To view the latest news click Here



January 2009



Windows 7

31 January 2009


Microsoft has provided details on how the Windows 7 Beta process is progressing. It has also confirmed that Windows 7 Beta 1 will be the first and last public beta for Windows 7; the next milestone is Windows 7 Release Candidate. There is no new information on a release date for either the RC or Release to Manufacturing (RTM) - it officially remains January 2010.



Nvidia PhysX 9.09.0121

31 January 2009


Nvidia has released the 9.09.0121 PhysX drivers for both Ageia PhysX hardware and Nvidia PhysX-capable GPUs.



Crysis Warhead Patch 1

31 January 2009


Crytek has released a Patch 1 for Crysis Warhead. The patch fixes several issues, and adds 64-bit binaries for the game. I've updated the Crysis Warhead Tweak Guide, see page 2 for details.



Game Patches

31 January 2009


  • Iron Grip: Warlord - 1.11 Patch
  • Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets - 1.1 Patch


  • Game Patches

    30 January 2009


  • Counter-Strike: Source - Update via Steam
  • Day of Defeat: Source - Update via Steam
  • Mayhem Intergalactic - Update via Steam
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • ATI Catalyst 9.1

    30 January 2009


    ATI has released the Catalyst 9.1 graphics drivers. This version adds full OpenGL 3.0 support, and resolves a range of issues.



    Game Patches

    29 January 2009


  • Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory - 2.09 Patch


  • SoundBlaster X-Fi Beta 2.18.0008

    28 January 2009


    Creative has released a Beta 2.18.0008 driver specifically designed to provide support for the X-Fi series under Windows 7 Beta. Note that this does not include the X-Fi Titanium series, which received a separate beta driver last week.



    Crysis Warhead Revoke Tool

    28 January 2009


    Crytek has released a Revoke Tool for Crysis Warhead which allows all users to manually free up any unnecessary Activations on their PC.



    PerfectDisk 10

    28 January 2009


    Raxco has released the PerfectDisk 10 defragmentation utility. This new version of PerfectDisk has speed improvements, an upgraded interface, several new features, support for Windows 7, and provides a new cheaper Home edition as an option.



    Shockwave 11.0.3.472

    28 January 2009


    Adobe has released a new Version 11.0.3.472 of the Shockwave player plugin for browsers.



    CCleaner 2.16.830

    28 January 2009


    A new Version 2.16.830 of the free CCleaner system cleaning utility has been released. This version improves Chrome, Firefox and SeaMonkey support, and has a range of minor interface and performance improvements.



    Game Patches

    28 January 2009


  • UFO: Afterlight - 1.7 Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 3.0.8a Patch


  • Fallout 3 Operation Anchorage DLC

    27 January 2009


    The first Downloadable Content (DLC) for Fallout 3 has been released. Operation Anchorage is available for purchase via Games for Windows Live, and requires the latest Fallout 3 1.1 patch to work.



    Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate 1

    27 January 2009


    Microsoft has released Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of the Internet Explorer 8 browser. It is available for download for Windows XP, as well as Vista 32-bit and Vista 64-bit. Detailed installation/uninstallation information for IE8 can be found here. Note that the release date for the final version has not yet been announced.



    Game Patches

    27 January 2009


  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Runes of Magic - 2.0.0.1806 Patch
  • Saint's Row 2 - Update via Steam
  • Stranglehold - 1.1 Patch
  • War Plan Pacific - 1.0.1.0123 Patch


  • Site Update

    25 January 2009


    An update regarding the Hardware Confusion 2009 article I promised: I've been having an issue with my new graphics card which has required it to be sent back under warranty twice, hence the article will be delayed. For those asking for a list of the components, I won't do that as I don't want anyone basing any purchasing decisions on my hardware choices until they read the reasons and the range of considerations behind each choice. I appreciate your patience and I think people will find the article informative as it covers a range of important information applicable to any recent upgrade, clarifying some of the common misconceptions and poor advice which people give and receive when discussing hardware upgrades.



