George has an old HP laptop running Windows 7. He recently ran a restore, and it didn't work. He's tried several times. Now, when he loads Windows, the admin account comes up as "locked." Leo says to try restoring using Windows 7 natively, not the HP software. In fact, get the Windows Media Creation Tool and upgrade to Windows 10. Then install it over Windows 7. This should authenticate and fix whatever is wrong. He can then redownload the drivers specific to the laptop model.
Jacob uses a classic shell with Windows 10 to make it look more like Windows 7. Leo says that the free Classic Shell is old and hasn't been updated for a while. So it's a security risk. Leo recommends StarDock. For further customization, they also make Windows Blinds and several others. You can get the entire library of utilities to customize your Windows OS for under $30.
If you still insist on using your Windows 7 computer and are scared of using it thanks to Microsoft's lack of continued support, it is still okay to use it offline. If you don't take it on the internet, you significantly lower your risks to catch anything harmful for the PC. Plus, most of your permanent applications will still work as long as there is electricity to power the computer! However, you should still be sure to back up important files onto an external hard drive, as staying offline means no access to cloud backup services.
Lee wants to know if she can buy a computer to use as a word processor. Leo says that since Lee has a Chromebook, she already has all she needs. Just use Google Docs. Or, she can also use Microsoft Office Online. So there's no need to buy a separate device. And the best thing is, Chromebook will back up everything you do in the cloud, protecting data automatically. Learn to love the cloud.
Roger wants to know why his audio recording software will stop working if he upgrades to Windows 10. Leo says it may work if you use Windows 7 in Virtual Machine, where it's in emulation inside of Windows 10. Leo recommends VMWare. It will preserve your installation as a single file and then use it on any computer. The only limitation may be the hardware interface or dongle you have to use with the software. The other option is to go dual boot, where your PC will give you the option to boot into Windows 7 or Windows 10 when you turn it on.
Eric's HP laptop is now suddenly freezing up after booting up. Leo suspects it isn't a hardware issue, but something is choking the boot up after the BIOS gets loaded. It's choking late in the process of loading Windows 7. Try rebooting into Safe Mode. Tap the f8 key repeatedly until safe mode loads up. This will load up the minimum configuration. Try Safe Mode with Networking and see if it works. If it does, that could point to a bad driver that's causing the issue. And that's an easy thing to fix.
Eric uses Windows 7 because he likes it. He doesn't want to go to Windows 10 because he doesn't like it. But if he has to upgrade, is there a way to change the layout? Leo says that Windows 10 is pretty close to Windows 7, and it's vital to upgrade for security updates alone. And he can change Windows 10 to look like Windows 7. Check out StarDock.
Bob wants to know if he can use his old Samsung Netbook on the Internet. Leo says that Netbooks were woefully slow and underpowered and didn't wear well. It also lowered the expectation of what we should pay for a laptop. It also was driven by Windows 7, which has stopped being supported by Microsoft, and as such, might be a security issue. At some point, a hack may be the risk. Leo says that Bob could upgrade it to Windows 10, or he could even run Linux on it. PopOS is one.
Or better yet, upgrade to a new Chromebook.
Peter got a Windows 7 update to an EDGE browser this week. Didn't they stop developing Win7? Leo says that they have, and he'll notice that there were no security updates, which is even more vital. But Microsoft seems to have a vested interest in updating EDGE, rather than the security of the OS. But sometimes there are flaws in browsers which require an update, and that may be the case here. Leo recommends Peter update to Windows 10. It's free to do so.
Al wants to block all internet traffic coming into his Windows 7 computer so he can use it in his local area network. Leo recommends using the Windows firewall, allowing traffic through 192 for access to your network, and block everything else. You can also do it through the router.