Windows

Did I lose my photos?

Episode 1620

Joe from Brea, CA

Joe is a high school computer teacher, and he had scanned a bunch of photographs that he scanned on his computer. He took that folder and moved it to another folder, but it disappeared and was replaced with a file cabinet folder. Leo says that a CAB file is a compressed folder. He searched the entire computer for the folder, and it was gone. Fortunately, he had a backup. But what happened? A virus?

Why can't I log into Windows 10?

Episode 1620

Don from California

Don got a laptop and now he's having trouble signing into Windows 10. Leo says that to go to account.live.com/password/reset and reset your account. You should be able to reset your password. 

Don also has a Note 8 and he can't get his authenticator to work. Leo uses a physical authenticator key called the UBICODE, which always works because it's hardwired. Text messages can be compromised, or expire if you don't use them right away. Another option is AUTHY. Great for moving from device to device.

Why am I getting a device error running Windows update?

Windows Error :(

Episode 1619

Dave from Burbank, CA

Dave upgraded his hard drive to an SSD for his laptop and then used Windows 10 and the media creation tool to install. He got a message failure - "no device drivers are found." Leo says that for future reference, use a USB thumb drive and change the boot order to your USB key. And install Windows. It's really easy. Leo suspects that since Dave had a USB external drive plugged in, the error occurred. Leo recommends unplugging everything except a keyboard and mouse, then run the install. Once Windows is up and running, you can add external devices and Windows will install it.

Can I Remotely Partition a Hard Drive?

Windows

Episode 1618

Irwin from New York, NY

Irwin is trying to partition a laptop hard drive remotely. But he can't do it and reinstall Windows. Leo says one thing to try is defragging the hard drive to give it all the unoccupied free space it needs in order to reinstall Windows. The Chatroom says one thing to do is use the GPT partition. But Leo advises against it. Windows knows what it's doing when it's installing Windows, so trust it to give it the proper partition. Should he go to DOCSIS 3.1? Leo says yes. It has some power management features that will reduce buffer bloat and save energy. And DOCSIS 4 is on the way.

Will I have to update Windows in my ATMs?

Windows 7 RIP

Episode 1617

Chris from Studio City, California

Chris wants to know why his ATMs will require an update costing $10,000. Leo says it depends on what your license options are, but those ATM machines are running on old versions of Windows, like Windows XP, and they have to keep them updated for security purposes. And it would be expensive to update to a new version of Windows. So it depends on the license you have. What about Windows 7? Leo says that Windows 7 will go end of life in January 2020. 

Can I really buy a Windows serial key from eBay?

Windows Serial Key Prompt

Episode 1613

Bruce from Carlsbad, California

Bruce updated his old Dell Inspiron to Windows 7 after buying a DVD on eBay for it. But after a month or so it stops working. So he bought another one with Windows 10 and it worked fine. Leo says that Bruce got lucky, most of the time, those serial keys are being resold over and over and often doesn't work with Microsoft's authentication servers. And with Windows 10, the serial number is assigned to the computer, fingerprinting it. Also, you don't have to buy the media, you can just download it from Microsoft directly.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 version 1903?

Windows 10

Episode 1610

John from Alberta, Canada

John's daughter has a computer that needs to update. Should he wait for the next one which is coming in a month? Leo says you can, it's only a feature update. But Microsoft really wants you to upgrade or they will eventually end of life your version. And if you're computer can't handle the update, then you may be stuck having to buy a new computer. It's a mess. If you can update, then do so, but don't force it. As long as you're getting the monthly security updates, you're OK.

Do I have to stop using Windows 7?

RIP Windows 7

Episode 1609

Michael from Westborough, Massachusetts

Micahel has learned that Windows 7 will stop being supported in January. Is that seriously so? Leo says it is. It's called End of Life, and beginning January 14th, there will be no more security patches being done for Windows 7. That means that after January 14th, you'll want to take any Windows 7 computer off the internet, or it'll be increasingly more dangerous online. It will still work however. And considering the age of Michael's computer, it may be a great time to upgrade. Computers are faster, more powerful, and cheaper now. 

How can I reset Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1609

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve has an old Toshiba Satellite Laptop that was running really slow and he's trying to reset Windows 10. He's getting a popup to run disk utility. Leo says it sounds like the hard drive is getting flakey and needs to be replaced. Fortunately, Rick has his data backed up and the hard drives are cheap. So replace the drive and you'll be back in business. $50 for a 2TB spinning drive. But Leo says that SSDs are almost as cheap. So why not go SSD and speed that old Toshiba up?

Start Saying Goodbye to Your Windows 7 OS

Microsoft will cease support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, so PC users should really upgrade to Windows 10 soon. The most important point will be the loss of security patches for the operating system, which will make it increasingly risky to take online. Eventually, browsers and other constantly-updating software will stop working comfortably with Windows 7 and might be frustrating to use. The same issues plagued users of Windows XP after its time was up. Although Windows 10 looks a bit different, you can configure the interface to more closely resemble what you liked about Windows 7.