Can I still use an old computers running XP and Vista?

Windows XP

Episode 1386

Nick from San Fernando, CA

Nick has a very old netbook running Windows Vista. He also has an old Windows XP machine. Will they still be working if he restarts them? Leo says that they should. He may have an issue with authenticating Windows and the software he's using. XP and Vista also pose a security issue as Microsoft has declared them both "end of life" for security fixes. So Leo recommends not connecting it to the internet after authentication. Here are some things he can do to protect himself anyway:

Do I have to upgrade from Windows XP?

Episode 1260

Annie from Los Angeles, CA

Annie still uses Windows XP and can't afford a new computer. Leo says that using XP is fine, but she's going to want to use a better browser like Chrome to keep her web surfing more secure. But Google is going to stop supporting XP, so Firefox will be the best. If she's going to keep using XP, here are a few steps to protect herself since Microsoft has stopped supporting it:

How can I reformat and install Windows without losing my programs?


Episode 1153

Mary from Lake Arrowhead, CA

Mary has Windows XP and she needs to reformat her hard drive, but she has programs she can't replace. Leo says that she can look through her registry to find software keys so that she can reinstall them to reactivate them. But if she doesn't have the reinstall disks, she may be out of luck. That's why having an image of the hard drive is very beneficial.

How should I upgrade to Windows 7 from Windows XP?

Episode 1110

Dale from Pomona, CA

Dale has been running Windows XP and now that Microsoft has killed off support for it, he's looking to upgrade his computer to Windows 7. His company can give it to him in the form of a download. What does he need to do to prepare his computer?

Leo says to get an external hard drive and backup all data. Once he upgrades, he'll need to reinstall all the apps. When he gets the download, there's plenty of utilities for making a disc from the ISO. He can also put it on a bootable USB key, which is also a great idea.

Why can't I access my email through Outlook Express?

Episode 1089

Susan from Chatsworth, CA

Susan is having trouble getting her email in Windows. Leo says it may be an issue with Outlook Express. Microsoft stopped supporting it years ago and Susan is also still using XP. Leo hates to say get a new computer, but Microsoft doesn't support XP anymore. There are ways to use it, but Leo says not to ever use Internet Explorer on XP. Chances are it's an old version of IE, and that's an exploit waiting to happen. Leo suggests going to get.live.com and try downloading Windows Live Mail.

Will Microsoft ever stop authenticating Windows XP?

Episode 1080

Jeff from Sun Valley, CA

Jeff has a few Windows XP machines and wants to know if Microsoft will continue to support Windows Genuine Advantage for it to reinstall it. Leo says they will continue to allow that. Just don't expect them to release any new patches. Does he have enough RAM at 3GB? Leo says that is plenty, especially since Windows XP is 32 bit and can only see 4GB.

What do I do with my Windows XP computer that won't shut down after it finished installing updates?

Episode 1079

Dennis from San Diego, CA

Dennis got an old Windows XP Machine, but when he tried to update it, it got stuck on the black Windows XP screen and wouldn't shut down. Leo says that once the updates run, it should be OK to just turn it off. If it won't shut down on its own, after awhile it's ok to turn it off with the power button.

Should I clone my old hard drive and put it on my new computer?

Episode 1070

Tony from Los Angeles, CA

Tony needs to move the data from his old Windows XP machine to his new laptop. Should he clone it? Leo says no! If he clones it, he'll overwrite the new OS with the old Windows XP. And that's counter productive. Just backup the data and put it on the new computer. He can use a thumb drive to do it. He'll just have to reinstall all of his programs, but it's far better to start fresh.