Updated: Monday, 10/16/2023
YESIf you can, definitely update.
Upgrading from Windows 10 is free and legal.
But you cannot upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 for free anymore....
Microsoft stopped that a few days ago.
Anything ALREADY activated is fine, and will continue nto be activated and update properly. But if yuuo hafew a Windows 7 or 8 machine that has not yet upgraded, your price to upgrade will include a license fee.
No charge to bring your machine by to find out if it can upgrade.
Keep in mind --
Windows 10 support runs out in Fall, 2014.
OfficiallyThe requirements listed by Microsoft require a TPM 2.0 chip, and a fairly recent CPU. (Intel 8th-generation i- processors, or AMD Ryzen 2nd Generation -- dating back to 2017 and 2018, respectively.)
So, basically, if your machine is more than a few years old, it does not meet the Microsoft official requirements. And it will tell you so on Windows Updates.
RealisticallyIf you have a machine running Windows 10 already, it's a pretty good bet I can update it to Windows 11, whether it meets Microsoft's requirements or not. And it would still be just $40 for a reload -- and support will not end in '24. You might want to get it while you can!
the mouse moves but clicking on things does nothing, sometimes the Min/Max/Close buttons are missing.
- You might have accidentally gotten into "Full-Screen Mode", if this has happenned, you simply need to hit ESC or F11.
- OTHERWISE, the simplest solution often works -- just hit the WINDOWS KEY on your keyboard (On the left, bottom, next to Ctrl.) The Windows Menu pops up. Then tap the WINDOWS KEY again.
The menu disappears. But the Min/Max buttons are usually back and Windows starts behaving itself again.
- IF THAT DID'T WORK, then try this...
if you had another window open, try clicking the mouse on one of the other window's title bar. Sometimes that works,
and it is even quicker than using the Windows Key.
- IF THAT DID'T WORK,
then maybe there is a "Modal" dialog box asking you a question and you are ignoring it, or it is behind another window and you did not notice. If that is the case, answer the dialog (asking you if you REALLY want to do something or ALLOW something to proceed...) and then your desktop will act normal again. (A MODAL dialog won't let other windows function until you answer.)
- IF THAT DID'T WORK,
then maybe WINDOWS EXPLORER needs to be restarted.
press the Ctrl + Alt + ESC keys on your keyboard
Task manager appears
Scroll down to Windows Explorer
(You may need to use arrrow keys, and it is a long way down the list)
If you can manage a right-mouse click on Windows Explorer, then from the drop down menu click "Restart".If you CANNOT right-click with the mouse
use Shift + F10
This right-clicks with the keyboard :-)
Hopefully, somewhere up there your Windows and mouse and buttons began to behave themselves again.
Windows 10 release information
Beginning with Windows 10, version 21H2, feature updates for Windows 10 release are released annually, in the second half of the calendar year, to the General Availability Channel. They will be serviced with monthly quality updates for 18 or 30 months from the date of the release, depending on the lifecycle policy. The General Availability Channel replaces the previous "Semi-Annual Channel" as the primary and recommended channel for Windows 10 servicing.
Windows 10 current versionVersion Availability Date Latest revision date 22H2 2022-10-18 2023-11-14
Windows 11 release information
Windows 11 will have an annual feature update cadence. Windows 11 feature updates will release in the second half of the calendar year and will come with 24 months of support for Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, and Pro Education editions; 36 months of support for Enterprise and Education editions. We recommend that you begin deployment of each feature update promptly to gain access to new features, experiences, and integrated security as soon as possible. For monthly security updates, Windows 11 uses the familiar Windows cumulative update process, also referred to as a "B" release, Patch Tuesday, or Update Tuesday. These monthly releases will continue to contain all previous updates to keep devices protected and productive.
Windows 11 current versionVersion Availability Date Latest revision date 23H2 2023-10-31 2023-11-04
Windows Security UpdatesPatch Tuesday occurs on the second Tuesday of each month. Critical security updates are occasionally released outside of the normal Patch Tuesday cycle; these are known as "Out-of-band" releases.
If upi are not going to manually check for updates -- not all of us are nerds, after all...
then it is a good idea to let your machine go to sleep rather than turn it off all the way. In this manner, Windows will wake itself up in the middle of the night adnd check and install any updates it finds. And some of them can be large and time-consuming. If you shut down your machine right after each time you use it, the laptop or PC might not have tiume to update probelly, and may become vulnerable to unpatched vulnerabilities or may slow you down, trying to update, while you are trying to work on the computer.
As I mention in the Maintenance folder I include with all cleanup/reinwstalls, it IS good to shut the machine down all the way at least once a week.
Let's face it -- often your "STUFF" (documents, pictures, tax PDFs, work-related files) -- are worth more than the machine they are sitting on. ALWAYS keep at least 2 copies of any files you don't want to lose.
Your computer and a USB stick or external drive.
And refresh or update them at least a couple times a year. Even the best drives don't lasrt forever.
Did you never hear of Bit Rot? -- it's a real thing:
You are on the internet, browsing around... looking up this, YouTubing that, Facebooking... whatever
Then you get one of the following (or similar):
Usually you get stuck there not able to do anything.
As insensitive as this might sound, listen to me.
No one at Microsoft wants to talk to you!
DON'T CALL THE NUMBER!
Microsoft is not contacting you. This is a browser pop-up scam. All you have to do is close the browser to get it to stop -- but the scammers make it difficult. Here's how to shut them out:
You open the task manager and "end task" for the browser you were using (be it Internet Explorer, Firefox of Chrome.
