How can I get my Start Menu back in Windows?

Episode 1284

Louis from Bellflower, CA
Microsoft Windows 10

Louis is having issues with his start menu disappearing in Windows 10. Leo says that is one of the reasons why he recommends buying a Chromebook. It's just easier to use for basic computing. At this point, the best thing he can do is back up his data and start over. There's a recovery option in the control panel that will allow him to reinstall Windows. Then the problem should go away. It's a hassle, but it'll fix it.

How can I turn a batch file into an EXE file?

Fred from Temecula, CA

Episode 1283

Fred has written a batch file that will check IDs for his clients. But he's not a fan of batch files and would prefer an EXE. Leo says he can get a batch file compiler that can turn his batch file into an EXE file, but at this stage, using Python or Ruby to do what he wants to do is probably a batter way to go. That way he can compile it and turn it into an installable file. It'll also be more compatible. PowerShell is another option for Windows only users.

How to Crack the Password on an Old Windows PC

In older versions of Windows, security wasn't a priority as it is in modern operating systems today. If you've forgotten the password for an older Windows PC, there are options to either get around it or crack the password itself. One quick and easy thing to try first is to type in "admin" in the user field, and leave the password field blank. If that doesn't work, there is a hidden administrator account that can be activated.

How can I crack the password on an old Windows Vista computer?

Joe from Thomasville, GA

Episode 1282

Joe's wife can't remember the login on her old Windows computer. Leo says that on older Windows Vista computers, security isn't as good as it is now. There used to be a hidden administrator account. Leo recommends trying "administrator" or "admin" with blank password. If that works, she can get in and create a new account to move her stuff over too. There are also programs that she can run that can crack the password. NT Crack is one. But to use it for college?

How can I get rid of Linux on my dual boot Windows machine?

Bernie from Washington

Episode 1280

Bernie has a dual boot system running Windows and Linux. He wants to know if he can reformat his hard drive to make more room for Windows since he doesn't want to use Linux anymore. Leo says he won't be reformatting, he'll be repartitioning. That means he'll adjust the section for Windows to make it larger. Windows installer has a partition utility built in called FDisk. He should look into options, find the Linux partition, and delete it. Then he can make one large primary partition on the Windows drive. He can then format the partition to NTFS.

How can I prevent Microsoft from forcing Windows 10 on me?

Episode 1279

Ronnie from Los Angeles, CA
Microsoft Windows 10 update

Ronnie has several accounts for Windows 7 and is terrified about the forced migration to Windows 10. Leo says that she can use Steve Gibson's Never10 to avoid it. But if she's really wanting to upgrade and is just worried about it, she shouldn't worry. The upgrade is pretty painless when the computer is compatible with it. And Microsoft will only do the upgrade if it is. It will also save all of her accounts and settings. Leo hasn't had any trouble upgrading all his computers to Windows 10.

Prevent Your PC From Upgrading to Windows 10 with Never10

In the past, we had recommended using GWX Control Panel to get rid of the Windows 10 popup notification. But since Steve Gibson wrote a utility called Never10, we now recommend that instead.

Never10 simply performs the system editing required to stop Windows from automatically upgrading to Windows 10. This means there is no software that needs to remain installed on the computer, and Never10 can be deleted immediately after you run it.

How can I get SpinRite to work on my hard drive?

Mark from Orange, CA

Episode 1275

Mark is having trouble getting SpinRite to run on his Windows 8.1 machine. Leo says that SpinRite is a great utility for evaluating the hard drive. But it can't be run from Windows, he'll have to run it from a USB key. If that's not going to work due to the format of the drive (Windows 8 uses GPT) then call Gibson Research tech support. They know a ton about how to get SpinRite working.