Monday June 17, 2013
NVIDIA has released GeForce drivers version 320.18. This update gives major performance boosts with almost all of NVIDIA's GPUs.
This is the final, WHQL version of these drivers and replaces the previously available v314.22 WHQL drivers. You should install v320.18 if you have a supported NVIDIA GPU running any previous driver release.
Important: This NVIDIA driver was previously available as 320.14 beta and 320.00 beta before that. If you installed either beta version of this driver, please update to v320.18 as soon as possible. It's almost always a better idea to have the WHQL certified version of a driver installed.
Here are some of the new features, changes, and fixes available in v320.18 over previous releases:
- Adds support for the GeForce GTX 780 GPU.
- This is the "Game Ready" driver for Metro: Last Light.
- Corrects an overclocking issue as well as a hanging issue with X-Plane 10.
- NVIDIA PhysX is at v9.12.1031 and HD Audio is at v188.8.131.52 in this release.
For complete information on v320.18, see NVIDIA's Version 320.18 Release Notes for Windows 8/7/Vista here (desktop) and here (notebook), or the Version 320.18 Release Notes for Windows XP here. All links are to PDF files.
Most NVIDIA GPUs are fully supported with the v320.18 driver in most current versions of Windows, including Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
The following two downloads are for Desktop GPUs ONLY. These are the NVIDIA drivers you need if you have a video card with an NVIDIA ION/ION LE or GeForce GPU installed in your desktop computer.
32-bit Download [Windows 8, 7, Vista]
64-bit Download [Windows 8, 7, Vista]
These two downloads are for Notebook GPUs ONLY. These are the NVIDIA drivers you need if your laptop, netbook, notebook, or tablet is powered by an NVIDIA ION/ION LE or GeForce GPU.
32-bit Download [Windows 8, 7, Vista]
64-bit Download [Windows 8, 7, Vista]
Tip: Not sure if you should download the 32-bit or 64-bit driver? See Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? for help. If you need even more assistance, head over to the GeForce Drivers page and click on the big green AUTO-DETCT YOUR GPU button.
Windows XP Drivers: NVIDIA supports Windows XP less and less with each new GPU and driver release. However, they do support many GPUs on Windows XP with their newest v320.18 drivers. You can download the 32-bit driver here or the 64-bit driver here. These drivers are only designed for desktop GPUs but you may have luck getting them to work on your notebook PC. If not, check with your notebook maker for better drivers or with NVIDIA for an older release.
Other downloads like nForce drivers, GeForce drivers for non-Windows operating systems, previous driver releases, and much more, can be found here.
Note: If you're using a relatively recent version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers, just right-click on the NVIDIA icon in the system tray and choose Check for updates.... You can download and install the driver automatically from there. If you want to be prompted for beta driver updates, be sure to check the appropriate box in the Preferences tab.
Tip: If you're looking for an up-to-date resource on new drivers, see my Windows 7 Drivers and Windows 8 Drivers pages. I keep those pages updated with information and links to new drivers available from NVIDIA and other major hardware makers.
Monday June 17, 2013
You all know by now that there's a major update to Windows 8 coming. My last update about it listed a number of real, and maybe-real, things that we might see. Fortunately, Microsoft has finally spelled it all out so we can stop guessing.
I know I'm a little late to the game on this, seeing that Microsoft announced all of these things at the end of May. Silly me decides to take a real vacation with the family!
- It's called Windows 8.1 (Windows Blue was Microsoft's codename).
- It brings back the Start button.
- It allows the option to boot directly to the Desktop.
- It will be free to existing Windows 8 users.
- It drastically updates integrated search.
- It will include Internet Explorer 11.
- It updates PC Settings to include everything you now find in Control Panel.
- It will be available as a "public preview" starting on June 26, 2013.
- It will be available [as a full product] by the 2013 holiday season.
There's a lot more too. If you use Windows 8 and you're interested in all the details, check out Microsoft's May 30th post Continuing the Windows 8 vision with Windows 8.1.
Tuesday June 11, 2013
Today is Patch Tuesday. June's patches consist of 5 updates that correct 14 unique security issues across Microsoft Windows operating systems and some other Microsoft software.
What Do These Security Updates Do?
These patches from Microsoft update several individual files involved in making Windows and other Microsoft software work.
Do I Need These Security Updates?
