Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DriverAgent® Success Stories

In our October 2009 Issue of the eSupport.com Newsletter, we announced a contest, asking subscribers to submit success stories regarding their use of DriverAgent® - software that scans your PC and updates device drivers to keep your computer running at peak performance.

Here is the winning story:

Family Saves Money By Using DriverAgent to Revive Notebook for Son

After reading the Oct, Issue 14 newsletter I thought I would share with you my experience with DriverAgent.

My son Callum is about to turn 7 years, and has been having ICT lessons at primary school now for a year, as well working on the home PC. So me and my wife were considering what would be a good next step to help with his learning, education, and enjoyment in the use of computers.

We were looking at spending around £250+ (US$410+) for a small notebook, but while clearing out the spare room I came across an old notebook that had been resigned there because it had been quickly outdated and very frequent BSOD [Blue Screen of Death]. So before we decided to part company with the old one, once and for all, I thought about trying DriverAgent™ on it.

Very quickly it identified the vast array of outdated drivers, and after taking some care and a little time updating the notebook, with the brilliant assistance of DriverAgent, we now have a very stable entry level notebook for my son.

Saving us the cost of a new notebook, along with being able to keep the home PC regularly up-to-date and in good working order is well worth subscribing to this fantastic service.

Thanks,

Stephen, Janine and Callum Lauder


This story received honorable mention:

DriverAgent "Very Important Weapon" for PC Retailer/Repair Shop

We have a PC retail store with workshops for computer repairs and DriverAgent is a very important weapon in our armoury. Hard drive replacement is an extremely common repair and the reinstallation of drivers can be a stumbling block, we regulary find that customers have not retained original drivers discs or some manufacturers have not supplied them.

When all other normal avenues fail we rely on DriverAgent to find the right drivers and it rarely lets us down, saving us time and frustration. Brilliant.

Phil
Ezee PC's



Thank you to all of our eSupport.com customers, especially those who submitted DriverAgent success stories.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

After Upgrading to Windows 7...

After Upgrading to the Windows 7 operating system, you will want the latest Windows 7-compatible drivers on your PC to get the most out of your system and to avoid problems. However, making certain you have them is a challenge. To be sure, you could contact the vendors for every accessory on your PC (or search the Internet), determine if the driver you have needs to be updated, and then download and install the new version. That would be a very time consuming task.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way. DriverAgent has automated this task.The program scans your computer to discover what drivers you need, and then checks an online database to determine if any updates are available.If there are, you can instruct DriverAgent™ (www.driveragent.com) to automatically download and install the updates.

By using DriverAgent after you have installed Windows 7, you can be assured that you are starting out with your PC at its best. Then, from time to time, run a DriverAgent scan to make sure all your device drivers stay up-to-date. This will help keep Windows 7 and your PC in top performing shape.

If you're interesting in making Windows 7 look more like XP, check out this tip at www.windowsupgrade.net.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Jolly Good Gift Idea for the Frugal, No-Frills Holiday Shopper

The Holidays are fast approaching and if your wallet does not recover from buying binges like it used to, you are not alone. Many are planning to shop more conservatively this year. There's nothing wrong with having a "no-frills" holiday - one where you spend less and spend what you do more wisely.

This desire to be more frugal may be difficult if you draw the conclusion that a new family computer might be necessary because the old one is slow and unreliable and you're tired of its temperamental behavior. It may be really tempting to whip out your credit card and head on down to the store. Hold on, before you do invest in a new PC, take a deep breath and consider this: the problems with your PC may be fixable. You may be able to get it running like new with RegistryWizard™ (www.registrywizard.com).

Every time a new application is installed or a setting is changed within Windows, an entry documenting the change is added to a database repository called the Windows Registry. Over time the registry fills up with these entries and becomes cluttered and fragmented. This can cause your PC to slow down or crash or to have an assortment of other problems.

RegistryWizard is an all-in-one tool for correcting 24 different types of errors in your PC's registry. If you have RegistryWizard, be sure to run the scan as frequently as once every couple of months. If you don't have RegistryWizard, consider getting it. You might even consider giving it to someone as a holiday gift. It's a lot less expensive than buying a new computer, but might make you feel like you just bought a new one

Friday, October 23, 2009

Is Your PC Windows 7 Ready?

The newest version of Windows has arrived with enhanced features and streamlined performance. As with previous steps in the evolution of Windows, however, Windows 7 makes more demands on the PC than previous versions. If you looking to upgrade from an earlier Windows version, especially XP, you may find that your computer cannot handle Windows 7.

The websites, newsletters, and even the outside of the software’s box tell you what your PC needs to be like in order to run Windows 7, giving both minimum and recommended configurations. That’s fine if you speak computerese, and if you also know exactly what your PC’s configuration actually is. If you are into doing things the easy way, however, there is a quick and simple test to find out if your PC is Windows 7-ready.

Phoenix Technologies is offering an online Windows 7 compatibility test for your PC that will check out your system for you. It can determine your PC’s memory, storage, processing, and other capabilities and then compare them to what Windows 7 needs. It can also recommend improvements to your PC, such as adding memory, which can enhance its performance with the new software.

The test is easy to take with no studying required. Just go to http://www.windowsupgrade.net/ and click on the test button. A simple program will load onto your computer and run through the test sequence. You don’t need to find your old manual or dig into the Windows System Manager to find out if your PC has what it takes. The test program will tell you if all is well and if not, what to do about it.

Taking the Phoenix Windows 7 compatibility test is well worth the effort. It avoids the time, expense, and frustration of finding out during installation that your PC can’t handle Windows 7. And if your PC passes, you can move your system over to Windows 7 with confidence in a successful upgrade.

How to Get an Optimized Match between Windows 7 and Your PC's Core Systems Software

Embracing Windows 7 will bring new levels of functionality as well as ease-of-use features to your current computer. But is your PC really ready to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system?

At the heart of every PC is core systems software (also known as BIOS - the basic input-output system), which is the base that all other software - including Windows® - must build upon. Your PC’s core system software might have some compatibility issues with Windows 7 that could hinder achieving top performance or even cause loss of function.

The BIOS is the first in a series of programs that the PC must execute - a process called "booting" - in order to become ready for use. Booting is not the BIOS’ only role, however. In order to get things started, the BIOS must have a detailed understanding of the PC’s specific hardware and configuration, and be able to interact directly with that hardware.

Windows, on the other hand, needs to be able to run on any suitable computer regardless of such details, so it does not work directly with the hardware. The BIOS serves as Windows’ local guide, interpreter, and foreman for interacting with PC hardware, so the two must work together efficiently.

The older BIOS on your current PC, however, may not fully mesh with Win7. Some users, for instance, have reported that the brightness function keys for their laptop displays stopped working after Windows 7 was installed – the result of a BIOS-Win7 mismatch. A properly matched BIOS, on the other hand, will allow Windows 7 to efficiently interact with the PC’s hardware, boosting performance across nearly all applications.

Since the BIOS is slightly different on every computer, there is no way for the Windows 7 installation software to know if your BIOS also needs an update. You’ll have to check that yourself, a potentially laborious process that requires finding out who made your PC’s BIOS and checking with their technical support to identify and install the upgrade.

