Richard is having problems logging into Windows on an old HP computer. He's tried to reset the password, but it's not communicating with Microsoft. Leo says that if there isn't anything on the computer he can't afford to lose, then the best thing is probably to start over and reinstall Windows. Not just reset. But reinstall with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Make sure to erase the existing accounts. Start completely over. And that's not a bad thing, because whoever worked on the computer before, clearly messed up the reset.
Windows Media Creation tool
Don wants to know if it's too late to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free. Leo says that technically it is, but they never turned off the free servers, so you can still upgrade for free. They just don't talk about it.
Tom's old Acer computer hard drive died recently. Would it make a good media server if he replaced the hard drive? Leo says that sure, but try booting from a USB key first just to see if everything is working. You'll have to go into the BIOS/Setup and change the boot order. Then burn a copy of Linux to a thumb drive and boot it up. You could also do it with a Windows Media Creation Tool. Once you've verified that the computer is intact and OK, then you can replace the hard drive and turn it into a media server.
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.
Rhonda is locked out of two different laptops running Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 respectively. She got back into Windows 10 after watching a few videos. Then she got locked back out after creating a new Outlook account. How can she get back in? There are a lot of legal documents and data she needs. Leo says that if she has a backup, then there are easier options. Rhonda says she did on the Windows 10 machine.
This is why it's so crucial to have backups.
Jimmy wants to recycle his old laptop by giving it to his grandkids. Leo says he will want to wipe the drive. There is a temptation to give it as is so that they'll have programs, etc. But it's far more secure to wipe the drive and start over. The good news is that Windows 10 is an entitlement for the computer, not the user. So he can use the Windows Media Creation Tool to put Windows 10 on a USB and then format the drive and reinstall Windows.
Erin's Asus laptop has been stuck in a reboot loop, repairing "disk errors." What can she do? Leo says that the hard drive could be having issues, and Windows repair didn't "take." You can do a startup repair by going into safe mode, type Windows Key + Reset, and under advanced options, there is a startup repair option. You can also do it by using a 16GB USB key version of windows created by Windows Media Creation Tool and run the repair that way. You can then go into your BIOS and have it run the USB key first.
Dave upgraded his hard drive to an SSD for his laptop and then used Windows 10 and the media creation tool to install. He got a message failure - "no device drivers are found." Leo says that for future reference, use a USB thumb drive and change the boot order to your USB key. And install Windows. It's really easy. Leo suspects that since Dave had a USB external drive plugged in, the error occurred. Leo recommends unplugging everything except a keyboard and mouse, then run the install. Once Windows is up and running, you can add external devices and Windows will install it.
Glen has an old Toshiba laptop running Windows 10. Recently, he bought a new SSD drive for it, and when he cloned the old drive, it wouldn't clone the recovery partition. Leo says it may be available to it because it's considered a separate drive. Don't do it partition by partition: just clone the entire drive. But the recovery partition isn't a traditional partition, so that may be why. But you can always download Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and use that on a thumb drive as your recovery.
Larry's sister had her hard drive fail. Her backup isn't responding and it seems like her hard drive may be "locked." Leo says that doesn't make sense at all. If she made an image of the drive, she should be able to blast it onto another drive pretty easily, and Acronis should handle it. And unless she was locking her drive before, there's no reason it would be locked now. So more likely, if the recovery failed, then it could have messed up her SSD because the installation didn't finish. Leo recommends getting a new copy of Windows and format and reinstall.