You need these updates if you're running any currently supported, 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows operating system: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, plus Windows server versions and Windows RT.
Security updates are also being pushed for Microsoft Office 2003.
A few of this month's updates fix problems so serious that if left unpatched, it's possible that someone could gain access to your computer in very specific situations. These issues are given a Critical severity rating.
Most of the fixes this month aren't quite as serious but are security issues that should be corrected nonetheless. Some of these were given a severity rating of Important while others were categorized as Moderate.
Are There Any Non-Security Updates This Month?
Yes, including several non-security fixes for a number of Windows versions, as well as a cumulative update for Internet Explorer. Several .NET Framework updates are included this month as well.
Firmware and driver updates are also going out for Microsoft's Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.
Also, as usual, Microsoft is pushing this month's update to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.
There may also be non-security updates included this month for Microsoft software other than Windows. See the Non-Security Updates link below for details.
Patch Tuesday Problems
This blog post has become Grand Central Station for Patch Tuesday problems each month. While updates from Microsoft rarely result in widespread problems with Windows itself, they do frequently cause specific issues with software or drivers provided by other companies.
Please see How To Prevent Windows Updates From Crashing Your PC for a number of preventative measures you should take before applying these updates, including disabling fully automatic updates.
If your computer freezes during the installation of an update, see How To Recover From a Frozen Windows Update Installation for help.
If the updates installed but you're now experiencing a problem, see How To Fix Problems Caused by Windows Updates for advice on how to undo the damage.
See Windows Updates & Patch Tuesday FAQ for answers to other common questions, including "Does Microsoft test these updates before they push them out?" and "Why hasn't Microsoft fixed the problem that their update caused on my computer?!"
Automatically install: via Windows Update.
Manually install: via the individual Security Bulletins listed here. See Do I Have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows? if you're not sure which downloads to choose.
Details from Microsoft: Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for June 2013.
Non-Security Updates: New Non-Security Content for 2013.
Microsoft Surface: update history for the Surface RT and the Surface Pro.
Next Patch Tuesday: will be July 9, 2013.
A Note on the Comments Below:
I update this blog post for each Patch Tuesday by Microsoft so some of the comments left may be for previous Patch Tuesdays. You can tell which Patch Tuesday a comment is referring to by looking at the notation at the end of the comment. For example, comments addressing Patch Tuesday June 2013 will end with [PT: June 2013].
Thursday May 23, 2013
Here are some recent blog posts from some other About.com Guides in our Computing Channel that I found interesting... and thought you might too:
How Google Glass Works: A Visual Guide [Infographic] - Melanie Pinola [Mobile Office Technology]
Google Voice Integrated in Google Hangouts - Nadeem Unuth [Voice Over IP]
Why Telecommuting Is Good for the Environment (and How to Green Your Home Office) - Melanie Pinola [Mobile Office Technology]
Apple Testifies at Senate Committee on Tax Policy - Tom Nelson [Macs]
Tips For Hiding From Google - Andy O'Donnell [Internet / Network Security]
Edit Photos on Windows 8 with Adobe's Free Photoshop Express App - Melanie Pinola [Mobile Office Technology]
Latest Version of Google Chrome Brings Awesome New Conversational Search Feature - Elise Moreau [Web Trends]
Stealth Yourself Online - Andy O'Donnell [Internet / Network Security]
Rumor Has It Vimeo and Flickr Will Be Built into iOS 7 - Elise Moreau [Web Trends]
U.S. Rocket Launch Delayed By Ethernet Cable - Bradley Mitchell [Wireless / Networking]
Tumblr! Joins Yahoo! - Leslie Walker [Social Media]
Small Business Network Security Tips - Andy O'Donnell [Internet / Network Security]
Keep Your Twitter Account Secure with Login Verification - Susan Gunelius [Blogging]
Most of my work this month involved updating a number of pieces, including updated reviews for CCleaner and CrashPlan+. I also added a number of Q&A's to my Online Backup FAQ, made some changes to my New (and Removed) Commands in Windows 8 list thanks to some feedback from some readers, updated my Windows 8: Important Facts document to include some new information on Windows 8.1, and much more.
Also, in case you missed it, Firefox 21 is now out, AMD published their Radeon v13.4 drivers, and Microsoft pushed a number of security updates in their May 2013 Patch Tuesday release.
Stay up to date with everything PC Support related by connecting with me on your favorite social network below.