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Question and Answer
I made a big mistake downloading a file that I believe was infected or corrupted. Now, without warning, my Dell notebook shuts down and I get a fatal error with a bunch of numbers and letters on a blue screen. Yesterday a corrupted file message popped up twice. I have no idea how to fix this. What's the easiest thing I can do without buying a new computer?
– Mary A., Baltimore, MD
Try a great PC repair tool called Reimage. First, download Reimage and within minutes their free system scan will safely check your PC for hidden problems that cause serious errors such as a virus, malware, spyware, even corrupted files. Next Reimage will determine if there's a problem within the Windows operating system itself. Finally, Reimage's patented technology will quickly repair all the detected problems and restores your computer to peak performance.

» Download Reimage
I have 6 email addresses I've had for a while and over the years they've attracted a regular amount of annoying and offensive spam, not to mention viruses pretending to be legitimate email attachments. I think my ISP filters some of it out but I still get quite a lot, so it's pretty annoying. Do you have any advice for a good spam filter which is easy to use so I can block this stuff?
– Charles F., Houston, TX

Spam has annoyed us all for years and while spam filters have improved over the years, much of our daily emails consist of spam messages, scams, unwanted newsletters and assorted junk mail that threatens to make you miss the actual, important messages you actually want to read. The best tool we've come across for managing spam and unwanted email is MailWasher Pro. MailWasher Pro lets you screen multiple email accounts, letting only the email that you want come through. With MailWasher Pro, you’ll be able to preview inbound email before it gets to your computer, phone, or tablet, giving you the power to delete spam or viruses before they have a chance to infect your devices. Any email that actually gets downloaded to your computer or mobile device is email that you actually want! You can even inspect messages to determine who it's really from, who owns the company who sent it (WHOIS report) and all hidden links. Of course, the screening isn’t all on you, though! MailWasher Pro comes with intelligent spam tools that ensure that only spam is caught, while allowing good emails through. Plus, with support for 18 languages, you can be assured that MailWasher Pro is one of the most effective spam filters on the global market. Imagine being completely spam-free in just three steps! That’s your new reality once you pick up a copy of MailWasher Pro!

» Download MailWasher Pro

Is there a difference in quality between HDMI, DVI, and VGA inputs?
– Patty S., Jacksonville, FL

Yes, VGA (video graphics array) is an analog interface, and it produces lower quality than what you’d see with DVI or HDMI. Both DVI and HDMI deliver an uncompressed digital video signal to your monitor, so the video quality is the same. The primary difference between the two is that HDMI is capable of providing both audio and video information at the same time. If you’re connecting a laptop or PC to an HDTV via DVI, you’ll need a separate cable to hear the audio from your computer. With HDMI, you’ll only need one cable to make both audio and video connections.

Driver Tip: Resolving Driver Issues

Whether you have recently installed a device or it came pre-installed, you will definitely have problems if the right driver isn’t installed, or has become corrupted. Here are some of the things you can try to resolve a driver related issue:

Restart the computer – Before you do anything, try a simple restart of the computer. Sometimes the computer freezes or gets overwhelmed, and restarting the machine may resolve the problem. Bear in mind that most operating systems require that the computer be restarted after a new installation; otherwise the connected device will not work properly.

Disconnect and reconnect the device – Especially if the device is connected via a USB (universal serial bus) port, disconnect it and then plug it in to a different USB port. This will allow the operating system to automatically resolve problems related to minor resource conflicts. If all goes well, the OS will detect the device (assuming it is plug-and-play) and install the correct drivers.

Check if an updated driver is available – Run a scan with DriverAgent for the latest version of the driver. Installing the latest driver doesn’t only ensure that your device will work properly, but it will improve the device’s performance as well.

Check your driver’s compatibility – Ensure that your driver is compatible with the operating system and other hardware on your computer. DriverAgent will locate the latest compatible drivers for your system. All you need to do is run a scan.

» Perform a driver scan now!



