Kevin has an old laptop and wants to know if he needs Webroot antivirus. Leo says that back in the day, Webroot was very good. But lately, If he's able to update to Windows 10, Windows has its own antivirus called Windows Defender which is very good. Before Windows 10, Microsoft had Windows Security Essentials. Both are essentially the same, and they're free.
Jim is having problems with Windows recognizing his external USB drive. But his image catalog says his images are there. Leo says that many photo gallery apps keep a thumbnail for fast referral. So it could have the thumbnail, but not see the original image, if the drive is disconnected or lost. Leo also says that his external drive could be getting flakey. He should get a backup drive and make a copy of his photos. He should save them online, too. Three copies, on two formats, with one off-site. The good news is that hard drives are cheap now. He can get a 1 TB drive for under $100.
Anthony has Windows 7, and he's started having problems with his keyboard and mouse after a recent update. He tried to talk to Microsoft about it, but the tech told him there was a conflict and the updates it was installing were actually for Windows 10, and it would cost him $300 to resolve it. Leo says whoever that was he was talking to wasn't Microsoft. Leo says in theory that could happen, but Microsoft Update is smart enough to not do that. It should only be installing Windows 7 updates for a Windows 7 machine.
Paul runs a utility to test his router and it always fails for buffer bloat. Should he get a new router? Leo says his does as well. When RAM got cheap, the router manufacturers boosted the RAM and it actually had the opposite effect by slowing down the buffer. Leo's opinion is that buffer bloat is over rated. He can ignore it. Eventually router makers have come to realize that buffer bloat can be handled in other ways. Leo recommends getting a second opinion with Netalyzer.
Roger's Windows 7 desktop PC isn't updating anymore. Have they stopped supporting it? Leo says no, Windows 7 is still supported. Roger may just have a stuck update that's preventing the others from being installed. Here's a tech note from Microsoft on how to clear it.
Terry has a MacBook Air, running Parallels so he can dual boot into Windows. After he upgraded to Windows 10, however, he had to upgrade Parallels and it trashed the drive. So he rebooted and reinstalled everything, and now Parallels wants him to pay for it again. Leo says that somewhere on the drive was a hidden file, perhaps in the application support folder, that has his registration data. So if he formatted the hard drive, Terry lost that data. Leo also says he'll have to reinstall Windows 7 again after installing Parallels.
John built a Windows 10 machine, upgrading from Windows 7. But now it's slowing down while playing videos and he has to do a hard reboot to restart it. Leo says there's a setting in the video driver that is for "hardware acceleration." If it's on, he should turn it off. If it's off, he should turn it on. That may fix it. He can right click on the desktop, then click through the following: personalize, display, change display settings, advanced settings, graphics property box, troubleshooting, change settings, display adapter troubleshooter for hardware acceleration.
David has high end 17" Windows 7 laptop, but he's having issues with his optical drive after being reinstalled. Leo says there's a bunch of things it could be, like a damaged player or a broken cable. Since it happened after a reinstall, it may have missed the DVD player driver. David should check his device manager to see if Windows sees it. If it's not in there, then he'll need to install the drivers in order to use that player.
Dave's Windows 10 upgrade failed and he had to revert back to Windows 7. It's ten years old and he can't sync his data from his tablet. Leo says it may not be modern enough to recognize the iPad. He'll need iTunes and it probably wants a more recent OS to run that. Windows 7 should be modern enough, though. Dave should back up his data, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. Then update it, and try again. When he gets iTunes installed again, it should be able to sync. The benefit of reinstalling Windows is that it'll run faster.
John is working on a Windows 7 computer that has trouble shutting down. It just keeps restarting. Leo says that's not unusual, especially for an older system like Windows 7. Chances are, the OS has never been reinstalled, and there's a lot of "kruft" that prevents an orderly shutdown (called "bitrot").