Phoenix Technologies®, the world leader in BIOS technology since 1985, offers a tool that vastly simplifies the process for almost any PC: BIOSAgentPlus™. This low cost and simple-to-use tool will scan your PC’s BIOS to determine if upgrading is needed, then automatically locate and install the new programming that ensures your PC is up-to-date and ready for Windows 7.

It’s a quick and easy first step that all should take before attempting to install the new operating system. The result will be an optimized match between Windows 7 and your PC’s foundation, giving you a solid boost to reaching top performance with your Windows 7 upgrade.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Getting Ready to Upgrade?

With the release of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system this week, you may now be planning to upgrade your computer. However, before you do, you probably should see if your PC is all ready for the new OS. One good way to find out if your computer is prepared for upgrading is to run a scan using DriverAgent's Driver Migration Wizard:

The Driver Migration Wizard is the ideal tool for anyone preparing to upgrade (or downgrade) their operating system. You can simply select the operating system you want to move up or back down to and then click on the "Scan" button.

Then DriverAgent will scan your current hardware and create a single archive file containing the drivers you will need on your next operating system. It really couldn't be easier.

Here is what the results might look like:

The chart will reveal to you what device drivers need to be updated in order for all your "peripherals" to work properly with the new Windows 7 operating system. In addition to a long list of items indicating which drivers are good and which need to be updated, there is a pie chart to show how much updating in general needs to be done.

If a good percentage of your drivers are out-of-date on devices that you use frequently, you may seriously want to consider getting selecting the "Download Now" at the bottom of the results page.

This selection will lead you to a web page where you can purchase DriverAgent software and download all the updates of drivers that you need to complete the preparation for Windows 7.

Friday, October 16, 2009

After Upgrading to Windows 7, Use DriverAgent™ to Keep Your PC in Top Shape

If you have decided to upgrade your computer to the new Windows® Version 7, now is a good time to whip your PC into top shape and keep it there. Every attachment and built-in accessory on your PC, such as the disc drive and WiFi link, needs a special piece of software called a driver. Windows uses these drivers to know exactly how to talk to and control your system hardware for maximum performance.

Unfortunately, the Windows 7 installation disc may not include the best available drivers (or indeed any drivers) for your specific system. The manufacturers of the accessories and attachments have to create the drivers, and they may not have sent their newest versions to Microsoft in time for distribution with Windows 7.

Also worth noting is that some manufacturers prefer to distribute drivers on CDs or on their support website and may not work through Microsoft at all. Indeed Microsoft’s Windows Update site has only a subset of the drivers most manufacturers recommend. In those cases, Windows 7 won’t install any drivers for that piece of hardware.

You will want the latest Windows 7-compatible drivers on your PC to get the most out of your system and to avoid problems. However, making certain you have them is a challenge. To be sure, you could to contact the vendors for every accessory in your PC (or search the Internet), determine if the driver you have needs to be updated, and then download and install the new version. That would be a very time consuming task.

Fortunately, there is a much easier way. Phoenix Technologies has created DriverAgent™ to automate this task for you. The program scans your computer to discover what drivers you need, and then checks an online database to determine if any updates are available. If there are, you can instruct DriverAgent to automatically download and install the updates.

By using DriverAgent after you have installed Windows 7, you can be assured that you are starting out with your PC at its best. Then, from time to time, run a DriverAgent scan to make sure all your device drivers stay up-to-date. This will help keep Windows 7 and your PC in top performing shape.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fearlessly Upgrading Your PC to Windows 7

For PC users, system upgrades like the soon-to-be-released Windows 7 are a cause for both excitement and anxiety. The excitement is for the new capabilities and performance improvements that Windows 7 promises. The anxiety comes from bitter experience. Many have tried Windows® upgrades in the past only to decide they liked the older version better. Then they discovered how hard it was to get their PC back to the way it had been prior to the upgrade.

Restoring a PC after an upgrade attempt can be difficult because the upgrade also replaces a host of software drivers with new code supporting the new Windows. Removing the upgraded operating system does not always remove these new drivers, and re-installing the older Windows version will not necessarily re-install the drivers you had been using. As a result, your PC could end up with incompatible or obsolete drivers. Your PC might behave differently than it had before the update attempt, or it may even stop working. Incompatibility in key system drivers can leave the PC non-operational and your prospects for fixing the problem bleak.

To make sure your PC gets fully restored, you need to find out what drivers changed during the upgrade and subsequent regression, and identify which driver versions to re-install, a tedious and error-prone task.

Fortunately, there is a solution available called DriverAgent™. This inexpensive and easy-to-use tool scans your PC to find all the drivers, and then searches an online database to determine if your drivers are all the right versions. It can also automatically download and install any drivers that need updating.

DriverAgent is especially useful for those planning to install a Windows upgrade because it offers a unique new feature – the Migration Wizard. This application makes upgrading or downgrading a much less risky proposition. It scans your hardware and builds a CD of all the drivers you will need for your target operating system.

By all accounts, Windows 7 seems like a winner; however, it never hurts to have a plan B if you need to downgrade. DriverAgent and its Migration Wizard make changing Windows versions so simple that you can do this upgrade fearlessly.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How to Get an Optimized Match Between Windows 7 and Your PC's BIOS

Embracing Windows 7 will bring new levels of functionality as well as ease-of-use features to your current computer. But is your PC really ready to upgrade to Microsoft’s latest operating system?

At the heart of every PC is a foundation program called the basic input-output system, or BIOS, which is the base all that other software - including Windows® – must build. Your PC’s BIOS might have some compatibility issues with Windows 7 that could steal performance or even cause loss of function.

The BIOS is the first in a series of programs that the PC must execute - a process called "booting" - in order to become ready for use. Booting is not the BIOS’s only role, however. In order to get things started, the BIOS must have a detailed understanding of the PC’s specific hardware and configuration and be able to interact directly with that hardware.

Windows, on the other hand, needs to be able to run on any suitable computer regardless of such details, so it does not work directly with the hardware. The BIOS serves as Windows’ local guide, interpreter, and foreman for interacting with PC hardware, so the two must work together efficiently.

The older BIOS on your current PC, however, may not fully mesh with Win7. Some users, for instance, have reported that the brightness function keys for their laptop displays stopped working after Windows 7 was installed – the result of a BIOS-Win7 mismatch. A properly matched BIOS, on the other hand, will allow Win7 to efficiently interact with the PC’s hardware, boosting performance across nearly all applications.

Since the BIOS is slightly different on every computer, so there is no way for the Win7 installation software to know if your BIOS also needs an update. You’ll have to check that yourself, a potentially laborious process that requires finding out who made your PC’s BIOS and checking with their technical support to identify and install the upgrade.

Phoenix Technologies, the world leader in BIOS technology, offers a tool that vastly simplifies the process for almost any PC: BIOSAgentPlus™. This low cost and simple-to-use tool will scan your PC’s BIOS to determine if upgrading is needed, then automatically locate and install the new programming that ensures your PC is up-to-date and ready for Windows 7.

