Windows XP

Why can't I play video on my PC running Windows XP?

VLC

Episode 1059

John from Van Nuys, CA

John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.

How can I protect my computer after Microsoft ends Windows XP support?

Episode 1057

Dan from Huntington Beach, CA

Dan uses Windows XP and is worried about security once Microsoft ends support for it on April 8th. Leo says that there will only be two more security patch Tuesdays between now and April 8th and once that's done, XP will no longer be supported. Leo says that once that happens, all XP users should pull their XP computers off the Internet completely. There are bad guys who collect flaws and exploits and take advantage of holes in the system. One such nasty thing is Cryptolocker.

Can I install Windows 8 on an XP machine?

Episode 1048

Georgeanne from Upland, CA

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.

How can I run Visual Basic on Windows 7?

Episode 1041

Chuck from Tennessee

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.

Can I swap a hard drive with Windows already installed into my computer?

Episode 1034

OLee from California

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.

What can I do about a Windows blue screen of death?

Episode 1006

Jack from California

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.

How can I stop my computer from shutting itself down?

Episode 992

Stanna from Wisconsin

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.