Windows

Expect to Spend At Least $1000 for a Good Computer These Days

The less you spend on a computer, the more likely it'll break. Go for the higher-end Pro/business-grade model because the hardware will be better and won't get frustrating early down the road. The computer you want is close to $1500 to $2000...unless it's a Chromebook. We all need to reset our expectations for Windows and Mac products. Overall, it's gonna cost more than you wanna pay, but it'll be worth it in the long run. If money is especially tight, a Chromebook refurbished with some DIY upgrades could also work out.

How Can I Print to PDF if it Doesn't Work?

 Print to PDF

Episode 1790

Damon from Los Angeles, CA

Damon gets a popup message "PDF Printer not initialized" when he tries to create a PDF in Windows. Leo says that a PDF printer will simulate a printer to create a digital document, and it sounds like Windows may have broken it in a recent update. Type Windows+KS to go into Windows features (or Windows key, type Windows Features). Turn it off. Then on. Then look for a check box for printing to PDF. Turn it off. Then go back in and turn it back on. That will reenable the Windows Print to PDF drivers.

For a 1st Computer Purchase, Try an iPad!

If you have yet to buy your first computer, you will want to have a specific purpose upon finally receiving or buying one. Having a purpose will drive motivation, fun, and gratification while also building other computer skills in the process. A nice choice for a computer newbie would actually be an Apple iPad, which is only $329 and relatively easy to navigate. From there, your understanding can translate to other computer operating systems like macOS or even Windows. Avoid old laptops though, as troubleshooting and sluggishness will frustrate you more than necessary.

How Can I Transfer Data From an Old Mac Hard Drive?

Paragon Software

Episode 1789

David from Redondo Beach, CA

David (the Laptop Elf)  is trying to get some data off a 2011 Macbook, which has a dying hard drive. He pulled the hard drive and now has to connect it to her new Windows computer and transfer the data. But the MacBook uses iPhoto, and it has a single file with all the images balled up together. Sort of. R/C the iPhoto data file, and you'll be able to open it as a folder. You'll then see all the original images and transfer them over with a simple drag and drop.

Why Am I Getting Warnings From an Old Computer?

Windows 10

Episode 1789

Marie from Santan Valley, AZ

Marie got a new computer and gifted her old PC to her sister. She formatted the hard drive, reinstalled windows, and a few extra programs. Now she's getting an "unusual login activity" warning. Leo says that Marie needs to create a separate account for her sister. That will avoid the warning. But those other programs may have limitations on the number of users as well. Microsoft 365, for instance, can only be used for 1,2 or 5 users, depending on your level.  In the Windows control panel, under accounts, family, and other users, and add an account there.

Why Is Windows Jumping Around the Screen on My Laptop?

Windows

Episode 1777

Susan from Minneapolis, MN

Susan's windows screen also goes jumping around. Leo says that it could be several things. The first thing to fail in a laptop is the thin ribbon cable that runs from the computer section to the folding screen. It's a common problem. It could also be the video drivers or some other software issue. Try booting into Safe Mode and see if you can replicate the issue. If there's no problem, it's a driver issue. Remove the driver and reboot. Windows will reinstall the driver, and it should fix the problem. If it doesn't, you can get a USB with Linux (Ubuntu.org) and then reboot it.

How Can I Get My Laptop Keyboard to Work Again?

Dell XPS 13

Episode 1775

Dylan from Temecula, CA

Dylan likes to play video games, and his new laptop has a broken keyboard. Leo says that sounds like a factory defect that needs to be addressed by the manufacturer. Dylan can plug a USB keyboard into it in the short term, and it will replace the keyboard on the laptop. Dylan tried that, and that's when the keyboard stopped working. Leo says that it sounds like the laptop keyboard got disabled in Windows. He recommends going into device manager (Windows Key + X, device manager). Look for the keyboards section and make sure your standard keyboard hasn't been disabled.

How Can I Prevent From Being Bit by a Browser Hijack?

Browser Hijacking

Episode 1773

Heather from Kinderhook, NY

Heather calls in to talk about a client who got bit by a browser hijack. Leo says the first thing to do is get him off Windows, where he's most vulnerable. If that's not an option, get him to run as a standard or limited user and not an administrator. The browser hijack and malware can't install themselves as a standard user. 

Why does her client keep getting hit over and over? Leo says it's because of his behavior. They keep repeating the same behavior that causes them to get hit. The key is to change the user behavior. That's the only way it will stop.

Why Won't My Computer Boot Up?

Power

Episode 1767

Larry from San Francisco, CA

Larry is having an issue where the computer he built is suddenly freezing up and not letting it reboot. So he's gotten into the habit of using a bootable backup. But now he can't get the computer to boot back up. Leo says that most problems like this can be solved by just reinstalling Windows from scratch and starting over. But if it's freezing during the boot, then it could be a host of things, including cabling. One key is to wait for the "beeps," or Power On Self Test (POST). If it beeps, that indicates an issue.  Also, pull out your dedicated video card and try rebooting.