PC Performance Tip: Restoring Old Volume Slider in Windows 10


Microsoft has added a new horizontal UI for volume control slider in Windows 10 which is shown when you click on the Sound icon in Taskbar notification area. If you don't like the new UI, you can restore previous vertical volume control slider using following method:

1. In Registry Editor, go to following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\

2. Create a new key MTCUVC under CurrentVersion key.

3. In right-side pane, create new DWORD EnableMtcUvc and set its value to 0

If you want to restore new volume control UI, delete the DWORD EnableMtcUvc.

Please Note: Before performing these tweaks, we recommend backing up your systems registry. To back up the Registry the easy way, simply open Control Panel, click System, and then click System protection on the left sidebar. Click the big Create button to have Windows walk you through the straightforward process of creating a System Restore Point — it's as easy as that.

» Perform a PC performance scan now!


BIOS Tip – Why does a computer need a BIOS?

We were asked recently by a customer an interesting question. Why does a computer need a BIOS?

A BIOS is a hardware dependent piece of code stored on the motherboard itself. Every different motherboard needs a custom BIOS written for it, so it would be impossible to have a generic BIOS/OS all-in-one (although the BIOS is technically just stored code, so you could theoretically write an OS for one particular motherboard).

The purpose of the BIOS is to do the following: When the PC starts up, the first job for the BIOS is the power-on self-test, which initializes and identifies system devices such as the CPU, RAM, video display card, keyboard and mouse, hard disk drive, optical disc drive and other hardware.

Note that you can still start a computer without any external storage - which is why the BIOS is a requirement for a computer. In other terms, the BIOS provides a common software interface to allow a stored computer program to communicate with various hardware devices connected to the motherboard. For example, if I have two different motherboards with two different SATA controllers, the BIOS allows me to write a piece of code that can work with both, without my knowledge of how the motherboard actually sends commands to the SATA device. I just have to tell the computer "read sector X from this SATA device", and the BIOS is responsible for actually sending those commands to the hardware.

Where it actually gets the "read sector X" information from is a stored program contained within the BIOS, which usually directs the computer to start reading from a bootloader stored in a common location. These common locations are agreed upon by various software and hardware developers, and usually provided to the public to allow for more compatibility between systems.

Once a basic level of interfacing (again, logical interfacing through software) is established, the operating system itself builds a common interface with your various hardware devices (usually by using "device drivers"), and the operating system can then control the hardware.

Finally, it should be noted that the BIOS is also used to make modifications to the computer hardware configurations, and store them in the on-board EEPROM (so your computer remembers the changes next time you start it up). However, once the operating system is loaded, it has full control of the computer.

This allows for motherboard manufacturers to develop software allowing you to make these changes from within your operating system, as opposed to having to reboot into the BIOS. Again, this is very hardware and software dependent, but goes to show that all computer interfacing is relative. The BIOS is exactly what its name implies - a basic input/output system, to allow a common software interface for a more advanced program ("operating system") to take control of the machine.

» Perform a BIOS scan now!


Tech Tip

Customize Your Windows 10 Start Menu

Don’t forget to make the Start menu your own. If you appreciate the blend of the traditional interface with the Live Tiles, note that you can right-click on any tile and select Resize to alter the tile’s dimensions—just like on the Windows 8 Start screen.



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Quote of the Month
"The only failure is not to try."

- George Clooney

Sites of the Month

Fun Sites
Letterboxd
A social network for sharing your taste in film. Use it as a diary to record your opinion about films as you watch them, or just to keep track of films.
Useful Site
PCTrick
A great place to find interesting useful computer tips and tricks. Get interesting PC news and updates.

Did You Know?

Only 8% of the world’s currency is physical money, the rest only exists on computers.


Vocab Test
Backhack

The reverse process of finding out who is hacking into a system.

Browser Add-On
FireTube

Listen to free, unlimited music with FireTube. Simply search the artist or song of your choice and enjoy.

SmartPhone App
QuizUp

QuizUp is a free, award-winning multiplayer trivia game. Challenge friends and meet new people who share your interests.


Twitter Tip
Don't try to start arguments with people on Twitter. A friendly debate is fine, but respect others' opinions.


iPhone App

iOptimizer

iOptimizer

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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DriverAgent
eSupport UndeletePlus
RegistryWizard
BIOSAgentPlus



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