This trick can quickly fix many mysterious hardware failures

Every now and then something breaks on your computer. Maybe you get a bad system update from Microsoft or cosmic rays flip the wrong bit on your system. Whatever the cause, often your problem has nothing to do with hardware, but lies within the software powering it, instead.

This recently happened to me when a USB 3.0 port on my system suddenly stopped working. I wasn’t sure how it happened, and when I looked into the problem Windows displayed its infamous “error code 43.” Luckily, this problem can often be fixed in just a few clicks. Try this out before freaking out if one of your PC components suddenly stops working.

Device Manager


On Windows 8.1, right-click the Start button and select Device Manager from the contextual menu. Windows 7 users can find out how to open Device Mangerhere.

Let’s continue using the borked USB port example. Fixing code 43 isn’t just for USB devices, though—it’s a quick tip you can use to help troubleshoot any PC component that ceases to work due to a software issue.

Once the device manager is open look for the heading that says Universal Serial Bus controllers and click it to reveal a list of all the USB devices on your PC.

In the list, you may see an item that has a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in it and says “Unknown Device.” Click on that and another window will open. Under theGeneral tab you’ll see a window that says Device status. For this tip to work, that window should say “Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)”.

Now it’s time to get to work.


Open the Driver tab and then click theUninstall button. This will remove the USB controllers driver software (the low-level programming that makes the hardware work) from your system.

Next, you have to put it back. Close the smaller window for your USB device and in the main Device Manager window clickAction > Scan for hardware changes. Windows will notice that the USB device is lacking driver software and will reinstall it.

After that’s done, you can click on the USB device again and under the Generaltab and under Device status it should now say the device is working properly

How to Customize OS X’s Finder Sidebar

If you use OS X, then you probably are acquainted with the Finder sidebar for frequently used shortcuts, drives, and other locations. You may not know, however, that the sidebar can be changed and customized in a number of ways.

When you open Finder for the first time, the sidebar sports its default appearance. The icons (as found in OS X Yosemite) are a mute gray and those that are displayed are the ones that Apple assumes you’ll use most, so you can get to your applications, documents, desktop, and so forth.

You can’t get to any places that contain system files, but we’ll show you how to add new shortcuts in a bit.

If you’re not happy with the items that are included in the sidebar, you can remove them by clicking and dragging them out of the Finder until the icon turns to a puff of smoke. Let it go and the shortcut will disappear until you re-add it. If you don’t want to remove it, simply drag it back before you release the mouse button and it will stay put.

Conversely, if your sidebar is lacking an important location, you can add it by dragging and dropping it from the Finder window.

For example, in the following screenshot, we drag the movies folder to the sidebar.

Once you’re happy with where you want the new addition, drop it there. You see now that we have a shortcut to the Movies folder in our sidebar.

You can drag any location to the sidebar though not all will have a fancy icon. If you drag a standard folder, it will bear a standard folder icon.

Remember also, you’re not stuck with the default order. You can drag and rearrange anything that’s already in the sidebar, and you can even change many of the icons.

Sidebar Preferences

There’s an easier way to add special locations like music and movies. First, open the Finder preferences (Command + ,).

Once in the Finder Preferences, click the “Sidebar” tab.

From the Sidebar options, you can add or remove sidebar items to your heart’s content.

You have other options as well. For example, if you simply don’t like the sidebar, then you can hide it. Just grab the pane between the sidebar and the finder window and drag it until it snaps closed.

You can also drag the divider to the right, thus making the sidebar wider if that is how you prefer it.

Changing to a Colored Sidebar

You can also change the Finder sidebar to colored icons such as the ones found in earlier versions of OS X. The easist way to do this is to use a free, open sourced piece of software called cDock. We’ve written about cDock before, which proves to be a tiny, yet versatile piece of software.

cDock is currently up to version 7.1 and has moved the options we want to the “extra settings.” Click the button labeled “View” to access them.

Once you have the extra settings open, you can see you want to select the “colored sidebar” option.

