Michael just went to Windows 7 Pro from Windows XP. He's concerned that since XP is going away, and he's got the Windows 7 upgrade, how will that effect him as he upgrades it? Leo says that over at WinSupersite, there's a list of tricks on how to upgrade without having the original discs.
According to a story on Fox News, over 95% of the world's ATMs are running Windows XP. Why is this significant? Because Microsoft will "end of life" Windows XP on April 8th and will no longer support it with software patches. Leo is betting that the bad guys know this and are making plans. Hopefully, the banks are making plans as well, because this is a financial catastrophe waiting to happen.
Georgeanne is worried that when Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP, will she be able to install and use Windows 8 on her old computer? Leo says support for Windows XP will end April 8th. At that point, she won't even get important security updates. Microsoft's attitude is that very few older computers running XP will run Windows 8.1. She could run the Windows upgrade assistant, but it's unlikely.
Chuck is a retired engineer and his computer won't run any programs he wrote in Basic or Visual Basic. Leo says that the DLLs aren't supported in Windows 7 or Windows 8. An XP machine would run these, but Microsoft won't be supporting it after March 2014. That means it won't continue to be safe to use online, but if it won't be on the internet, he should be fine running it. Leo suggests running Windows XP virtually on a Windows 7 machine, along with Visual Basic. It'll run just fine that way.
Olee has a hard drive that is full and he's going to put in a new hard drive with Windows already installed. Leo says that won't work. Windows won't just turn on due to Microsoft Genuine Advantage. Olee would have to format the hard drive and start over. He'd need Windows on a disc to reinstall it, though. Leo hates that computers are sold without OS discs anymore. It's a very shortsighted point of view, and manufacturers do it because of piracy concerns.
Sam's business runs XP and he's concerned that when Microsoft stops supporting it, they'll be out in the cold. Leo says he understands wanting to stick with what works, but at some point he'll have to move forward. So it may be a good idea to get the latest version of Windows server or at least move up to Windows 7.
Jack gets the dreaded blue screen of death when he boots into Windows, and he can't even boot into safe mode. Leo says that tends to imply a serious error. It's either bad hardware or bad drivers. If he can't boot into safe mode, then that points to a hardware problem. It could be bad memory or a flakey hard drive. It could also be that the hard drive may have a bad bit in just the right spot that's causing the crash. Leo recommends running the repair utility from his Windows install disc. If that doesn't repair it, he may need a new hard drive.
Stanna wiped her old computer and reinstalled Windows XP with dual partitions. Now, it just shuts down on its own. Leo says that it's likely a hardware problem, potentially a power supply. If she's getting beeps when she turns it back on, that's a "post code," and the number of beeps tells her what the problem is. Just search the number of beeps on Google. Given the age of the computer, it's probably time to get a new one. She could pay to have it fixed, but at that age, it's not really worth it.
Michael has an old Dell computer running XP Pro, but is wondering how long he'll be able to continue with it. Leo says that Windows XP is pretty solid. He really doesn't have to worry about it being left behind in the near future unless a particular program requires a new version.
Rick says his XP machine got bit by malware, and the utility he used to fix it was also malware. Leo says that it may not be, but modern malware attaches itself to critical system files, causing the drivers to disappear and lose internet connectivity. It's likely the malware utility didn't even fix it and more malware is being installed without his knowledge.