installation

Can I reinstall Windows on a used computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1456

Jim from Riverside, CA

Jim called to ask about how he can reinstall Windows 10 on a computer that's been given him if the person who bought it owned the software. Leo says that was the old way of thinking. The new way of thinking is that Windows 10 is licensed to the computer, and not the owner. So if he was given a Windows machine that runs Windows 10, and needs to format and reinstall Windows, it will activate.

Can I install Windows 10 on a new hard drive?

Episode 1261

Matt from Los Angeles, CA

Matt dropped his laptop. Now he gets a blue screen of death and a 'hard drive damaged' message. How does he get his Windows 10 installation back if he installs a new hard drive? Leo says as long as Windows was authenticated, Windows 10 is tied to the computer. Once Matt installs a new hard drive on his computer, he can download the Microsoft Windows 10 ISO and then activate it. He should create a recovery media on a thumb drive as a safe backup. He should also check his laptop's firmware, as there may be a way to read the serial number if it's an HP.

How can I transfer my OS to my new SSD?

Episode 1256

Charles from Oxnard, CA

Charles just bought a new SSD and he wants to know how he can transfer Windows 7 to it. Leo says Charles will need to have the license key to do it. Then all he needs to do is install the Windows 7 ISO, which he can download from Microsoft, input the license key, and he'll be good to go. If he can't find the product key, Charles can use Belarc Advisor, which will help him find it.

Why does Photoshop say my scratch disks are full?

Episode 1199

Gigi from Torrance, CA

Gigi can't install Photoshop because her "scratch disks" are full. Fortunately, for Gigi, Photoshop expert Burt Monroy is on hand to help out. It could be pointing to the wrong drive as a default disk. The chatroom found this thread from feedback.photoshop.com. The only solution there would be to install it on a smaller drive, but Leo says she could partition her current drive and install Photoshop to the smaller partition.

How can I reformat and install Windows without losing my programs?

Discs

Episode 1153

Mary from Lake Arrowhead, CA

Mary has Windows XP and she needs to reformat her hard drive, but she has programs she can't replace. Leo says that she can look through her registry to find software keys so that she can reinstall them to reactivate them. But if she doesn't have the reinstall disks, she may be out of luck. That's why having an image of the hard drive is very beneficial.

How do I uninstall every file a program installs?

Episode 1153

Mike from Sherman Oaks, CA

Mike wants to know how to find all of the files installed by a program so he can remove them after he uninstalls that program. Leo says that the best way to uninstall a program is to use the uninstaller that comes with the program, or use the Windows 'Add/Remove' programs. Ideally the uninstaller should look at the manifest created by the installer and remove all traces. Sometimes those uninstallers aren't well done and it leaves some traces behind.

What's the best way to install all programs after reinstalling Windows?

Episode 946

Aaron B from Mesa, Az

Aaron B started off the new year by backing up his data and formatting his hard drive, then reinstalling Windows 7. Leo says a good Spring cleaning is always a great idea. Leo says that Ninite is a great program for deciding which apps to use. He would check which programs he wants to install and it creates it's own installer to put them all on at once. It also has built-in prevention of toolbars.