Click “Apply” to invoke your changes and they will then be reflected in the sidebar. Unlike the plain, gray, boring icons that come with OS X Yosemite’s sidebar, you now have bright, colored icons.

Once you’ve enabled the colored sidebar, you can customize it to your heart’s content with new icons, which will then be reflected throughout the system, so you can really let your imagination go wild.

 While the sidebar may seem like a fairly simple aspect of the Finder (and it is), it’s also highly useful for pinning oft-accessed places be these special folders like Music, Movies, and so on, or locations that only you deem important.

Archos Launches New Tablets and Notebooks for Students


Archos, as a part of the Grand Digital for Schools Project, has launched new tablets and laptops under its education range of devices. The project is aimed at providing tablets and laptops to 50,000 middle and high school students by the end of this year, and to 1 million students by next year.

The two customizable tablets launched by Archos come with 9-inch and 10-inch displays will be available in a choice of OSes – Windows 8.1 or Android. The tablets are powered by a quad-core Intel processor clocked at 1.8GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM. The devices, besides 64GB of inbuilt storage, both include a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Available with detachable keyboards, the tablets can run for up to 8 hours on a single charge. While the 9-inch tablet is priced at EUR 200 (roughly Rs. 14,100), the 10-inch is priced at EUR 250 (roughly Rs. 17,600)

As for the notebooks, Archos introduced a 11.6-inch notebook and a 14-inch notebook for students. The 11.6-inch notebook runs on Chrome OS while featuring the same Intel processor, same RAM and same inbuilt storage as seen in the tablets. It sports a VGA camera , can run for up to 8 hours and is priced at EUR 250 (roughly Rs. 17,600). The larger screen laptop too runs on the same processor but includes 4GB of RAM and 250GB of inbuilt storage. The Windows 8.1-based laptop has the same battery life of up to 8 hours and is priced at EUR 300 (roughly Rs. 21,100). All prices are excluding taxes.

Archos will also allowing school boards to customize the hardware, pre-install select softwares and apps (from Google Play for Android-powered tablets) and perform fleet management operations. School administrators will also be able to remotely manage the devices.

It is not yet known if Archos will be showcasing anything in the upcoming MWC 2015event in Barcelona. Notably, the firm introduced three tablets named Archos 101 Helium 4G, Archos 80b Helium 4G and Archos 70 Helium 4G at CES 2015 last month.

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Windows Was Less Vulnerable Than OS X, Linux, and iOS in 2014: Report


Apple’s OS X operating system was the most vulnerable in 2014, according to a new report by the US National Vulnerability Database (NVD).

As per the report, OS X leads the list followed by iOS, Linux, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista, and Windows RT. It has been noted that 7,038 new vulnerabilities were added last year, which results in 19 new vulnerabilities per day.

The report adds that out of the 7,038 vulnerabilities, 80 percent were said to come via third-party applications, 13 percent from operating systems and 4 percent via hardware devices. It is worth mentioning that in 2013 the vulnerability number was low at 4,794. Also, out of the 7,038 vulnerabilities, 68 percent was said to fall under the ‘medium’ severity, 24 percent in ‘high’ and the remaining 8 percent in ‘low’.

OS X was found to have the lion’s share of vulnerabilities in 2014, with 147 total, while iOS had 127, Linux had 119, and the first Windows version on the list, Windows Server 2008, had 38, and Windows 7 had 36. Notably, NVD is counting all the versions of OS X together.

This report by NVD comes as a surprise as the Microsoft Windows OSes were until now said to be the most vulnerable operating system, and OS X as one of the most secure. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is on top when it comes to application vulnerability in the NVD’s list, as noted by GFI blog.

Microsoft Internet explorer is followed by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Flash Player, Oracle Java, Mozilla Thunderbird, Firefox ESR, Adobe Air, Apple TV, Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat, and Mozilla SeaMonkey.

Speaking about application security, Lenovo last week said it will no longer pre-install the Superfish software that cyber-security experts said was malicious and made devices vulnerable to hacking. The firm was said to pre-install Superfish in its PC systems that, according to some user reports, automatically showed adverts.

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