windows 10

Why am I Getting Stuck in the Boot Cycle on Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1616

Chip from Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Chip's PC is stuck in the boot cycle and eventually goes to a black/blue screen of death while updating Windows 10. Leo says he has a hunch that the hard drive is stuck and Windows can't find a particular file. If he can't go into safe mode, then the next option is to download a WINDOWS ISO and put it on USB with the installer (media creation tool). Then reinstall Windows from the USB key. But he can also run the recovery utility before reinstalling. If that doesn't work, the hard drive may be dead.

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.

Do I have to have a Microsoft Account to Run Windows 10?

Laptop

Episode 1611

Dianne from Chicago

Dianne bought a laptop with an i7 processor. Should she have gotten an i9? Leo says that the i7 is overkill for people who do what Dianne does, which is surf the net, email, etc. So an i9 would be REALLY overkill. For what Dianne does, an i9 wouldn't be of any benefit to her. It's more for video editing, graphic design, heavy computational stuff. 

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.

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?

Why Won't My Fingerprint Reader Work After WIndows Update?

Fingerprint Reader on Laptop

Episode 1607

Andrew from Riverside, CA

Andrew got burned by the MicroSD counterfeit cards that Chris Marquardt talked about here. Leo says that Andrew bought them on Amazon and he says that Amazon has got to start vetting these vendors to make sure they aren't selling counterfeit or bogus SD cards. The important thing to remember though is "if it sounds too good to be true, it often is." Caviat Emptor.

How Can I Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free?

Windows 10

Episode 1607

Jerry from Ponte Vedra, Florida

Jerry helps seniors update to Windows 10, but he runs into trouble when he goes to multiple computers. Leo says as long as they have a serial number, they should be able to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It will authenticate the computer based on the serial number. Jerry says to go to this link to download and update - https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=799445.

How Can I Get My Surface Pro 6 to Restart After Updating?

Surface Pro 6

Episode 1606

Charlie from San Diego, CA

Charlie has a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and got a notice this week for the Windows 1903 update. But he found an issue with it after it updated. It won't restart. It just spins. He tried several solutions online, and it didn't work. Leo says to try Windows +R to go into restore mode. If there's no important data on the machine, Leo recommends going to another computer and download the Windows Media Creation tool. Create a USB key and reinstall to the surface. He may need to go into the BIOS to get it to boot to the USB key. But reinstalling Windows is the solution.

How Can I Turn Off Memory Dump When My PC Crashes?

Windows 10 Laptop

Episode 1605

John from Los Angeles, CA

John records music on his laptop, but his software is crashing a lot. When it crashes, it compiles error data for a long time. Can he turn that off? Leo says that John has a 64GB of RAM and that can take a long time. You should be able to turn off the memory dump in the system and security under "advanced." Hit the Windows Key and type startup and recovery. Windows+X select system, advanced, startup, and recovery, then you can turn off the memory dump. Select NONE.  But Leo also says that if it's crashing, it could be that your drivers are corrupted.