It’s a quick and easy first step that all should take before attempting to install the new operating system. The result will be an optimized match between Win7 and your PC’s foundation, giving you a solid boost to reaching top performance with your Win7 upgrade.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where can I get the latest BIOS update for my laptop?

Recently we were asked, "Any information as to where I can go and get the latest BIOS update for my laptop? Theres no download on your site."

Phoenix Technologies does not provide BIOS updates directly to consumers. We only provide BIOS directly to the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). However, we do recommend using our BIOS Locator service, BIOSAgentPlus™.

This handy tool will scan your computer and allow our technicians to locate a BIOS for you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Can't Count on Microsoft to Update Drivers”

In Dwight Silverman’s TechBlog this week, he posted an article about updating drivers in Windows. He wrote that it “has always been a hassle…starting with Windows Vista and continuing with Windows 7.”

What Silverman learned when he tried to move some music files around on his “home-built Windows 7 PC” and wrote about was that: the “Windows Update” may not be providing users with the most up-to-date drivers.

Again, for those who are not aware, drivers are small pieces of software that PCs need in order to communicate with attached devices like printers or other peripherals. If you don’t stay current, by updating the drivers when new ones are provided, many devices may stop working properly as systems, other devices, and software programs evolve.

A fellow named Ed. C. probably said it best when he posted this succinct message in the “Comments” section of Silverman’s blog, “You just can't count on Microsoft to update drivers.”

Others weighed in with these statements:

Duane said:
“This is an argument in favor of the non-Microsoft solutions that crop up to fill the gap like DriverAgent, DriverDetective, and a bunch of others. Microsoft's relying on vendors to tell them the latest drivers, while third party services are more likely to go crawl the vendors and find out for themselves.”

King Fisher wrote:
“…Windows Update does a lousy job with drivers…”

Trey’s comment was:
“I’ve never had much luck trusting Windows to update my machine with current drivers…I use an app called DriverAgent, automatically finds/downloads latest drivers…”

Silverman ended his posting saying he contacted “Microsoft's Windows Update team who are looking into why I'm being offered older drivers when newer ones are already in place. They've requested some log files from my PC. Once I know more, I'll update this post.”

Wonder how long he’ll have to wait before he gets an answer?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Are You Ready for Windows 7?

Windows 7 is scheduled to be released on October 22, 2009. Are you ready? Let’s go over a few things to make sure that you are. Microsoft is listing the system requirements as follows:

- 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Something to consider in preparing your PC for Windows 7 is your system BIOS. It is important that you make sure your BIOS is up-to-date because it is the "firmware" that enables the hardware to communicate with the software. BIOSAgentPlus™ can help you find the BIOS you need to keep your system running optimally.

Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 is going to be a very tricky situation. You need to do a fresh install, which means you will lose what is on your hard drive.

Microsoft recommends using their Windows Easy Transfer utility to back up all of your files. The problem is that it doesn’t backup your program files or applications. You will need to reinstall those. So make sure that you have all of the installation media for your applications so that you can reinstall them.

Another way is to upgrade first to Windows Vista and then to Windows 7. Upgrading to Vista from XP is much easier. Then you can easily upgrade from Vista to Windows 7.

Once Windows 7 has been installed on your system, you will also be in need of drivers for all of your devices. Drivers for a new operating system can be hard to find on your own. DriverAgent™ is the perfect tool to locate the necessary drivers you need.

BIOSAgentPlus and DriverAgent will keep you system in top working condition to ensure that your upgrade to Windows 7 goes smoothly.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall In Love with Your PC Again

Few relationships between individuals and their electronic devices are as intimate as the one they establish with their personal computers. If you're like most, you probably have very vivid memories of when you first acquired your PC.

Remember how you carefully unpacked it? And then lovingly made all the right connections? The CPU to the screen, the keyboard, the mouse, and the printer. Remember when you turned it on for the first time? Recall the giddy excitement as you opened applications, moused over everything on the desktop, and surfed the Web?

You probably had dreams about all the things you could do and would do with your new computer. It was lightning fast and uncluttered. It had that fresh "new" smell. The screen was pristine and there were no dust or cookie crumbs embedded between the keys.

Then time goes by. You've had a good year or more together and you've accomplished a lot. But now things aren't going so smoothly between you and your PC. It is running a lot slower and maybe even suffering from occasional hanging, freezing, or crashing. You are starting to think that maybe you're going to have to get rid of it and start all over with a new one. Wait! That's an expensive and time-consuming proposition.

One simple but important way of restoring your PC's performance and reliability is to clean the registry - the tool that Windows® uses to keep track of information about the many software pieces your PC uses.

RegistryWizard™ (www.registrywizard.com) can check the registry for entries on programs that are no longer in the computer, verify that cross references are valid and accurate, and eliminate the empty spaces to make the list more compact and efficient to use. It can also rearrange registry entries to streamline program execution.

The benefits of cleaning the registry are immediate and obvious. Your PC will boot faster and activate programs more quickly. Programs may also execute more quickly, improving such things as video playback and game performance. Most importantly, many of those annoying freezes, glitches, and crashes will simply vanish.

Cleaning the registry doesn't solve all computer problems, but it will go a long way toward restoring your computer's performance and reviving your affection for it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

UndeletePlus to the Rescue

Ionut Ilascu, an editor with Softpedia, recently reviewed eSuppport.com's UndeletePlus and gave it a "very good" rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Below are some excerpts from the review:

"...As far as performance goes, UndeletePlus is among the best file-recovery tools on the market, as long as certain rules are obeyed: never store data on the drive the application is scanning for lost files and use the program as soon as you realize the deletion of the data...


"...UndeletePlus combines the ease of use with amazing data-recovery capabilities and wraps it all up in a great-looking interface. All the search options present in the application will make sure that you find the desired file and that it is recovered.

"The preview option allows you to view the file before recovering it and keeping folder structure enables the recovery of an entire directory with subfolders, having all the data in the exact same place as when it has been deleted.
.."

Read the entire review here:
http://www.softpedia.com/reviews/windows/Undelete-Plus-Review-119539.shtml

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to School – Make Sure Your PC Gets a Passing Grade

With fall just around the corner and school starting up again, it’s a really good time to do a check up on your computer. You want to make sure things get started off right, so that there can’t be any "my computer ate my home work" experiences.

Below are our ABCs to good PC health:

A. Accidentally Deleted Your Homework? – We all know stuff happens, especially at 2am or 3am when you’re cramming to get that term paper finished. There’s a good software tool available called UndeletePlus (http://www.undeleteplus.com/) that you should have on hand, just in case the unthinkable happens. What’s cool about UndeletePlus is that in addition to being able to recover deleted files from a PC, it can also restore data from flash drives, memory drives, and even, cameras.

B. Beware of Bloatware – Almost every new application that you load onto a PC automatically adds some extra code to the boot-up process. This additional code is often called "bloatware" and not only increases the boot time for the computer, it uses up system memory. Because this slows down your PC, it’s important to remove any extraneous software from your laptop.

C. Security – One of the best things you can do to avoid online trouble, is to download a free Web guide called SiteAdvisor (http://www.siteadvisor.com/) from McAfee. SiteAdvisor displays green, yellow, and red safety ratings in the browser for every website that is visited. If SiteAdvisor rates a site red, it means that the site has a history of misbehavior that could include malware, spyware, Trojan horses, rootkits, spammer and more.

