Windows

Do I need to do a clean install of Windows 10?

Episode 1512

Mark from Lake Havasu, AZ
Windows 10 Start Menu

Mark is upgrading his Windows 7 laptop to Windows 10. Can he just upgrade or should he do a clean install? Leo says that he still prefers a clean install, but the truth is that the recent Windows 10 update makes clean installs unnecessary. He should still back up, though, just in case. But then he can go ahead and upgrade it. If there's problems, then he can resort to the clean install.

Why am I getting a black screen on Windows?

Daryl from Orange, CA

Episode 1512

Daryl is running Windows 8.1, but after a so-called critical update, he gets a black screen. Leo says that sometimes an update can break something, and it sounds like it may be an incompatible video driver. First thing to do is to boot into Safe Mode. Then, if his screen comes up, that indicates a driver issue. Daryl should go to the video card manufacturer's website and download the latest video driver.

How can I make my Surface Studio run faster?

Episode 1512

G. Scott from Finland, MN
Microsoft Surface Studio

G Scott bought the Microsoft Surface Studio computer when it came out and got it with an i7. But it's sluggish when running Excel and other apps. Leo has a hunch that the hybrid hard drive is causing the slow down. Intel created the Fusion drive and it's never really paid off in performance. Leo had the drive replaced with an M.2 MVE connected SSD drive. Know How has a video on how to do it here.

Why does my mouse keep crashing?

Episode 1511

Greg from Newport Beach, CA
AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse

Greg's mouse cursor is freezing and it's making a loud audible noise. Leo says he suspects the mouse is experiencing a hard crash of the mouse. Unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in will fix it. It's also a sign of a worn out mouse cable, causing connectivity issues. It could also be a problem with his USB plug, or even the USB controller chip on the motherboard. He should check the drivers. And then, try to get a cheap PCI USB card and see if he can make it work. If it does, then he'll know it's the motherboard USB controller. But Leo suspects it's the mouse drivers.

Why am I backing up two copies of everything?

Episode 1508

Paul from Columbus, OH
Second Copy

Paul had a Dell XPS computer, then he got an iMac running Boot Camp. He hasn't been backing up since December. He changed the file structure when he moved to the new computer, and now his backups are duplicates instead of a select backup folder. Leo says he can tell his operating system where his home folder is in the partition. Once he's done that, he can delete the duplicates.

What laptop should I buy?

Episode 1503

Bruce from Long Island, NY
15" MacBook Pro

Bruce does both Mac and PC work, and he's looking for a laptop that can handle both well. Should he buy a PC centric computer that can run a Mac virtually? Or the other way around? Leo says that there is no way to run macOS on anything but a Mac, especially not virtually. He could do a hackintosh, but not on a laptop. So Leo says go the other way, and get a MacBook Pro running Windows in Boot Camp.

Why do I have to keep inputting my Windows Password?

Episode 1502

Sam from Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Windows 10

Sam took a long vacation and now he keeps getting a password challenge in Windows 10, rather than his PIN. Leo says he can't set up Windows with a PIN unless he sets a password. It's likely tied to his Microsoft account. Leo says to try that. Once he inserts it, then he's logged in. It probably reverted to the Microsoft password after a long time of inactivity. Once he uses the Windows password again, he'll be good to go.