Timmy has heard that Microsoft is going to kill support for Windows 7 on January 14th. Is that going to be a security problem? Leo says essentially, yes. You'll be on your own as Windows 7 goes end of life. You can get Windows 10 for free in most cases if you still own Windows 7, and Microsoft is hell-bent on getting everyone to WIndows 10. Also, after January, most other browsers and other software updates will stop supporting Windows 7 as well. But if you take it offline, you can still use Windows 7. Just not for the internet.
Duke is looking to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing his data when he does so. Leo says you can upgrade to Windows 10 from within your computer running Windows 7 without losing your data or having to backup it up. Alternatively, you can do a clean install of Windows 10 by downloading the Windows 10 installer from Microsoft onto a USB drive.
Duke is also wondering which service he should use to back up his data to the cloud. Leo recommends iDrive, who is a sponsor of The Tech Guy radio show.
Manny has a 17" Dell laptop running Windows 7. With Microsoft stopping support for it in January, he's concerned about it. Should he turn it into a Linux laptop? Leo says that if you can put Windows 10 on it for free, then it would give it a few more years. But if you have to buy Windows, Leo would advise not doing that and going with installing Linux on it. Leo likes PopOS by System 76. If that doesn't work because it's a bit heavyweight, then Xubuntu or Lubuntu is designed for older machines.
Chris wants to know why his ATMs will require an update costing $10,000. Leo says it depends on what your license options are, but those ATM machines are running on old versions of Windows, like Windows XP, and they have to keep them updated for security purposes. And it would be expensive to update to a new version of Windows. So it depends on the license you have. What about Windows 7? Leo says that Windows 7 will go end of life in January 2020.
Micahel has learned that Windows 7 will stop being supported in January. Is that seriously so? Leo says it is. It's called End of Life, and beginning January 14th, there will be no more security patches being done for Windows 7. That means that after January 14th, you'll want to take any Windows 7 computer off the internet, or it'll be increasingly more dangerous online. It will still work however. And considering the age of Michael's computer, it may be a great time to upgrade. Computers are faster, more powerful, and cheaper now.
Jerry helps seniors update to Windows 10, but he runs into trouble when he goes to multiple computers. Leo says as long as they have a serial number, they should be able to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. It will authenticate the computer based on the serial number. Jerry says to go to this link to download and update - https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=799445.
Martin got the email that Microsoft will be killing Windows 7 in January. What does it mean? Leo says it's the normal end of life announcement, which Microsoft did for Windows XP, Me, and every single OS before it. It means that Microsoft will stop issuing patches, including security patches after January. This will make it unsafe to use online. You can still use it on your computer, but it'll be a security risk and browsers and websites will gradually stop working.
Chris is having trouble loading his Windows profile as he logs into his Windows 7 computer. He worries he's been hacked. Leo says that more likely, it's a flakey hard drive that's preventing the data from being read. Windows 7 is now over 10 years old and if he hasn't changed that hard drive in that amount of time, it's likely a bad hard drive. Boot into safe mode and see if the profile can load. If he can, then he may just have a corrupt profile. In all likelihood though, it's a bad hard drive that's about to die. But Chris has another problem.
Mark has an old Windows 7 / XP machine with Windows Media Center and is looking to repurpose it. Mark is wondering if he should pull the hard drive and install Linux onto the drive and use MythTV DVR application on it? Leo says that it should be fine, but warns Mark of using the machine for more than just a DVR machine. Leo says that there are risks using an XP machine since there haven't been new updates for XP machines in some time, it could be infected with viruses passively when going online.
Rick upgraded Windows 10 on a secondary drive, keeping Windows 7 on his C drive. Now he has a dual boot option. However, with Windows 7 support going away, how can he make sure he's OK if he has to replace that secondary drive? Leo says it'll authenticate automatically because Microsoft gives an entitlement based on the entire machine, not a hard drive. If he had to replace the motherboard, video card and hard drive, then he'd have an issue. But changing a hard drive won't cause the problems.