Also, SiteAdvisor provides ratings on search results and even has pop-up alerts if you try to download free Hot Girls of Pensacola wallpaper from a risky website. SiteAdvisor is all about safe surfing, something everyone should practice. In addition to a Web guide, you should have anti-virus software.

D. Don’t Be Tardy – Don’t you hate it when it takes forever for your computer to do anything? There are a couple of chores you can do to keep it running at peak performance. One is cleaning your PC’s registry so that you can work at top speed and not miss "due dates."
With each new application that gets installed or each setting is changed within Windows, the registry gradually gets cluttered, slowing down your system, and can causing some unexpected problems. RegistryWizard™ (www.registrywizard.com) is an all-in-one tool that detects and automatically corrects errors in your registry. It will help optimize and stabilize the performance of your computer.

E. Educate Yourself – Take time to learn a little about updating device drivers to keep your PC from crashing. Lesson One: What are device drivers? Buried within a PC’s software are a multitude of small programs that tell the core processor how to interact with the world. These are called drivers. They are critical to a PC’s performance. Actively maintaining these drivers can boost performance and reduce problems, allowing you to get the most from your PC.

DriverAgent™ (http://www.driveragent.com/) is the industry's best driver updating software. It’s has more than 12.5 million drivers from nearly a thousand manufacturers.

F. Put the "Freeze" on Unwanted Access – Don’t you hate it when you get up from your desk for a second and your goofy roommate (let’s call him Jack the Laptop Hijacker) jumps on to your computer and starts doing who knows what….? Yeah, it’s so junior high that you can’t trust him, but it’s your reality, at least, until the end of the semester. So what are you going to do?

Two words: Phoenix Freeze™ (http://www.phoenixfreeze.com/). It automatically locks and unlocks your laptop or netbook by combining with your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. With Freeze whenever you walk away from your computer with your cell phone, it locks. When you return, it unlocks whenever you re-enter an adjustable pre-set zone. It’s that simple and totally secure!

If you take all these lessons to heart, you and your computer should get through the school year without failing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"A Quick & Effective Way to Retrieve Accidentally Deleted Files"

If you have ever gotten rid of a digital file and then later realized it was a mistake, you're not alone. I'd ventured to say practically everyone does this once in awhile. Recreating something you deleted is a drag, but the worst case of not being able to recreate something that you really need is where a product like eSupport.com's UndeletePlus comes to the rescue.

In a blog called OCIM, Ali Munandar gives a good review of the file recovery software:

"UndeletePlus is a quick and effective way to retrieve deleted files, files removed from the Recycle Bin, in a DOS window, from Windows Explorer with the SHIFT key held down. UndeletePlus with its clean and simple interface, is a small, fast, useful, practical and powerful."

Read the entire blog posting here:
http://ocimware.blogspot.com/2009/08/undelete-plus-300602.html

Friday, August 14, 2009

All About Device Drivers and DriverAgent

A device driver is a small piece of software that controls a device (often called a peripheral) on your PC. Every device, whether it be a printer, disk drive, or keyboard must have a driver. Many drivers, such as the keyboard driver come with the operating system. For other devices, you may need to load a new driver when you connect the device to your computer.

In DOS and Windows systems, drivers are files with a .sys extension. In Windows environments, drivers can also have a .drv or .vxd extension. A driver acts like a translator between the device and programs that use the device. Each device has its own set of specialized commands that only its driver knows. In contrast, most programs access devices by using generic commands. The driver, therefore, accepts generic commands from a program and then translates them into specialized commands for the device.

Drivers are not your ordinary software updates. They often offer new and improved functionality and resolve technical issues. You should always keep your drivers up-to-date as this will help you get the most out of your hardware and software.

With DriverAgent™, you can automatically and quickly identify your computer's hardware devices, and see whether there's a newer driver available. This information is very helpful in the event you need or want to update the device drivers on your PC.

Just run Driver Agent on your system and it will give you a detailed report on which drivers on your system should be updated.

DriverAgent will not damage your system in any way. It is simply a tool that you can use to obtain useful information about your system.

Monday, August 10, 2009

About eSupport.com

Phoenix Technologies’ eSupport.com provides online diagnostic software and other support tools that enhance the computer user experience.

eSupport.com’s comprehensive line of web-based tools will keep your PC fast, easy-to-use, and running at peak performance. Some of the most recognized names in the PC utility market have been developed by eSupport.com’s industry-leading development team.

Check out our products:DriverAgent™ scans computers for outdated drivers. It uses sophisticated matching technology to search our comprehensive database of over 12 million device drivers. Downloaded more than 10 million times, DriverAgent is the Internet’s premier device driver search and update service.

RegistryWizard™ is an all-in-one tool for correcting errors in your registry and will help optimize and stabilize the performance of your computer. With each new application that gets installed or each setting is changed within Windows®, the registry gradually gets cluttered, slowing down your system, and can causing some unexpected problems. RegistryWizard detects and automatically corrects these problems, restoring your PC to health.

UndeletePlus is a quick and effective way to restore accidentally deleted files. It works with computers, flash drives, cameras, and other forms of data storage. Simply scan the device, select the files you want to recover, and click to restore the information or image you thought was lost forever.

Phoenix Freeze™ is a security product for Windows XP™ and Vista™ that automatically locks your computer when you walk away from it with your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone and unlocks when you come back. Freeze provides the option to shut off your PC's screen and can also put it in sleep mode - leading to longer battery life.

eSupport.com is the world's oldest and largest provider of BIOS Upgrades with nearly 20 years of unparalleled excellence in the industry. BIOSAgentPlus™ is a software product that will scan your computer to keep it current when new BIOS updates are available.

With 139 technology patents and 65 patents pending and approximately 500 dedicated employees worldwide, Phoenix is revolutionizing the personal computer by delivering unprecedented performance, security, reliability, continuity, and ease-of-use. We’re committed to continuously improving and leveraging our history of expertise to deliver the world's best core systems and next generation computing device software solutions.

Phoenix Technologies is headquartered in Silicon Valley (Milpitas, California) with offices worldwide.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mr.Gadget.com Thinks eSupport.com(r) Has "Nifty" Tools

It's almost Back-to-School time and here's a great article posted by Steve Kruschen on his Mr.Gadget.com site 10 days ago, about how you can save some money by tuning up an aging personal computer:

Maybe An Existing Windows PC Need Not Be Replaced, Only Tuned Up – Advice for Parents and Students

In the article, Kruschen informs readers about easy ways to optimize PCs with a little help from eSupport.com products and services.

Be sure to read the entire piece. Spoiler alert! Here are the last two paragraphs:

All of these particular services can be found at eSupport.com (www.esupport.com), a central PC tune-up shop with nifty tools and products for your PC. Unlike many such sites, eSupport.com has live customer support should you need help along with the way.