1.) On your keyboard, press the keys CRTL and ALT and Delete
You will see this screen:
2.) Then choose Task Manager and you will see:
3.) Then choose the browser (in this case Chrome)
and hit End Task
And the warning should disappear.
I don't care how many old coots like me tell you different.
The vacuum cleaner can generate static electricity near the nozzle. It's a fact.
Use compressed air. I've got one of those big compressor tanks, but even the small compressed air cans they sell at Walmart can do a decent job.
On a PC, open 'er up and gently hold the fins on the CPU fan. This will keep them from rotating too fast and getting damaged. Then use the air to blast out all the dust in/on the CPU heat sink.
The power supply in a PC has a fan and gets dusty inside. Blast through vent holes from inside-out for a while. Then from outside in -- then again from inside out.
From there you just spray air anyplace you can see dust to clean inside the chassis. I also use a soft paint brush (clean and never used to paint) to gently brush off surfaces.
On a laptop
I open them all the time, but for the casual user I suggest not to... You can usually eliminate most dust with a few blasts from outside. The only place you really get dust buildup in a laptop is between the CPU fan and exhaust fins. (Crumbs and liquids in the keyboard are another matter :-(
Flip the laptop over.
Find the INTAKE vent over the fan. Stick Mr Cliuppy in there to prevent too-rapid fan spin... Blast air INTO exhaust vent on side of laptop. (from intake-out won't work.)
These can be a bit stubborn. You can usually tell by observation if it is clean or coming clean. Some of the laptops you really have to open up and remove the exhaust fins to get the dust clumps out. Dusty or animal-hair infused units can end up with a "felt strip" of dust stuck in there.
If you don't want to play around, give me a couple bucks and I'll do it for you :-)
The Vivaldi browser is a nice alterative to Google Chrome or Firefox. It uses the Chrome/Chromium codebase, with it's own UI -- it's leaner, cleaner, faster and I set it up to do no tracking. (For pop-=up ads I strill use Ublock Origin, as it does the best job.) It almost always works -- and if it does not, you have Chrome or Edge to fall back on...
I find it much faster and enjoyable going from page to page with the Vivaldi browser. I used Firefox on Linux a lot -- and it got REAL slow. And I just don't like feeding all my info to Google.
I don't think I'm the paranoid type -- but all that tracking and advertising they do can really slow down web browsing. And it's kinda creepy.
If you use Avast antivirus, be it known -- they like to sell information about your browsing habits to anyone they can. Everyplace you visit, everythng you buy... via the browser protection plugin. (And in case you did not know, AVG is a subsidiary of Avast.)
Read all about it at:
Saturday, 07/13/2019Friday, 06/21/2019
Would you like to search the internet, maybe watch YouTube, without Google keeping track of everything little you do? Here are a couple tips:
- You can search with duckduckgo instead of google. That site does not track your searches. However, the search results are not quite as good.
- Turn off tracking for some google services. Go to Google Account Personalization.
Log into your google account if you are not already, then scrolll down a pinch until you see:
Simply pick which "Activity" you wish to turn off tracking for...in this case choose "Web & App Activity", and you will see this page:
Then simply click OFF the button, and web search tracking is supposed to be off. You can do the same for other activities, such as YouTube search or watch records.
- Use a browser other than google chrome. Because no browser collects as much data about you as Chrome.... Try Firefox from Mozilla. It's a good browser. All the other browsers I've tried had their drawbacks, had compatability issues at some sites, or were just plain awkward to use.
Dell and other OEMs include Support Assistant software with their PCs. It opens systems up to DLL hijacking attacks.
I have been taking this out of my customer's machines for many years... as I knew this could prove to be a vulnerability -- and was never generally productive or helpful long-term.
If you still have Support Assistant on your machine, then it is strongly suggested that you go to Add/Remove Programs and take it out.
For you stubborn folks still using XP, Microsoft as released a patch to fix a very serious vulnerability involving remote access. You can get the fix at:
microsoft security update KB4500705
The vulnerability also affects Windows 7... so win7 users should double-check windows update.
Security researcher Michael Myng found the keylogging code in software drivers preinstalled on HP laptops to make the keyboard work. HP said more than 460 models of laptop were affected by the "potential security vulnerability." It has issued a software patch for its customers to remove the keylogger.
The affectedlaptops annd update are available at:
There is a virus circulating: UPS/Fed Ex/USPS Delivery Failure. It has been used for several years, most often near the holidays.
How it works:
You will receive an e-mail (allegedly) from UPS, Fed Ex, or USPS -- along with a packet number. It will say that they were unable to deliver a package sent to you on such-and-such a date. It then asks you to print out the invoice copy attached or click on a link for more information.
DON'T TRY TO PRINT THIS OR CLICK ON LINK -- IT LAUNCHES THE VIRUS!
Look in the email header to see who actually sent it to you.
BIG exploit, also known as wncry or wcry ransomware.
It can encrypt all your personal files and charge a ransom of you ever want to be able to see them again... a patch was issued by Microsoft in March, but if a system was not updated it could still be vulnerable. More likely to happen with older systems -- but MS has issued patches even for XP.
I don't use it or install it, but I have had several customers who use webroot antivirus (suggested by some other "computer guy") -- might be a good time to consider my recommendation of Panda Antivirus or Avira, if you are sticking with the free stuff.