Software

Why does my Windows Explorer file tree collapse whenever I remove a USB device?

Episode 1354

Charles from Huntington Beach, CA
Multi Commander

Charles uses a lot of Explorer windows, and every time he pulls a USB device out, his entire file tree collapses. Leo would look for a way to create an Explorer window that is rooted to a specific directory, so it starts at that directory. Windows now has a "Quick Access" section in the Explorer window, and he could put folders there. This would be more of a workaround, though.

Can I download Windows Vista update files?

Episode 1353

James from Montana
Microsoft Windows 10 Update

James has downloaded Windows Vista updates and he wants to keep them around in case he needs to update it again. Leo says Microsoft's official site is catalog.update.microsoft.com. There's also technet.microsoft.com. He should do them soon because Vista's end of life is in April. James could actually update to Windows 7 or 10 and it'll run lighter and better on that older machine, though.

Why is Windows 7 taking so long to update?

Episode 1353

Bob from Pennsylvania
Windows Update

Bob's friend has a computer who's Windows 7 update is taking forever to install. Leo says that Microsoft has patched it seven times to try and and speed it up and in 2016 they finally fixed the issue. Chances are, an update failed and that's what caused the logjam. It also could be malware that disabled the update utility without his knowledge. Leo recommends clearing all the updates and starting over.

How can I get an old version of Windows and DOS?

Episode 1351

Drew from St. Louis, MO
DOS

Drew would like to know where he can download older versions of Windows. He has an old laptop that he upgraded to Windows 10. He's installed VirtualBox onto it so he can run an older version of Windows as well, but he can't find his old Windows CDs anywhere. Leo says that Microsoft offers older versions to developers if he gets a subscription, but it's not cheap.

Do I need to defrag my Windows computer?

Episode 1351

Jane from Manhattan Beach, CA
Windows defrag

Jane has been told to clean up and defrag her desktop every week. Is that correct? Leo says no. It's not necessary to defrag anymore as modern operating systems take care of this on their own. Additionally, for solid state drives, defragmenting is meaningless. Jane also doesn't need to use "CCleaner" to clean up her registry either. In fact, she could make things worse by trying to clean her registry. Sure, she can delete temporary files and clear caches, but all that stuff can be done directly in Windows.

Did Microsoft automatically update me to Windows 10?

Episode 1351

Dale from Upland, CA
Windows Update Notifier

Dale's Windows 7 laptop got automatically updated by Microsoft. Leo says that Microsoft has made Windows 10 is an automatic download, and since he had automatic updates turned on, it installed the update. Leo says that's nefarious. Leo says that the good news is he can hit the Windows Key and type "recovery." He'll have 30 days to roll it back to Windows 7 through the Windows recovery utility. Then Dale should install GWX Control Panel, which will prevent it from happening again.

How can I learn programming?

Episode 1351

Brennon from Dallas, TX
Learn to Program with Minecraft book

Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.

A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.