The moral of the story is, before spending the time and money buying a new computer this back-to-school season, give your current PC a well-deserved tune-up using services like eSupport.com and discover untapped potential and new life in your computer.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Optimize Your PC - Clean the Registry Like Your Would Your Clothes Closet

You have probably noticed that your PC is gradually getting slower while error messages and even crashes are becoming more common. It’s not the hardware wearing out; it’s the software that’s dragging. One important way of restoring your PC’s performance and reliability is to clean the registry.

The registry is a reference list that Windows uses to keep track of information about the many software pieces your PC uses. For each application program the registry tells, among other things, what options and default settings to use, what types of data files the program can handle and where to find them, and what the program will want to check out and use from the library of system software that Windows makes available. The registry also controls some of the order and timing of things the PC does.

Every time you install a new program in Windows, information about that program adds to the registry. Removing the program, however, may not necessarily remove the registry information. Imagine a list on which you write down the clothes you own and what other clothes they go with to make nice ensemble outfits. Clothes go out of style, get damaged, or somehow loose their fit, and new ones get added to the closet. As this happens that list gets longer and some entries get scratched out. But you not only have to remember to scratch out, say, the entry for a blue shirt that got wine spilled on it and was thrown out, you have to correct the note under those black pants that says they would look good with the blue shirt. Otherwise you might find yourself looking for that shirt when you want to wear those pants, and it’s no longer there.

The list also starts getting very ugly, especially if you make a lot of changes. Over time it will take longer and longer to look through the list when you want to find something. Add that to the errors like the blue shirt reference that didn’t get removed from the pants entry, and the list gets harder and harder to use. After a while, you’ll probably want to copy the list over to clean it up and maybe also check it against your closet contents to make sure it’s accurate.

The exact same thing happens with the Windows registry. Over time, as you add and remove programs, change settings, and otherwise go about the daily business of using your computer, the registry keeps getting longer and errors creep in.

When Windows removes entries from the registry it leaves gaps that the computer still must scan when it’s looking for information in the registry. The result is that the computer takes longer and longer to find the registry information it needs, slowing down system performance. The errors can cause the computer to make mistakes, ranging from freezing a program to crashing the system.

Cleaning up the Windows registry is not a simple task, however. It uses somewhat cryptic coding and it is not always clear from inspection where all the cross references lead, what must change, and what can safely be deleted. Make a mistake in the wrong place and your computer may simply stop working, leaving you with no way of undoing the damage.

Applications software such as RegistryWizard from Phoenix Technologies can help automate this difficult and risky yet essential task. These programs can check the registry for entries on programs that are no longer in the computer, verify that cross references are valid and accurate, and eliminate the empty spaces to make the list more compact and efficient to use. They can also rearrange registry entries to streamline program execution. They do all this with full understanding of how the registry works, and implement safety measures to ensure that changes can be reversed if problems do arise.

The benefits of cleaning the registry are immediate and obvious. Your PC will boot faster and activate programs more quickly. Programs may also execute more quickly, improving such things as video playback and game performance. Most importantly, many of those annoying freezes, glitches, and crashes will simply vanish.

Cleaning the registry is not the solution to every problem on a PC, but it will go a long way toward optimizing your computer's performance and stabilizing its operation.

Friday, July 31, 2009

PC World's Review of UndeletePlus

Check out PC World's review of eSupport.com's UndeletePlus:

"Deleted a file from the Recycle Bin--and wish you had it back? Worry not. UndeletePlus ($30, 14-day feature-limited demo) will most likely be able to recover it for you, along with possibly hundreds of other files that you thought were gone forever. It claims to recover not only files that you deleted from the Recycle Bin, but also files that you deleted and never made it into the Recycle Bin, such as if you've deleted files from a USB drive, or from within a DOS window. You can also use it to recover files deleted from CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMedia and Secure Digital cards..."

"...This version is a major upgrade over the previous version of UndeletePlus, which was freeware."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Enhancing the Blackberry-PC Collaboration

The Blackberry personal digital assistant is a great way to stay connected and productive while on the move. It gives its users the ability to make and receive phone calls, access the Web, handles emails and text messaging, maintains appointment schedules, and manages contact databases. The Blackberry can also be a source of entertainment, providing music, photo, and video playback, as well as being a GPS navigation device.

Connecting the Blackberry to a PC via a USB cable or a WiFi network enhances these capabilities. The connection not only allows the two devices to exchange data files, it allows the Blackberry to use the PC’s network connection as an alternative to the cellular network. This can improve performance while inside buildings where reception is poor, and can save on cellular connection and usage fees.

The key to maximizing the Blackberry-PC connection’s effectiveness lies in a piece of software that many users don’t even know about: the driver. A driver is code that the PC needs in order to communicate with attached devices like the Blackberry. Every attached device on the PC needs its own driver.

Technology is constantly improving, however. Over time, then, the driver software that came with the device when purchased becomes out-of-date. Having out-of-date drivers creates problems accessing new features and can lead to system crashes. The solution is to periodically update the PC’s drivers but there can be hundreds of them on a typical PC and some updates are difficult to find, making the process both frustrating and time consuming.

Fortunately there is an application program called DriverAgent(tm) from Phoenix Technologies that eliminates those issues. DriverAgent can scan your PC to see what drivers it uses, then compare them against more than a million drivers in its database to ensure that what you have is the most up-to-date version available. It can also automatically download and install driver updates with a simple mouse click. Your time investment is minimal, but you will maximize the performance of your Blackberry-PC collaboration.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Updated Drivers Sharpen Nvidia Graphics

Each new generation of graphics cards for PCs raises the bar in terms of speed and detail. But gamers and other power graphics users don’t always need to update their card in order to gain performance. Simply updating the PC’s graphics card drivers can help sharpen the performance of existing cards by improving performance, fixing bugs, and enabling new features.

Driver updates can be a challenge, however, in part because companies like Nvidia produce so many versions of their cards and each needs a unique driver. Furthermore, it may be hard to determine what specific card a PC has installed.

eSupport.com's DriverAgent(tm) from Phoenix Technologies can help clear up this confusion. DriverAgent scans your PC to determine exactly what drivers it is using, then searches its massive database to find the latest available version, and updates the PC automatically. One simple operation ensures that the PC is using the fastest and most reliable drivers available, keeping the action fast and the graphics sharp.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Strengthen Your PC’s Foundation with BIOS Upgrades

At the heart of every PC is a foundation program called the basic input-output system, or BIOS. Like the foundation of your house, it is the base on which all other software - including the operating system – must build. Also, like your house foundation, keeping the BIOS in good repair is an essential step in keeping your PC strong.

Today’s PCs can perform an astounding array of complex tasks, but at the moment you turn them on they are astoundingly stupid. All the central processing unit (CPU - the PC’s “brain”) knows how to do after power-up is go to a specific place in a special memory chip to find instructions on what to do next. The BIOS program is that set of instructions and as one of its many tasks it teaches the CPU how to do basic functions such as read the keyboard and turn on the display.

The BIOS is the first in a series of programs that the PC must execute in order to become ready for your use, a process called “bootstrapping” or simply “booting” - taken from the phrase "pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps." The BIOS initializes the system hardware and tells the CPU how to use it. The BIOS then has the PC test its hardware to ensure it is operating correctly. It also tells the PC where and how to look for a special boot program on the disk drive.

