Slow bootup times have always plagued many Windows computers, and it can often be tricky to figure out what causes it. Often times, it's as simple as a hard drive going bad. When hard drives start to wear out, the operating system can have difficulty reading all of the sectors on it. If it happens to come across bad sectors during the bootup process, it will have to repeatedly attempt to read that sector until it finally works. This can extend the time it takes to boot the PC up by several minutes.
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.
Matthew gave his mother in law a Dell computer Inspiron 17R 571 running Windows 10, but it's taking 5 minutes to boot up. Leo suspects that the spinning hard drive may be starting to fail, with difficult to read sectors. It could also be software that's hanging up the bootup process. Matthew should try using the boot log to see what may be causing the issue. He can get to this by holding the Shift key while its booting, and he can choose to create a boot log on the root level of the drive named bootlog.txt.
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.
One of the best ways to make a backup of your drive is to create a "disk image." This will essentially take a snapshot of the drive and make it bootable so you can restore your PC to that moment in time if your drive crashes. There are a number of third-party tools that you can use to do this, but Microsoft actually has included the ability to create a disk image right within Windows. Here's how to get to it:
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.
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.
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.
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.