Richard is having issues connecting to the Internet after cleaning out his computer. It's loaded with Windows XP and he can't download any browsers. Leo says that Microsoft stopped updating Windows XP and if he can't install something like Chrome, then there's a problem that worries Leo. He says he can go onto Google, but can't run Chrome, only Internet Explorer. Leo says that he can use XP online, but only if he's careful. Here are steps to protect yourself since Microsoft has stopped supporting XP:
Mark has a Windows machine and he took Leo's advice and created a limited user account out of his admin account. But he lost his original information as a result. Leo says the trick is to create a separate admin account first, then modify the existing account as a limited user. But he can't even see the original account.
The chatroom says to try rebooting his system into Safe Mode. Then he should look for the account. It could be hidden and going into safe mode will enable him to find it.
Mark noticed that he got an update for Internet Explorer on Windows XP, but didn't think there was supposed to be anymore updates from Microsoft for Windows XP. Leo says that Microsoft did break its word, and they did release an update in May for Internet Explorer. It could simply be that the update didn't get applied, and it's still trying to run the update. It also could be that a hacker is posing as Microsoft to infect his system.
Mike wants to do a registry hack to convince his PC that it's Windows XP Embedded, not Windows XP itself. It is supposed to protect it further from exploits. Leo says that Microsoft is against it because it may not work, and he could end up getting something that's not intended for desktop Windows XP. It's likely that Microsoft will block this soon anyway, so it's not much of a long term fix.
Brian has an old XP machine that's starting to crash more often. He has to remove the hard drive and run check disk to fix it. But when he puts it back in to his laptop, it read the MUNC file, so the computer can't do anything. Leo says he can reinstall Windows, that could fix it, but it's likely a hardware issue and it's only going to get worse over time. The best solution is to have it repaired. But at that age, it's likely cheaper to just buy a new computer.
Richard wants to get a new computer to replace his XP machine, but he's concerned that Microsoft may do the same thing to Windows 7. Leo says that Microsoft has scheduled updates past 2020, so he'll get plenty of mileage out of that Windows 7 machine. It'll likely go even longer than that.
Jeff has a few Windows XP machines and wants to know if Microsoft will continue to support Windows Genuine Advantage for it to reinstall it. Leo says they will continue to allow that. Just don't expect them to release any new patches. Does he have enough RAM at 3GB? Leo says that is plenty, especially since Windows XP is 32 bit and can only see 4GB.
Dennis got an old Windows XP Machine, but when he tried to update it, it got stuck on the black Windows XP screen and wouldn't shut down. Leo says that once the updates run, it should be OK to just turn it off. If it won't shut down on its own, after awhile it's ok to turn it off with the power button.
Not long after Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, a "zero day exploit" was discovered in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11. Microsoft immediately patched Windows 7 and 8, but not XP. There was an outcry about it, so Microsoft relented and made an exception by quickly pushing out a fix. Leo says that once Microsoft makes an exception, the customer base will expect more of them. Will Microsoft release any more? Likely not. But the precedent has been set.
Michael tried creating a separate, limited user account for running Windows XP, but his computer crashes and freezes whenever he creates another account. He has tried reformatting and reinstalling Windows several times, but still has this issue. Michael is wondering if he could enable the hidden administrator account in Windows, and just toggle that back and forth between admin and limited.