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.