Software

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

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.

Should I let Windows repair itself after a hard drive crash?

Episode 1458

David from San Antonio, TX
Hard drives

David bought a refurbished computer from Best Buy. It turned off when the battery died, and when he turned it back on, Windows wanted to do a repair. When it did that, it started wiping out his entire Windows 10 operating system. Now he's stuck on the blue screen of death and he's worried that his version of Windows 10 won't activate if he reinstalls it. Leo says it will, but before he installs anything, he should get the data from it. If it crashed once, the drive could be ready to fail.

What happened to the tabbed browsing feature in my browser?

Episode 1458

Philip from Canoga Park, CA
Windows 10

Philip says that after a Windows 10 update, two of his HP laptops won't let him view multiple tabs anymore. It's all full screen. The only way to go back and forth is to click on a "task view" button and select a smaller window to "activate." Leo says there are gesture controls that nobody knows about in Windows 10 and chances are good that Philip accidentally activated "tablet mode." In the lower right-hand corner, there's a quote box.

Can I run Windows on a thumb drive?

Episode 1457

Richard from Spring Hill, FL
USB thumb drive

Richard wants to know if he can run Windows off a thumb drive for security. Leo says that's a smart idea and it's not uncommon for Linux users. He should just understand that it will be slower. But it will enable him to simply reboot if something goes wrong. Leo recommends using a disk imaging command to make a disk image onto his thumb drive and then he can just blast it back on when it goes wrong. He can even make it bootable.

How can I make myself an admin in Windows?

Episode 1457

Steve from Maryland
Windows - Change Account Type

Steve's Dell computer was for the family, but now he wants to just use it for himself. How can he convert his account to admin without losing his data? Leo says it's just a matter of going into his Windows 10 user settings Control Panel and select "administrator" for his account. He'll have to have admin access to do that, but that's how it works. He can get more information how to do this at windowscentral.com.

Is there an app that can organize my taxes?

Episode 1457

Dan from Orange County, CA
Mint

Dan wants to know if there's an app that will automatically look at his bank account and divide up his expenses to categorize them for taxes. Leo says that spreadsheets were designed with a database feature which will certainly do that. All he needs to do is set it up. There are also spreadsheet templates for Excel and others which are likely available to do what he wants. Leo also says that it may be worth doing with Mint. It's free and has a lot of automatic features.

The chatroom recommends SimplePlanning.net.