Hardware and Sound

Tutorials and how-to guides about managing hardware and sound devices in Windows 7 and Windows 8

7 Ways to Shut Down or Restart a Windows 8 & Windows 8.1 PC or Device

When you first use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, you will have a hard time figuring out how to shut down or restart your computer. Only Windows 8.1 Update improves the situation and offers an intuitive and “in your face" menu for shutting down your device. In this guide I will share all the methods you can use for shutting down a Windows 8. PC or device. You'll discover several new ways of doing this, so read on.

Simple Questions: What is WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup)?

wirelessIf you have configured a wireless router on your own, you have encountered the term WPS in its configuration menus. Or you have have seen a button named WPS alongside all the ethernet ports on the router's back. Do you know what WPS is? What does it stand for and how is it used? Which devices and operating systems provide support for WPS? Learn the answers to these questions and more, from this tutorial.

Simple Questions: What is the BIOS & What Does It Do?

BIOSIf you are a casual computer user, you may have heard about the BIOS, or BIOS failures or Dual - BIOS motherboards, but you may not understand very well what all these terms are. What is a BIOS except a weird-sounding acronym? What does it do and why is it important? If you read this article you will learn the answers to these questions and more.

How to Update the Firmware on Your Xbox One Controller & Headset

firmware updateOne of the lesser known facts about the Xbox One is that this console provides separate firmware updates for its controllers and headsets. When you update the console itself, the controllers and headset(s) do not get updated in the process. You have to perform a separate firmware update for them. Unfortunately these updates are not actively advertised by the console even when they are available, so you need to manually check whether they need updating or not. Here's how to update the firmware on your Xbox One controllers and headset(s):

Simple Questions: What is NFC (Near Field Communication)?

NFCNFC is an acronym that is often used when referring to modern smartphones and tablets. But what does it mean? And what does NFC do? I've seen many people who have very expensive smartphones with NFC but they have no idea what NFC is or how they can use this technology. If you would like to learn more about it, including how to tell whether you have NFC on your smartphone or not, read this guide.

Connect Windows 8.1 Devices With Mini DisplayPorts to HDMI Displays

screenSurface and Surface Pro tablets from Microsoft do not have an HDMI port and it isn't very obvious how to connect them to an external monitor. The same is true about many other Windows 8.1 devices, including laptops and tablets created by HP, Dell or Lenovo. All these modern devices do have a Mini DisplayPort that you can use for connecting them to all kinds of displays and projectors that work with an HDMI input. In this tutorial you will learn how to connect your Windows 8.1 device to an external display, using the Mini DisplayPort. You will also learn what kind of cable to purchase for this task and what to pay attention to when buying one, so that you are not fooled into paying too much.

How to Pair a Bluetooth Mouse with a Windows 8.1 Laptop or Tablet

mouseModern laptops and tablets get smaller and smaller. As a result they provide fewer USB ports for connecting other devices and they rely more on Bluetooth. That's why Bluetooth mice and keyboards are becoming more popular. But how do you connect them with your Windows 8.1 device? The procedure is not that long but you do need to pay attention so that you perform each step in the correct sequence. Here's how it works:

Does ReadyBoost Work? Does It Improve Performance for Slower PCs?

ReadyBoostThe theory behind ReadyBoost is that it helps speed up older computers with low amounts of RAM memory. However, nobody knows how much of an impact this technology has, so we decided to make our own measurements and learn whether ReadyBoost has a positive impact or not. Read on to learn what we have found:

13 Ways to Save Power by Tweaking Power Plans in Windows

power plansWhen using a mobile device, spending energy as efficiently as possible is a must, so that you can use it as long as possible. This is why in modern versions of Windows, you can configure lots of advanced settings to get the best balance between performance and power saving. Read this article and learn 13 advanced ways to configure power plans in Windows, so that you can save as much power as possible.

How to Create or Delete Your Own Custom Power Plans in Windows

power plansAll modern Windows operating systems allow users to create their own, custom power plans and use one of the default plans as the starting point. The procedure for creating them is not very complex and it allows you to configure in detail all the aspects that are related to power plans. Here's how to create your own power plan in Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.