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.
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?
Stacey has a Dell Inspiron running Windows 7. Can she upgrade it to Windows 10? Leo says yes, and she can do it for free through July 29th. She should wait until she gets the invitation, that means her hardware is compatible. If she missed it, she can download and install the Windows 10 ISO file. Then she can enter in the Windows 7 serial number when she installs it.
Proxies are usually used by companies to see what you're doing. And if you're getting the popup, that means you may have been infected or compromised. Leo recommends Reisel back up his data. He could just turn proxy off, but he won't know if his system had been compromised, so it's best to format the hard drive, reinstall Windows, and then run updates.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fran updated to Windows 8.1 and now she has to always choose a boot loader. Leo says that could point to a stuck F12 key. But it could also point to a changed boot order in BIOS. She should change it back to boot Windows first. Leo also suspects that the motherboard battery is dying. It can easily be replaced by popping it out. If her date isn't correct, then she'll know for sure.
Rick upgraded to Windows 10 and now he can't install his AVG antivirus software. It keeps telling him there's another installation in progress. Rebooting doesn't help. Leo says that it sounds like the Windows installation program may have gotten corrupted. He can fix it by resetting the MSI Exec file. HowtoGeek.com has an article on how to do this.