Windows

Why is Windows jumping around the screen on my laptop?

Episode 1777

Susan from Minneapolis, MN

Susan's windows screen also goes jumping around. Leo says that it could be several things. The first thing to fail in a laptop is the thin ribbon cable that runs from the computer section to the folding screen. It's a common problem. It could also be the video drivers or some other software issue. Try booting into Safe Mode and see if you can replicate the issue. If there's no problem, it's a driver issue. Remove the driver and reboot. Windows will reinstall the driver and it should fix the problem. If it doesn't, then you can get a USB that has Linux (Ubuntu.org) and then reboot it.

How Can I Get My Laptop Keyboard to Work Again?

Dell XPS 13

Episode 1775

Dylan from Temecula, CA

Dylan likes to play video games, and his new laptop has a broken keyboard. Leo says that sounds like a factory defect that needs to be addressed by the manufacturer. Dylan can plug a USB keyboard into it in the short term, and it will replace the keyboard on the laptop. Dylan tried that, and that's when the keyboard stopped working. Leo says that it sounds like the laptop keyboard got disabled in Windows. He recommends going into device manager (Windows Key + X, device manager). Look for the keyboards section and make sure your standard keyboard hasn't been disabled.

How Can I Prevent From Being Bit by a Browser Hijack?

Browser Hijacking

Episode 1773

Heather from Kinderhook, NY

Heather calls in to talk about a client who got bit by a browser hijack. Leo says the first thing to do is get him off Windows, where he's most vulnerable. If that's not an option, get him to run as a standard or limited user and not an administrator. The browser hijack and malware can't install themselves as a standard user. 

Why does her client keep getting hit over and over? Leo says it's because of his behavior. They keep repeating the same behavior that causes them to get hit. The key is to change the user behavior. That's the only way it will stop.

Why Won't My Computer Boot Up?

Power

Episode 1767

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry is having an issue where the computer he built is suddenly freezing up and not letting it reboot. So he's gotten into the habit of using a bootable backup. But now he can't get the computer to boot back up. Leo says that most problems like this can be solved by just reinstalling Windows from scratch and starting over. But if it's freezing during the boot, then it could be a host of things, including cabling. One key is to wait for the "beeps," or Power On Self Test (POST). If it beeps, that indicates an issue.  Also, pull out your dedicated video card and try rebooting.

How Can I Migrate My Software and Data From Vista to Windows 10?

Windows Vista

Episode 1765

Don from Culver City, CA

Don still uses a laptop he bought in 2009. But he recently bought a new HP All in One desktop computer. Now he has to transfer everything from his old Vista machine to his new Windows 10 machine. How can he do that? Leo says you won't' be able to copy over everything exactly. It'll still look different because it's Windows 10. But there is a utility that can do it.

Why Can't I Get Online?

Google

Episode 1765

Jesse from Ontario, California

Jose has been kicked off of Google and can't access anything on the internet. Leo says to make sure your computer's time and data is correct to start. If your motherboard battery has died, it can't backup any time data, and as such, the clock fails and you can't sync up with Google. That's the first thing to check. Leo says that security software may also be a culprit. He recommends sticking with Windows Defender and not a third party AVS app. He's also using Windows 8. Leo says that could be part of the problem.

How Do I Restore Windows to Stable Condition?

Deep Freeze

Episode 1764

John from Buffalo, NY

John's dad has a new computer, but he keeps messing things up, causing John to do a factory reset on more than one occasion. Leo says that Microsoft used to have a powerwash feature called Steady State that would do that, but they discontinued it. He recommends installing the Faronics Deep Freeze program. Another option is CleanSlate by FortresGrand.

What Computer Should I Buy Just to Do My Taxes?

turbo tax

Episode 1764

Frank from LA, CA

Frank does his taxes using Turbo Tax. He uses an old Windows 7 machine to do it. But it's on its last legs, so he needs a new computer. What's a good cheap computer that will do the job for this one function? Leo says he can use Turbo Tax online, and that would mean he could get a Chromebook. But Frank says that Turbo Tax online doesn't support Chromebooks.

In that case, HP makes a very inexpensive Windows laptop for around $400. 

What Happened to My Windows Profile?

Windows

Episode 1762

Patrick from Gulf, CAN

Patrick lives in a retirement community and has been dubbed the community's tech guy. He recently discovered a problem with one neighbor, where her email account disappeared from Thunderbird, and another is missing recent files. Leo says it sounds like the user is logging into another Windows 10 account, and not her original one. He found the files but discovered that they had been moved into another library. What could cause that? Leo says an update in 2018 did something similar by deleting the profile.

Why can't I log into my new (used) computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1761

Walter from Palm Springs, CA

Walter bought a used computer, but now it won't take the administrator password. Leo says that the best thing to do is wipe the hard drive, install a fresh copy of Windows, and start over. There's likely some stuff on there Walter won't want. You can use Windows free for ten months, and it's really only $99.

If you don't want to pay for your OS, put Linux on it. Leo recommends Ubuntu or Manjaro.