By running the disk drive boot program, the PC learns how to find files on the disk so it can then load and run Windows(r). Only after it is running Windows is the PC ready to take your commands. The boot process is thus like first teaching a child to read, then opening the door to a library and teaching them how to find books in it, at which point there is no limit to what the child can learn to do. The BIOS is the PC’s Primer.

Bootstrapping is not the BIOS’s only role, however. In order to get things started the BIOS must have detailed understanding the PC’s specific hardware and configuration and be able to interact directly with that hardware. Windows, on the other hand, needs to be able to run on any suitable computer regardless of such details, so it does not work directly with the hardware. The BIOS serves as Windows’ local guide, interpreter, and foreman for interacting with PC hardware.

Because it plays these key roles in both the PC’s startup and ongoing operation, the BIOS has a direct impact on the PC’s performance and operational stability as well as the speed of graphics and other signal channels. Ensuring that your PC has the most up-to-date and robust BIOS available, then, is essential to keeping it performing well. It is also essential for giving your PC access to new hardware control features as they become available. Such features include CPU upgrades, updates and error fixes for the advanced graphics port (AGP) and PCI Express Video port, and system power control.

System power control is particularly important for laptops and other battery-operated PCs. In order to give Windows users the ability to tune their PC’s power demands the computer industry has defined the Advanced Control and Power Interface (ACPI). PCs that are ACPI compliant give their users tools that let them control what hardware is running and how fast, so that the PC uses only as much battery power as it needs for the task it is performing.

While you’re using the computer to play music, for instance, you don’t need the display on. Or if you’re watching a DVD you don’t need to power the Internet connection. If your PC’s BIOS is ACPI compliant, you can turn off the things you aren’t using so that your battery lasts longer. To be certain it has the latest version, you need to update your BIOS.

The best source for updates and maintenance of your PC’s BIOS is not the PC manufacturer but a BIOS developer. PC manufacturers merely acquire a BIOS and adapt it to their specific hardware. They may or may not offer any upgrades. A BIOS developer, on the other hand, has a vested interest in keeping their BIOS up to date, robust, and operating at peak efficiency.

Phoenix Technologies is the world leader in BIOS technology, and offers tools like the BIOSAgentPlus to simplify BIOS maintenance for virtually any PC. These tools let you keep your PC’s foundation software strong so that the rest remains standing tall.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Driver Maintenance Keeps PCs Healthy

Buried within PC software lie a multitude of small programs that tell the core processor how to interact with the world. These programs, called drivers, are critical to a PC’s function and performance, yet users often ignore them or are unaware of their existence. Actively maintaining these drivers can boost performance and reduce problems to help users get the most from their PCs.

One of the modern PC’s strengths is that users have a virtually unlimited range of choices for adding on devices such as keyboards, cameras, printers, and storage. Neither device type nor vendor choice are restricted, yet the PC is able to handle these additions with ease even if they add capabilities never seen before. The secret to this flexibility lies in the use of a code segment called “the driver.”

Essentially, a driver is a small program that tells the PC how to talk to and control any device that connects to the processor core. If the PC wants to read from the keyboard, draw on the display, make a sound, or write to the disk drive, it needs a driver to tell it how. Many drivers come already built into a PC at the outset. Other drivers come as part of the Windows operating system so that they are automatically available if and when a user plugs in a peripheral device.

When adding more complex devices, such as a camera or a printer, the driver loads from a CD or floppy disk as part of the installation and setup. In all cases, however, the PC needs to have a driver in order to use a device.

Driver software is different from application software. An application gives a user the software tools to perform a task, like download and edit a photo or compose and send an email. The driver does the grunt work of translating generalized instructions and data from the application into device-specific signals to the relevant hardware, like a camera or modem.

Nothing is perfect, however, and driver software is no exception. Like everything else on the PC, drivers need occasional maintenance to keep in top form. Application software, though, often has built-in routines to look for and install updates or the user knows to manually download and install updates from time to time.

Driver software has no such support, is not included in other software updates, and thus is often forgotten about. Errors discovered after the driver was released don’t get fixed, new features that have become available don’t get added, and applications software may evolve and begin requesting things an old driver cannot supply, causing the application to fail.

Unfortunately for the consumer, maintaining driver software is not a simple task. A typical PC may contain hundreds of drivers for the devices it is using, the devices it once used, and the devices it may use. Not only would manually checking for updates on each driver be time consuming and tedious, the system often offers no clue about where to look for such updates in the first place.

Applications such as DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies can help. Such applications scan the PC to determine which drivers it needs and what their revision status is, then check a database of more than a million drivers to see if any of the PC’s drivers can be updated. The application can also automatically download and install those driver updates. This reduces the user’s task from handling scores of drivers individually to a few mouse clicks.

The benefits of routine driver maintenance are significant. By working with the most up-to-date drivers the PC is ensured access to all the latest features and functions its equipment can provide. Driver maintenance also helps eliminate potential errors that can crash systems and frustrate users, even solving problems before they appear. Applications from companies like Phoenix Technologies, the world leader in foundation software for the PC, can help by moving maintenance from a major chore to a simple task.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Avoid Driver Dead Zones

Users of Verizon cellular services can enhance their wireless device’s utility by linking it to their PC. Such a link-up lets the two exchange files such as music and video, and give the PC a cellular connection to the Internet. An essential element of this link-up is somewhat hidden software on the PC called a driver.

Drivers give the PC details on how to interact with attached devices such as printers, flash drives, and Verizon cell phones. Each type device needs its own driver and, like all software, drivers occasionally need updating to keep the PC operating at its best.

That task can be tedious and error prone, however, because a typical PC contains more than 100 drivers and they all come from different vendors. DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies can help. It finds all drivers on a PC and automatically updates them from a database with more than a million entries, keeping the PC running smoothly and free of driver dead zones.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Top 10 Reasons the PC Needs a Makeover

Most people have a love-hate relationship with their personal computer (PC). On the one hand it gives access to the wealth of information and entertainment available on the Internet. On the other hand, it can unexpectedly misbehave and often be frustrating to use. Many people would like to see the PC get a makeover. Here are the top ten reasons why:

1. Start-up Time – Unlike a TV or MP3 player, which starts working almost immediately, a PC takes way too long to become useful after you turn it on. It has to prepare itself for operation by loading software that then loads still more software until all the bells and whistles are in place before it can do anything. This “bootstrap” or “boot” process can take five minutes or more. Users would rather be able to turn it on and begin using it right away rather than drumming their fingers on the desktop waiting for the boot up to finish.

2. Software Bloat – Almost every new application that you load onto a PC automatically adds some code to the boot process so that the application is primed and ready to go if and when you finally ask for it. This additional code – often called “bloatware” – not only increases the boot time for the computer, it uses up system memory. The more that memory fills up, the slower the PC will run (It’s like trying to write a grocery list at a desk cluttered with tax forms and Christmas cards and ten other things; it just isn’t as quick and easy as it should be.) Users want the PC to be quick and consistent, not slowing down over time.