    Core Temp 0.99.4

    25 January 2009


    A new Version 0.99.4 of the free Core Temp CPU temperature monitoring utility has been released. Among a large range of changes it adds support for new Intel and AMD CPUs, fixes several bugs, and now comes in a 64-bit version as well.



    Game Patches

    24 January 2009


  • Bounty Bay Online - 0.8 Patch
  • Crazy Tao - 9060 Patch
  • Grand Theft Auto IV - 1.02 Patch
  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Zero Online - 2833 Patch


  • SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium Beta 2.17.0006

    23 January 2009


    Creative has released a Beta 2.17.0006 driver specifically designed to provide support for the X-Fi Titanium series under Windows 7 Beta.



    Game Patches

    23 January 2009


  • Atlantica Online - 701 Patch
  • Conquer Online - 5097 Patch
  • Empires in Arms - 1.05.03 Patch
  • StarCraft - 1.16.1 Patch
  • StarCraft BroodWar - 1.16.1 Patch


  • Nvidia Official Forceware 181.22

    23 January 2009


    Nvidia has released the official WHQL version of the Forceware 181.22 driver for Windows XP and Vista. These drivers are for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9 and 200 series, are designed for use with Mirror's Edge, and include the 9.09.0010 PhysX drivers. Except for the WHQL certification they should be identical to the Beta 181.22 drivers released earlier this week.



    QuickTime 7.6

    22 January 2009


    Apple has released a new Version 7.6 of the QuickTime media player. This version improves H.264 and AAC encoding as well as addressing security issues, among other changes.



    Game Patches

    21 January 2009


  • Bounty Bay Online - 0.24 Patch
  • Platinum Arts Sandbox Save the Princess - Patch
  • World of Warcraft - 3.0.8 Patch


  • Ad-Aware Free Anniversay Edition

    21 January 2009


    Lavasoft has released a new Anniversary Edition (AE) of Ad-Aware anti-spyware, including a free version. Aside from the updated interface, Ad-Aware Free AE also adds new features including Ad-Watch Live realtime protection, and TrackSweep privacy cleaner. As always I strongly recommend disabling a range of the more resource-intensive background services and options in malware scanners, as these can and will conflict with other programs and reduce performance. Click the Settings button at the top right of the main Ad-Aware page, and under the Updates tab, select the 'Do not automatically check for Updates' option under the Information Updates section. Under the Scanning tab, I suggest unticking the 'Add Ad-Aware to the Windows right-click menu' option. Under the Ad-Watch Live tab untick the 'Process Protection' option. You might also like to right-click and select Delete for the Ad-Aware icon newly added to your QuickLaunch bar. Using something like Autoruns, disable the 'Ad-Watch'/Ad-Aware Tray Application startup item. Finally, the 'Lavasoft Ad-Aware Service' can be set to Manual, at least in Vista. That will reign in most of the unnecessary functionality and intrusive aspects of the new Ad-Aware, however after launching Ad-Aware it will still insist on opening up the Tray utility and leaving it active, requiring manual closure. Ultimately it appears malware scanners are only going to keep becoming increasingly more annoying and unwarranted in their intrusion upon our systems.



    Site Update

    19 January 2009


    I missed posting a couple of updates in a timely manner over the past few days, though fortunately it's fairly quiet news-wise on the weekends. The reason for the delay in news is that I've been in the process of building an entirely new system after almost four years of living happily with my last one. Given my previous system served me so well for so long, I wanted to make sure that my new one is equally as robust, so researching, building and tweaking it has been long and arduous, but it's finally complete. It's a Core i7-based system and in a short while I will do a new Hardware Confusion 2009 article detailing the build and my thoughts and reasons for choosing various parts for those who are interested.



    Nvidia Beta Forceware 181.22

    19 January 2009


    Nvidia has released a new Beta Forceware 181.22 driver for Windows XP and Vista. These drivers are for the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9 and 200 series and are specifically designed for use with Mirror's Edge. They also include the 9.09.0010 PhysX drivers which were released separately earlier last week.



