Windows 8

Should I update to Windows 8.1?

Episode 1112

G. Scott from Minnesota
Windows 8.1

G. Scott picked up an ultrabook the other day with Windows 8.0, but he's wondering if he should upgrade to 8.1. Is there a benefit? Leo says absolutely he should. There's significant changes that not only bring more familiar features back to Windows, such as the start button, but it's also a service pack update that buttons up some bugs and vulnerabilities.

He should go to the Windows Store and apply the update. Leo says that moving forward, he should always get the most recent version of Windows.

Should I upgrade to Windows 8 on a computer without a touch screen?

Jay from Providence, NC

Episode 1106

Jay's friend has an old Windows Vista laptop and is wondering whether to upgrade it to Windows 8, despite it not having a touch screen. Leo says it doesn't have to have a touch screen. Everything can be done with a touch pad or mouse. In fact, Windows 8 may even run faster on that system, provided it has at least 2 GB of RAM. Microsoft has fixed a lot of problems that plagued Windows in the past with Windows 8 as well.

What laptop should I get?

Episode 1101

Jeff from Valencia, CA
MacBook Pro with Retina display

Jeff's laptop is over 10 years old and he's ready to finally get rid of it. But there's so many choices for replacing it. Leo says it's important to think about anything out of the ordinary or unusual he'd want to do with it. If he has a specific software package that requires a certain operating system, that could help make the decision. Should he get Windows 7? Leo says that some machines come with Windows 7, including some from Dell. But Windows 8.1 is the current version and even though people hate it, it's the OS moving forward.

What laptop, desktop and tablet should I buy?

Episode 1101

Rusty from San Diego, CA
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Rusty is a real estate broker and he needs to upgrade his desktop, laptop and tablet. He wants to buy it all at once. Leo says that since most of his work is on Windows, he should stay in the ecosystem. One way to eliminate the desktop and laptop is to go with the Windows Surface Pro 3 tablet, which can also work as a laptop. It runs a full version of Windows 8 and will run all his programs. Leo suggest that Rusty find a Microsoft store to visit and look at them.

Should I switch back to Windows 7?

Episode 1100

Ryan from Cincinnati, OH
classicshell.net

Ryan is using Windows 8 and is not so sure about it. Should he go back to Windows 7 or earlier? Leo says not to go back further than Windows 7. When all is said and done, even with improvements, Windows 8 has been a flop. They do have a better file copy and built in windows antivirus, and there have been other under the hood improvements. But the interface has been a collosal failure. Leo says it's really two operating systems mushed together -- a touch screen interface and the traditional desktop of Windows 7. It really doesn't know what it wants to be, and that's caused confusion.

If I downgrade to Windows 7, can I still keep the Windows 8 recovery partition?

Episode 1091

Brandon from Palm Springs, CA
Windows 8

Andrew bought a new computer with Windows 8, but wants to switch to Windows 7. He wants to know if he can erase Windows 8, but still keep the Windows 8 recovery partition. Leo says that Windows 8 initially was confusing and it didn't really know what it wanted to be. But he's gotten used to it, and Leo says it's the future of Windows, so we might as well get used to it. Andrew just has to learn its quirks like just typing to launch programs.

Is it possible to combine the SD card and internal storage into a single drive on a Windows tablet?

Episode 1074

Rich from East Point, MI
ASUS Transformer Book T100

Rich has an ASUS T100 Windows 8 tablet with attachable keyboard. It came with 32GB of internal storage, with the option to expand using an SD card. He's wondering if he can combine the internal storage and the SD card so that they appear as one single drive. Leo says he could, but it raises the failure rate because if one fails, it all fails. It's called "Scary RAID." Even if he adds more space with a MicroSD card, he may or may not be able to add apps to it. Tablets really aren't upgradable.

What scanner should I get?

Episode 1071

Mike from Portland, OR
Epson Perfection V600 Photo Scanner

Mike bought a new computer and now he needs to get a new scanner because his old one isn't supported in Windows 8. He doesn't want to spend a lot of money. Leo suggests Epson scanners. They're great and they're what he uses. They have several different models with various features, so he'll want to select the one that does what Mike needs.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)