3. Complexity – The PC is designed to be a multi-purpose tool that can do many different kinds of things, most of which most users do not need. As a result, the PC is like a super Swiss Army Knife with 100 blades: complex, bulky, and often awkward to use. Many users want a simple and easy-to-use device that does what they want without a lot of confusing and unwanted complications.

4. Cost – Because of its complexity the PC is expensive, costing much more than nearly any electronic device other than a wide-screen TV. And that’s just for the computer; software costs extra. For many who only use their computer for e-mail, web browsing, and the like, the expense is way out of line for their needs. It’s like being forced to purchase a Lincoln Town Car when all you needed was a golf cart. Users want a low-cost option that does only what they need without having to purchase a lot of fluff.

5. Performance – Just because users want to scale down their PC to simplify operation and lower cost, it doesn’t mean that they will tolerate poor performance. The PC makeover will still need to provide enough performance that users do not have to wait and wait for results. They may not need a Town Car, but don’t want a Go-Cart, either.

6. Reliability – The more complex the machine, the more likely something will go wrong. For the PC, halting operation then displaying an error message is something that occurs so often it has earned its own nickname: “the Blue Screen of Death.” Users want something that runs reliably and does not freeze up due to simple errors or unknown causes.

7. Security – While the Internet is a fantastic source of information, entertainment, and communications, it has the some of lawlessness of the Wild West. There is no police force to prevent cons and vandals from lurking out there. Such people can create innocent-looking or even counterfeit websites and e-mails that, once you access them, will load onto your computer viruses that can trash its operation, steal your personal information, or even take remote control of your PC. Users want their PC to be safe from such attacks once and for all.

8. Portability – People are always on the move and often find themselves wanting Internet access while away from their home base: on vacation, business trips, or even while out shopping. They want to stay in touch with family and friends, look up information about where to eat and how to get there, get news and weather, or simply play games, but they cannot take a desktop computer along and even a laptop computer may be too big to bother with. Smart cell phones, on the other hand, are too tiny and hard to type on. What users want is a computer with full keyboard that is small enough to take with them so that it can always be there when they want it.

9. Battery Power – If you’re going to carry something around for convenience, you don’t want to be forced to find a power outlet in order to use it. Users want their portable PCs to be like cell phones - battery powered with a battery that lasts for many hours or even days of use between charges.

10. Weight – Tied in with the desire for portability and battery-powered operation is a requirement for light weight. Lugging around an extra pound or two quickly becomes tiresome. Users want their portable PC to be light enough that they don’t notice the burden.

Happily, these desired makeovers are now underway. A new generation of ultra-mobile PCs powered by software from Phoenix Technologies is coming to market that have all the characteristics users are asking for. Even existing desktop computers can get a makeover to provide instant-on functionality, enhanced security, and protected performance in key applications. These makeovers will turn the PC into something just lovable.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Phoenix Freeze: Simple Security

From today's "Laptop Battery News" Blog:

"Simple at its core, Phoenix Freeze is designed with laptops in mind, but will work on any PC that has Bluetooth capabilities. Once installed on the PC,ThinkPad X60 Tablet battery, the application can be paired with any Bluetooth phone or other device.

Basically a security tool, Freeze senses the proximity of the device and will automatically lock the computer when you walk away with it. When you return, the program unlocks the PC upon your arrival."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Clearing Cobwebs from Windows

Ever notice that, over time, Windows takes longer and longer to load and your PC gets sluggish like it needs a strong cup of coffee to clear the cobwebs out of its head?

You’re not imagining it. One of the reasons this happens is the gradual accumulation of out-of-date and unused drivers.

Drivers are small programs that the PC needs in order to communicate with attached hardware such as media players, PDAs, and GPS units that use the PC connection for file transfers and the like.

Over time, Windows needs updates to add functionality and fix bugs, and so do these drivers. But these updated drivers come from the vendors of the devices, not Microsoft, so it’s up to you to maintain them. The challenge is, there are hundreds on your PC and not all of them are still being used.

DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies automates driver maintenance so that your PC can remain fast and reliable. The application automatically identifies out-of-date drivers and downloads updates from its database of more than a million drivers for virtually every connected device. So with a single click, the cobwebs can be gone.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updating Nokia Phone Drivers? No Problem

You can do a lot by connecting your Nokia phone to a PC. In addition to customizing your phone with music and images, you can backup and synchronize important content such as contact lists and schedules. You can even use the phone to get your PC connected to the Internet when traveling.

Every type of device that you connect to a PC, however, needs a special program called a driver to handle device-specific details the PC needs to know. As with other software on the PC, those drivers need regular updates to keep working at peak effectiveness, and there are hundreds of them on a typical PC.

DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies makes keeping these drivers updated as simple as a mouse click. The application will compared the drivers on your PC with its million-plus database, and automatically replace those that are out of date. Your system will work better and your Nokia-PC connection will stay at peak performance.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Check Out a Blogger's Video Review of Freeze

Kevin Tofel of JK on the Run is trying out Phoenix Freeze's free trial and demonstrating on video how he set up the cool new product and uses it here:

http://jkontherun.com/2009/06/24/lock-pc-with-bluetooth-phone/

Freeze is a patent-pending solution for laptops and netbooks that combines with your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to provide you with a convenient, always-on proximity locking system. It will automatically lock down your laptop whenever you walk away from it with your smartphone.

When you return within a certain proximity of your laptop that you pre-defined, it automatically unlocks it. Freeze offers safety, security, and peace of mind without the annoying effort required to constantly lock and unlock your laptop with passwords or finger swipes.

Making the Most of the Motorola Magic

Camcorder, stereo, walkie-talkie, Motorola phones are all this and more. By linking them to a PC you can also use them as a mobile extension of your office, complete with contact databases, email access, and date book.

To make the most of the Motorola magic, however, that PC link needs to be in top shape. Connections to a PC depend on an almost hidden bit of software called a driver that tells the PC important details about the device you are connecting, and every device needs its own driver.

Making sure all this driver software remains up to date could be a major chore but for the DriverAgent application from Phoenix Technologies. This application will look at the hundreds-plus drivers on your PC, determine which ones are out of date, and automatically update them for you. This helps keep your PC operating smoothly, and ensures the link to your Motorola phone is the best available.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

If You Delete a File By Mistake, You Can Get it Back



No matter how careful we are, we all make mistakes. Fortunately, when we mistakenly delete files from our computer there are ways to recover them. We can “undo” the delete.

When a computer, camera or a similar hardware device deletes a file it doesn’t actually remove the information. Deleting a file simply marks the space where it was stored as empty and available. Until that space is needed again, nothing happens to the data. This is a bit like leaving something in your hotel room when you check out. It stays right there until someone comes in and disposes of it.

So if you delete a file by mistake, chances are you’ll be able to get it back. You just need software to search the “empty” spaces to find and retrieve it. That’s the job of UndeletePlusPhoenix Technologies’ file recovery software that works with PCs, flash drives, digital cameras, and other products that store data. Simply scan for deleted files, select those you want back, and click a button to restore the information or image you thought was lost forever.

