scratch and reinstall Windows. If the PC is several years old, it may even be time to retire it and start fresh with a new computer. Run a RegistryWizard™ scan now to determine if you have any issues that can be fixed to improve your PC's performance.

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Surviving the "Blue Screen of Death"

Having your machine suddenly stop working for no apparent reason is extremely frustrating. On Microsoft Windows-based computers, such failures often result in the appearance of a solid blue screen containing a cryptic message in white letters. This is commonly called the "Blue Screen of Death" or BSOD.  Whenever the Windows operating system encounters an error from which it cannot recover, a BSOD is displayed.

Common hardware problems that generate a BSOD include faulty memory, a failed disk drive, or even an excess of dust on the circuit boards inside the computer. Software failures that often lead to BSODs involve improperly-installed, obsolete, defective, or otherwise faulty drivers.

A driver is the code that tells Windows about a hardware device and how to control it. Other problems could arise from improperly configured registry settings or faulty installation of Windows. Poorly written application software can also trigger the BSOD, although that is becoming increasingly rare.

It is possible for a trained computer professional to review the BSOD error message to determine what specific failure occurred, but if you are a typical computer user, you can rarely gain useful insights from this information. That doesn't mean that there is nothing you can do. Here are some simple steps that can help you track down problems and save a trip to the repair shop:

  • If the BSOD resulted from trying to use a specific piece of hardware, look for visual indications that the device is working such as lights coming on, disk spinning, etc. Try replacing the device if it completely dead.
  •  If there are no obvious physical problems, replace the device driver using the installation disk that came with it. Better yet, update the driver to the most recent version using DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies.
  • If the BSOD is intermittent or unrelated to any particular activity or piece of hardware, feel the computer case.  If it is hot, check to make sure your PC's fans are working.
  • If the computer case is not hot, try running a virus scan. There are several anti-virus products available that should identify the virus and remove it.

Should none of these techniques work and the problem persists, the failure may be related to problems with the RAM or hard drive. For most of us, this means it is time to back up our critical data and seek out a repair facility. For More Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Screen_of_Death 

 

How DriverAgent Works

 

DriverAgent™ is the industry's premier driver updating service and has been downloaded more than 10 million times. You can improve the stability of your computer after running a free driver scan today.

DriverAgent box shotWith more than 12.5M drivers across nearly 1000 manufacturers, DriverAgent™ has one of the largest and fastest growing collections of drivers on the Internet. Our proprietary crawlers constantly spider and index device manufacturer websites looking for new and updated drivers. 

When a new or updated driver is found it is automatically downloaded and marked for processing. As manufacturers typically package multiple drivers together into a single downloadable file, the first step in processing a driver is to extract each hardware device so that it can be parsed. 

Once all devices have been extracted, we then parse each item found and format the information in such a way that it can be used by the DriverAgent matching algorithm. After extraction we apply a series of heuristics to the information to ensure that we maximize match accuracy and present the information in a human readable format. Once an archive has been processed, it is uploaded into our production database and available for customers to use. 

Perform a driver scan now using DriverAgent.

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When to Reload Your PC's Operating System

Need a Fast and Easy-to-Use Office Suite for Your Netbook?

Surviving the Blue Screen of Death

How DriverAgent Works

 

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