    Game Patches

    19 January 2009


  • Pure Security - Patch
  • Puzzlegeddon - 1.0.1 Patch
  • World War One - La Grande Guerre - 1.0.5f Patch


  • Windows 7 Tips

    15 January 2009


    A Microsoft employee has posted 30 Windows 7 Tips on his blog. Note that some of these also work in Vista.



    Game Patches

    15 January 2009


  • Garry's Mod - Update via Steam
  • Left 4 Dead - Update via Steam
  • Shadow of Legend 2.5D - 0.9.21.0 Patch
  • Steam Client - Update via Steam


  • Game Patches

    14 January 2009


  • Bullet Candy - Update via Steam
  • Day of Defeat: Source - Update via Steam
  • Mirror's Edge - 1.01 Patch


  • Microsoft Security Updates

    14 January 2009


    Microsoft has released its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can get through Windows Update, or if not there by viewing and downloading them individually from here.



    PerfectDisk 2008 Build 76

    14 January 2009


    Raxco has released a Build 76 update for the PerfectDisk 2008 defragmentation utility. This update adds compatibility between various versions of PerfectDisk.



    Nvidia PhysX 9.09.0010

    14 January 2009


    Nvidia has released the 9.09.0010 PhysX drivers for both Ageia PhysX hardware and Nvidia PhysX-capable GPUs.



    Fallout 3 1.1 Patch

    14 January 2009


    Bethesda has released the 1.1 Patch for Fallout 3, currently only available via Live after you launch the game. The patch contains a range of bug/crash fixes and quest fixes. I have updated the Fallout 3 Tweak Guide but there are no significant changes.


    Update: It is now also available for direct download here.



    Intel Matrix Storage Manager 8.7.0.1007

    13 January 2009


    Intel has released Version 8.7.0.1007 of the Matrix Storage Manager driver for those using RAID on Intel chipset motherboards.



    AutoRuns 9.38

    13 January 2009


    Microsoft has released AutoRuns 9.38, updating this free startup software identification utility. This version fixes a bug that prevented viewing the system account's profile on 32-bit systems.



    Process Explorer 11.32

    13 January 2009


    Microsoft has released Version 11.32 of the free Process Explorer utility which is a more detailed version of Task Manager. The changes include a bug fix.



    Game Patches

    13 January 2009


  • 5Street - 0.11 Patch
  • Day of Defeat: Source - Update via Steam
  • Democracy 2 - 1.23 Patch
  • Team Fortress 2 - Update via Steam


  • Site Update

    12 January 2009


    Just a reminder for those of you trying out the Windows 7 Beta that Windows 7 is essentially much the same as Windows Vista, so for now you should refer to the TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Vista if you want details on all the major features and tweaks, particularly if you're an XP user who's never used Vista before. I'll be putting out a TweakGuides Tweaking Companion for Windows 7 eventually, but only after it's officially released.



    Realtek HD Audio 2.14

    11 January 2009


    Realtek has released Version 2.14 of its HD Audio drivers. Note if you have problems with the link, click the 'High Definition Audio Codecs' link at the top of the page and select 'Software'.



    Game Patches

    11 January 2009


  • Combat Missions Shock Force - 1.11 Patch
  • Myth War II - 1.0.4.27 Patch


  • Windows 7 Beta 1

    10 January 2009


    Microsoft has now released Windows 7 Beta 1 to the general public. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available, however it's only available to the first 2.5 million people who download it. Note that the beta 1 expires on 1 August 2009. To learn more about the beta see this Windows 7 Beta FAQ.


    Update: Microsoft has confirmed that they are trying to address the problems with accessing their site due to heavy demand for the beta. For the moment the direct download links for the Windows 7 .ISO files are as follows: 32-bit, 64-bit. You will still have to obtain a beta key through the main beta site once it becomes available again.


