Windows

How can I get my printer to work with my computer?

Printer

Episode 1379

Michele from Ohio

Michele has an old OkiData laser printer. After updating to Windows 10, she's having trouble using it. She has to constantly reinstall the drivers for it to work. It's as if the computer forgets the drivers. Now, all she can print is a test page. Leo says that the test page is generated by the printer, not the computer, which is why she can print it. So there's clearly a communications issue. It may be a problem with how she's installing it. She shouldn't plug in the printer first. Instead, she should install the drivers first.

Should I call the 800 number on a popup?

Hacker

Episode 1379

Lisa from Palo Alto, CA

Lisa went to a website and she got a pop up notification that her computer was infected and to call an 800 number to Microsoft. Leo says not to ever call them -- just exit the popup and move on. It's not infected and those popups are designed to insnare users. It's called a phishing scam. Lisa did it anyway, though, and gave them control of a computer. Leo says that's bad news because she doesn't really know what the hacker's done. He can install viruses on her or turn it into a bot, a keystroke logger, and use remote access to turn on her camera.

Can I still buy a copy of Windows XP?

Lubuntu

Episode 1378

David from Chatsworth, CA

David has an old PC and he needs to get Windows XP for it. Can he still buy it? Leo says not in regular stores. He could find it on eBay, but he would need to make sure it's an official copy of XP. He'll have to be sure it has a hologram on it, serial number, etc.

Leo recommends getting a copy of Linux instead. Lubuntu or Xubuntu would be better, free, and more secure.

What computer should I buy?

HP Envy with 27" screen

Episode 1375

Harry from Brea, CA

Harry is looking to upgrade from his 7 year old computer and is thinking of an all-in-one, perhaps from Dell or HP. He wants one with a big monitor. Leo says it depends on his budget, but under $900 would be good. Could he get an iMac for that? Leo says no, $1,299 is the floor. Anything under that is likely an old model. How about Lenovo? Leo says all three of them make excellent machines. Leo has been thrilled with HP since they spun off the computer division.

How can I authenticate Windows 10 after replacing my motherboard?

Windows Start Menu

Episode 1375

John from Portland, ME

John wants to know if he can reactivate Windows after replacing the Motherboard. Leo says he probably can. He'll just have to contact Microsoft and tell them what he's had to replace, and they will understand and authenticate. If he replaced more than half the computer, they may take issue. But with just replacing the motherboard, he should be able to get it authenticated. Windows may reject him when he tries, but then he can just contact Microsoft.

Why isn't Windows accepting my password?

Windows

Episode 1374

Frank from Tennessee

Frank has been using the same password for years and now suddenly the password won't work on his Windows Surface. Could the hard drive be going out? Leo says that it's more likely a keyboard issue. He should check the CAPS lock, SCROLL lock and NUM lock to make sure they aren't enabled. Another thing to do is enable the feature that will allow him to see his password as he types it.

What computer should I get for college?

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Episode 1373

Jerry from Torrance, CA

Jerry is a long time Mac user and he's going back to school for Aerospace engineering. Now he has to get a Windows machine. What's the best for him? Linux? Leo says he'll most likely need Windows. He should get recommendations from his teachers, but most of the stuff he'll need is on Windows. It's pretty solid and rather "Mac-ish." The biggest differences are relatively insignificant.

Why is my PC running so hard?

Episode 1370

Hugo from San Diego, CA

Hugo got the Windows Anniversary update and he finds that the PC runs at 100% all the time and that it runs hotter. Leo says that has been a common problem for many users, and once you've upgraded to a new OS from an old OS, it may inherit some issues. Leo advises using Microsoft's Media Creation tool and backup his data, format his hard drive and reinstall Windows using the Windows Install he just created. That'll definitely fix it. He can think of it as Spring cleaning. There could also be some bugs in it that is causing some services to run even after he's closed a program out.