Software

Apps, Operating Systems (Windows, MacOS, Linux), or pro level software.

Why does my computer freeze up?

Jim from Laytonsville, MD

Episode 1463

Jim has a Windows 7 computer and about two months ago it started messing up his mouse, which freezes up for a few seconds or up to 5 minutes. It usually happens after checking his email and then going online for awhile. Then he exits out and the mouse freezes and he has to reboot. Leo says that there's probably something running in the background that's slowing down your computer and causing processes to back up. Leo suggests trying another browser, like Google Chrome.

Is Linux secure?

Episode 1462

Ted from Louisiana
Linux Penguin

Ted put Linux on an old Vista Machine, but when he went to use the app Turbo Tax online, it said that it wouldn't support Linux. Leo says to try the Chromium browser in Linux. It's more open source. But being a standard web app, it should work regardless. Is it secure? Leo says it is, but it's not 100% flawless. It does have the benefit of being obscure, though. Hackers want to go after the most people, and open source is such a small segment that it's relatively off their radar. Certainly more secure than Windows Vista.

Is my computer compatible with the Windows 10 update?

Episode 1462

Stan from Victorville, CA
Windows 10

Stan is trying to update his computer, but he can't download the files (there's an exclamation point). So he turned it off and turned it back on and it updated anyway. Leo says that it's likely his computer was made compatible by Microsoft and when he turned it back on, it did the update because it was ready to. Windows also has a troubleshooter that could help.

Why can't I update Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update?

Episode 1459

Steve from Oceanside, CA
Windows 10

Steve has an old Gateway computer and wants to know if he can update to the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators update. It won't install, failing at 84%. It can restore the previous version, but he doesn't know why he can't update. Leo says that it should since Microsoft has opened it up to all computers now. But if he hasn't applied all the previous hotfixes, it may fail.

Can I still get Windows XP Updates?

Episode 1459

John from Bucks County, PA
Windows XP

John has an old PC that runs XP and he's going to install Debian Linux on it. He wants to keep XP on it to run dual boot, though. Can he still get Service Pack 3 to get it up to date? Leo says that Microsoft has killed XP development, so he can't really get ahold of it except through a third party archival service. He'll have to decide if that's legit. If he installs Linux first, it may prevent installing Windows XP in the process.

How can I undo renaming multiple files?

Episode 1459

Brian from Los Angeles, CA
Computer monitor, keyboard, and mouse

Brian tried to rename a file and ended up renaming hundreds of them. How can he undo that? Leo says it's a common issue, and if he accidentally hit an asterisk while typing (which is on the 8 key), it could rename everything pretty easily. The good news is that it assigned a number to each duplicate name, so it doesn't overwrite the file. Brian just needs to figure out which file is which. There's an easy fix. Fortunately, Brian uses Carbonite, so he can just restore his backup.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor.)

How can I get my Windows computer to update?

Episode 1458

Rene from Corona, CA
Blue screen of death

Rene is having trouble updating Windows. It stalls out at 80%. He then reboots and it goes back to before he tried updating. Then he gets a blue screen and he can't restore or update. Leo says that not an unusual problem. If you think about it, with millions of computers, there's going to be a certain percentage that will experience issues like this, and updating while a computer is running is nontrivial. It could be something is blocking it, like a third-party antivirus app. It could also just be a bad download. Or this could be the Intel Spectre/Meltdown fix that is causing problems.

Why isn't Malwarebytes working for me?

Episode 1458

Don from Culver City, CA
Malwarebytes

Don is having issues with Malwarebytes. Leo says that if he's experiencing issues with Malwarebytes, there's a good chance that he's been infected. The first thing a malware creator will do is disable online security software and prevent access to those sites in the browser. That's one of the reasons why Leo doesn't like third party antivirus apps. Leo recommends using Microsoft Security Essentials/Windows Defender.