    Update 2: The beta page is still down, however you can obtain a beta key directly by using a method first revealed a while ago here. It wasn't working properly for everyone but it should now if you follow these instructions: first go here, click 'sign in' at the top right and login using a valid Windows Live ID. Once signed in, right-click on the relevant beta key link here (32-bit Beta Key, 64-bit Beta Key) copy link/shortcut, then paste it into the address bar on the login page and press Enter to receive your beta key.


    Update 3: The main beta page is open again and keys are being issued normally now. Microsoft has also temporarily removed the 2.5 million limit on the beta for the next two weeks.



    Windows Update

    10 January 2009


    Microsoft has released an update for Windows 7 Beta 1, resolving several issues with media playback, including potential MP3 corruption. The update is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.



    STALKER: Clear Sky 1.5.08 Patch

    9 January 2009


    GSC has released the 1.5.08 Patch for STALKER: Clear Sky. The patch contains only multiplayer fixes and improvements. Note that saved games from 1.5.04 - 1.5.07 are compatible with this patch. I have updated the Clear Sky Tweak Guide but there are no significant changes.



    Nvidia Official Forceware 181.20

    9 January 2009


    Nvidia has released the Official Forceware 181.20 WHQL drivers for Windows XP and Vista. These drivers add support for the new GTX 295 and 285 cards, as well as supporting the GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9 and 200 series. This version contains a range of fixes, as well as performance improvements in a range of games when compared with the 178 series WHQL Forceware drivers. Note that the package also contains the 8.10.13 PhysX drivers.



    Game Patches

    9 January 2009


  • Anarchy Online - 17.10.5 Patch
  • Anarchy Online: Shadowlands - 17.10.5 Patch
  • Conquer Online - 5095 Patch
  • Cronous - Patch
  • Penguins Arena: Sedna's World - Update via Steam
  • Shadow of Legend 2.5D - 0.9.19.0 Patch
  • Supreme Ruler 2020: Global Crisis - 6.5.2 Patch
  • Zero Online - 2828 Patch


  • Windows 7 Beta 1

    8 January 2009


    Microsoft has officially released Windows 7 Beta 1 to tech professionals via Microsoft Connect, MSDN and TechNet. The general public release of Windows 7 Beta 1 is due this Friday.



    Game Patches

    8 January 2009


  • Depths of Peril - 1.013 Patch
  • Eudemons Online - 1161 Patch
  • Sword of the Stars: A Murder of Crows - 1.6.4 Patch


  • DivX 7.0

    7 January 2009


    The DivX video codec has been updated to Version 7.0. This version adds support for H.264 video, MKV container and AAC audio formats.



    Game Patches

    6 January 2009


  • Football Manager 2009 - 9.2.0 Patch
  • Steam Client - Update via Steam
  • Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 - 9.2.0 Patch


  • FRAPS 2.9.8

    6 January 2009


    A new Version 2.9.8 of the FPS measurement, benchmarking and video capture utility FRAPS has been released. The changes include several fixes and minor optimizations.



    GPU-Z 0.3.1

    6 January 2009


    GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 0.3.1. The changes include a range of fixes and optimizations, as well as support for new drivers and chipsets.



    VirtualDub 1.8.8

    5 January 2009


    A new Version 1.8.8 of the free video editing utility VirtualDub has been released, fixing several bugs.



    7-Zip 4.64

    3 January 2009


    A Version 4.64 of the free 7-Zip archival utility has been released. This version fixes a bug related to decrypting .zip archives.



    Game Patches

    3 January 2009


  • Gravitron 2 - Update via Steam


  • Foxit Reader 3

    2 January 2009


    The free Foxit PDF Reader has been updated to Version 3 Build 1301. There is a printing bug fix in this version.



    7-Zip 4.63

    1 January 2009


    A Version 4.63 of the free 7-Zip archival utility has been released.



    Realtek HD Audio 2.13

    1 January 2009


    Realtek has released Version 2.13 of its HD Audio drivers. Note if you have problems with the link, click the 'High Definition Audio Codecs' link at the top of the page and select 'Software'.



    To view the latest news click Here