Of course, not all files can be recovered all of the time. If housekeeping has already cleaned your hotel room, you probably can’t retrieve that left behind item. Computers are designed to reuse the space that deleted files occupied. As a result, deleted files can be permanently damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, most computers have lots of space available for saving data, so there’s a good chance that your recently deleted file will be retrievable. The longer a file has been deleted, the less likely you’ll be able to recover it. UndeletePlus will inform you of the chances for recovering the file you want to retrieve.

UndeletePlus helps you find the deleted file you want to restore by allowing you to:
- Filter the scanning results by file name, size, type, and date created.
- Sort the results by name, size, recovery status, and original location.
- Preview the file’s contents – text or image as appropriate – so you can be sure you recover the one you want.
- Recover multiple files simultaneously so you don’t have to pick just one.
- Recover files and save to a different drive or partition so that restoring the files doesn’t damage anything on the original drive, not even other unrecovered files.

Mistakes don’t have to be irreversible, especially computer ones. For accidental file deletion, Undelete-Plus lets you undo the error. Try it out for free at http://www.undeleteplus.com/.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Maintain the Helio Connection

Users of Helio mobile phones and personal media players have a challenge to look forward to. The company was purchased by Virgin Mobile last year, and plans are afoot to move the Helio brand over to Virgin. Service will remain intact, but support might change. In particular, finding updated drivers for connecting to a Helio device to a PC may become more difficult as Virgin Mobile erases the brand.

Drivers are an essential part of the software for the link between the PC and a Helio – or any other attached device for that matter. Drivers are needed, for example, in order to use applications such as MediaMover that transfer music and video from the PC for the Helio to play. These drivers need to be periodically updated to maintain PC performance and stability as well as access new Helio features that become available.

The DriverAgent application from Phoenix Technologies can help. It compares the drivers on a PC to a database of more than a million, identifying out-of-date drivers and updating them automatically, maintaining the Helio connection through the company’s changeover.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Keeping Drivers Up-to-Date, Driving You Crazy?

Your Palm mobile device contains contact databases, appointment schedules, entertainment media, and more in support of your business travel. While it is great for retrieving information, however, it can be awkward for entering data. To load your Palm, you’ll want a connection to a PC.

This PC-Palm connection requires a driver. Like all software, that driver is subject to periodic updates to increase performance and improve functionality. Further, drivers may need updates in order to continue reliable operation as other software in the PC changes. The problem: a PC may use more than 100 different drivers in its operation.

Keeping all these drivers up-to-date could be a major chore, but the DriverAgent application from Phoenix Technologies eases the burden. DriverAgent can automatically identify all old drivers on your PC and update them for you with just a few mouse clicks. For your PC this means faster and more reliable operation. It also keeps your PC-Palm connection smooth and clean.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Keeping Your GPS On Track

When you’re trying to get somewhere, knowing where you are is only half the answer. You also need to know where your destination lies. For this reason, maps are critical elements of GPS personal navigation devices. But the world changes and maps can become out of date.

To update the map in your GPS you need to connect it to a PC. To make that connection, you need driver software on the PC. But PC software and drivers can also become out of date, leading to poor performance or even system failure. Yet a PC can have more than a hundred drivers – all of which need maintenance. Without help, driver maintenance quickly builds to a burden.

DriverAgent from Phoenix Technologies is an application that can help. It will identify all the drivers on your PC that need maintenance, and update them automatically from a database more than a million strong. Your PC will use the best available software to connect, helping keep your GPS on track.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Keep Your I-Device in Top Shape

Your iPod and iPhone are continually being enhanced. Recent updates to the iPhone, for instance, have added public transit walking directions and an ability to share your location via email. But to gain access to such updates you need to connect the device to your PC and download the software updates. And to do that, you need device driver software.

Like the I-device software, drivers also improve over time and also need updating to gain new features. Further, attempting to use old drivers with new applications can cause the PC to become unstable or crash. Yet maintaining driver updates can be a challenge because a PC can have hundreds of drivers.

The DriverAgent program from Phoenix Technologies simplifies this chore. DriverAgent compares the drivers you use to a database with over a million drivers. It will find your out-of-date drivers and replace them automatically, helping keep your I-Devices in top shape.

Monday, June 8, 2009

UndeletePlus(TM) Helps Recover Lost Files With New

Upgraded UndeletePlus expands PC tools and Optimization products available through eSupport.com(TM)

Phoenix Technologies, the leader in PC 3.0(TM) products, services and embedded technologies, today announced its new UndeletePlus file recovery software with technology to retrieve deleted files and a user-friendly interface. The software refresh adds a powerful component to Phoenix's consumer PC utilities tools site, eSupport.com, and expands the reach into the consumer market for the company's PC 3.0 strategy of providing products and services that eliminate complexity from a PC user's life, making the PC more fun and easy to use...

Read the entire press release here:
http://investor.phoenix.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=388486

Friday, June 5, 2009

Improve Intelligence of Smartphones

Today’s cell phones do so much more than make calls that the word “phone” is almost insulting. Part of keeping these phones smart is their ability to connect to a PC for transferring files such as music and videos, contact databases, and schedules. This PC connection can even merge the phone and PC into a single, super-powered unit.

A critical element in this connection is driver software that Windows uses but that comes from the phone vendor. Keeping this driver up-to-date helps ensure that the connection remains stable and operating at peak performance. The trick is knowing where to find and install driver updates.

The DriverAgent(tm) application from Phoenix Technologies handles this for you automatically. It has access to a driver database more than a million strong, quickly checking every driver on your PC for newer versions and automatically downloading those updates. A few mouse clicks is all you need to keep your smart phone, smart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How Does Microsoft’s Latest Browser Internet Explorer 8 Rate?

Most Give It a Thumbs UpThe latest version of Microsoft’s web browser, Internet Explorer 8 (IE8), has been released and the general consensus is that most people like the new features, although there is some grumbling.

Compared to IE7, this new version offers some handy features to simplify the web experience. These features include:

  • Improved Tabs – When you open a new tab from a page you are viewing, IE8 places the tabs together and color codes them to form a group so you can quickly find related pages.
  • Increased Reliability – If you open a page that is damaged or corrupted, IE8 only closes the affected tab rather than the entire browser.
  • Enhanced Security – IE8 includes new security features such as cross-scripting filters and anti-phishing functions that block known phishing sites as well as show you a web page’s main domain so you can feel confident you are on a legitimate site.
  • Accelerators – You can deliver information from another website directly to the current page you are on with a single click, such as highlighting an address then calling up a map to show the location without leaving the current page.
  • Web Slices – These deliver information to IE8 from a web page you are not currently visiting, letting you monitor things like stock prices without navigating to the financial page.
  • Private Browsing – In this mode, IE8 will automatically delete all cookies, passwords, temporary files, and history when you close the browser.
  • Compatibility View – Pages designed for older browser versions may not display properly on IE8, but it can automatically switch to a compatibility mode that will correct the problem.

Most reviewers like the additions and enhancements that streamline the viewing experience and are now favorably comparing IE8 to its competitor Firefox. Still, there are some detractors. Users are reporting that IE8 can be a memory hog with its linked tabs and that it seems slower in operation than IE7. For most, however, the enhanced features and improved Internet experience make IE8 a worthwhile upgrade.