Windows

Will I have to update Windows in my ATMs?

Windows 7 RIP

Episode 1617

Chris from Studio City, California

Chris wants to know why his ATMs will require an update costing $10,000. Leo says it depends on what your license options are, but those ATM machines are running on old versions of Windows, like Windows XP, and they have to keep them updated for security purposes. And it would be expensive to update to a new version of Windows. So it depends on the license you have. What about Windows 7? Leo says that Windows 7 will go end of life in January 2020. 

Can I really buy a Windows serial key from eBay?

Windows Serial Key Prompt

Episode 1613

Bruce from Carlsbad, California

Bruce updated his old Dell Inspiron to Windows 7 after buying a DVD on eBay for it. But after a month or so it stops working. So he bought another one with Windows 10 and it worked fine. Leo says that Bruce got lucky, most of the time, those serial keys are being resold over and over and often doesn't work with Microsoft's authentication servers. And with Windows 10, the serial number is assigned to the computer, fingerprinting it. Also, you don't have to buy the media, you can just download it from Microsoft directly.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10 version 1903?

Windows 10

Episode 1610

John from Alberta, Canada

John's daughter has a computer that needs to update. Should he wait for the next one which is coming in a month? Leo says you can, it's only a feature update. But Microsoft really wants you to upgrade or they will eventually end of life your version. And if you're computer can't handle the update, then you may be stuck having to buy a new computer. It's a mess. If you can update, then do so, but don't force it. As long as you're getting the monthly security updates, you're OK.

Do I have to stop using Windows 7?

RIP Windows 7

Episode 1609

Michael from Westborough, Massachusetts

Micahel has learned that Windows 7 will stop being supported in January. Is that seriously so? Leo says it is. It's called End of Life, and beginning January 14th, there will be no more security patches being done for Windows 7. That means that after January 14th, you'll want to take any Windows 7 computer off the internet, or it'll be increasingly more dangerous online. It will still work however. And considering the age of Michael's computer, it may be a great time to upgrade. Computers are faster, more powerful, and cheaper now. 

How can I reset Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1609

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve has an old Toshiba Satellite Laptop that was running really slow and he's trying to reset Windows 10. He's getting a popup to run disk utility. Leo says it sounds like the hard drive is getting flakey and needs to be replaced. Fortunately, Rick has his data backed up and the hard drives are cheap. So replace the drive and you'll be back in business. $50 for a 2TB spinning drive. But Leo says that SSDs are almost as cheap. So why not go SSD and speed that old Toshiba up?

Start Saying Goodbye to Your Windows 7 OS

Microsoft will cease support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, so PC users should really upgrade to Windows 10 soon. The most important point will be the loss of security patches for the operating system, which will make it increasingly risky to take online. Eventually, browsers and other constantly-updating software will stop working comfortably with Windows 7 and might be frustrating to use. The same issues plagued users of Windows XP after its time was up. Although Windows 10 looks a bit different, you can configure the interface to more closely resemble what you liked about Windows 7.

How Can I Get My Surface Pro 6 to Restart After Updating?

Surface Pro 6

Episode 1606

Charlie from San Diego, CA

Charlie has a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and got a notice this week for the Windows 1903 update. But he found an issue with it after it updated. It won't restart. It just spins. He tried several solutions online, and it didn't work. Leo says to try Windows +R to go into restore mode. If there's no important data on the machine, Leo recommends going to another computer and download the Windows Media Creation tool. Create a USB key and reinstall to the surface. He may need to go into the BIOS to get it to boot to the USB key. But reinstalling Windows is the solution.

Is Windows 7 Coming to an End?

Windows 7

Episode 1606

Martin from Santa Barbara, CA

Martin got the email that Microsoft will be killing Windows 7 in January. What does it mean? Leo says it's the normal end of life announcement, which Microsoft did for Windows XP, Me, and every single OS before it. It means that Microsoft will stop issuing patches, including security patches after January. This will make it unsafe to use online. You can still use it on your computer, but it'll be a security risk and browsers and websites will gradually stop working.

How Can I Turn Off Memory Dump When My PC Crashes?

Windows 10 Laptop

Episode 1605

John from Los Angeles, CA

John records music on his laptop, but his software is crashing a lot. When it crashes, it compiles error data for a long time. Can he turn that off? Leo says that John has a 64GB of RAM and that can take a long time. You should be able to turn off the memory dump in the system and security under "advanced." Hit the Windows Key and type startup and recovery. Windows+X select system, advanced, startup, and recovery, then you can turn off the memory dump. Select NONE.  But Leo also says that if it's crashing, it could be that your drivers are corrupted.

Do Not Download/Open Email Attachments

Do not open email attachments, as they are one of the most common causes of innocent computer users getting infected with malicious malware. Email attachments are "the kiss of death." Ask the sender to place the attachment in Dropbox, etc. or other safer alternatives. Furthermore, Mac and Windows 10 users can open PDF files by themselves, so no need to download and install additional software like Adobe Reader. There are too many vulnerabilities these days regarding email attachments and outdated Adobe software.