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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Yes, you can STILL get Windows 10 for FREE

This week I got an old HP Mini 210 from my granddaughter. It is a small portable PC with 1 GB of memory and a 256 GB hard drive.  It worked but hadn't been used in a few years.  It took a couple of hours but when it was done, Windows 10  ran very well.

Before I get to how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free, I want to remind you to back up everything and make sure you have copies of the programs and product codes for the applications you use, like Microsoft Office.

Reserve at least 1 hour of your time to do this upgrade.  Or. you can start it and go out to Timmys and have a double double while it is doing the update - it will take a while.

OK, let's get started.  You can download the Media Creation Tools from this website:

Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Select "Download Tool Now."

When you run it you will get this menu.

Select "Upgrade this PC now."

You will get the option to keep your files and programs.  If later you decide you don't want Windows 10, you will have the option to return to Windows 7.

Now follow the Media Creation Tool instructions until the upgrade is complete.

Windows 10 is running very well.  However, now that Windows 10 was on the HP Mini, I decided to upgrade the PC.  So, I went to Amazon and purchased a Kingston 240 GB SSD (Solid State Drive), for $60 to replace the 5400 RPM hard drive and a 2 GB Crucial memory card for $25 to replace the 1 GB card that came with the HP Mini.  This little beast is now so SCREAMING FAST that my granddaughter wanted it back.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Computer Scam - You can loose thousands

I have posted about these computer fake viruses before.  The scammers help you make it really easy to take your money.  Here is a news story by CTV News that shows you how easy it can be:

CTV News Story

If you can avoid it this easily by reading the "Fake Virus" post I wrote earlier.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Microsoft Removes Homegroup

For years now I have used homegroup to transfer and backup file on my five Windows laptops.  With the new 2018 spring update (1803) Microsoft has terminated homegroup and replaced it with "Nearby sharing."  As it turns out, that for me, this a bigger issue then you might expect. 

Of the 5 laptops I have only 4 will work with "Nearby sharing", the fifth will not run it at all.  Even with the 4 that do run it it is more awkward then homegroup. 

Nearby sharing will only allow you to transfer files to another computer.  And then they have to be accepted by the operator of the other computer.  Let me give you and example:

My wife has an Excel file that she created and would like to share it with me.  I know, there are a dozen different ways to do it.  But with homegroup she simply puts it on her desktop and I click on homegroup and her computer, and transfer the file locally to my computer.  As long as her computer is on, she doesn't even have to be there.  As well if she is in the middle of something I don't have to interrupt her to transfer a file to her.  We can be in different rooms as long are we are on the same network.  Simple and Easy.

With "Nearby sharing"  we go to the file we want to transfer right click on it and click share. You then see a list of computers that are close (it uses bluetooth to do the transfer) , select one then send.  The other person has to immediately interrupt what they are doing and accept the file and then transfer it appropriate directory.

As I said, it onlyworks on 4 of my 5 laptops   For the other one I have to go back to sneaker net (USB Drive) or transfer the file using a cloud drive.  Inconvenient!

Monday, May 1, 2017

How to react to a Fake Virus - Ramsomware

I have had a few folks tell me about a ransomware scam that occurs when you misspell a web site entry in your browser.  They are designed to look scary and make you call the number but it is really just junk.  I know people who have called one of these and paid $500 to have them "Fix the Problem."  This post will help you fix your problem if this happens to you.

Here is a video example of one of these kinds of scams.

First of all, NEVER call this 1-800 number and give them money.

Fixing the problem:

We used Google Chrome in this example but if you use Microsoft Edge please see my previous post.  When the site appears on your screen you cannot shut it down you simply clicking on the "X" in the top right corner.  So, here is how to fix this.

1.  While holding down the CTRL and Shift Key hit the Esc key
               This will bring up the Task Manage
2.  Click on Google Chrome to highlight it
3.  Click on "End Task"

That will take down the Chrome Browser and the site will be gone.

  When you bring up Chrome again   You will see this in the top right corner.  Simply Click on the "X"

And you're done.  There really was no virus on your computer and you don't have to pay any money responding to the scam. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Save your files to This PC by default in Windows 10

Have you ever created a new file, edit photo or video then save it to Documents or Pictures and then when you looked for it you can't find the thing you just did.  It is frustrating.  After spending a lot of time looking for it, you find that is was saved to OneDrvie.  Windows 10 saved it there by default.  OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud storage.  OneDrive is great for sharing files between your phone and computer or computers but I really don't want files I create saved there but default.

Luckily, you can change that but Microsoft didn't make it easy or obvious.  Here is how you change it  so you and save files to your PC instead of the cloud.

1.  In the notification area at the bottom right of your desktop you can find the OneDrive Icon you may have to click on the "^", as I did here.

Now Right Click on the OneDrive Icon.

2.  When the following window appears click on "Settings"

3. Select the "Auto Save" Folder

4.  Click on the drop down boxes and select "This PC only." for both Documents and Pictures

Now when you create your document or edit a picture or video it will save to your computer.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ransom Ware on Microsoft Edge

The other day I was helping Penny install a clean version of Windows 10 on her laptop.  After the installation was complete we needed to set up her Email in Microsoft Edge.  I made a search for the Outlook Email web site.  The query resulted in a number of different web sites and I didn’t examine them as closely as I should have and clicked on one.

Up came a web page window along with a window with a voice saying “Your system has reported a virus and you need to call this number immediately”  It would not allow me to “X” down Microsoft Edge and the computer was locked with the voice repeating that we needed to call that number.  I then used task manager to exit Microsoft Edge and got control of the computer back but when I launched Edge again it came up to the exact same web site with the annoying voice requesting I call the telephone number.

I have heard of a few people who have actually called the number provided them with a credit card to pay $500 to get the problem fixed.  One person managed to negotiate them down to $300 and another who paid the amount, got the computer fixed and then called Visa to have the transaction cancelled.

There is a wide variety of Ransom ware but here is how I fixed this one:

1.       To exit Microsoft Edge:
a.       While holding down the Ctrl and Shift key hit Esc
b.      When the task manager comes up select Microsoft Edge
c.       Then click “End Task”
2.       Where you see “Ask me anything” (Cortana)
a.       Type any web site e.g.
b.      This will bring up Microsoft Edge in another tab.  The Ransom ware site is still in the first tab but your site will appear and you still have control of Edge
c.       Click on “…” ( Three Dots) in the top right corner
d.      Click on “Settings”
e.      Look for “Clear browsing data” and click on “Choose what to clear”
f.        Select every box and then hit “Clear”
3.       Close Microsoft Edge

Now when you bring Microsoft Edge up the Ransom ware web page will be gone.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Setting up Emergency Information on your Android Phone

Did you know, if you have an emergency situation where you are unable to communicate, your phone can be a life saver.  Anyone with access to your phone can call 911 even if your phone is locked.  First responders can call emergency contacts that you have set up.  Your Android phone makes it easy.  Here is how you can set it up:

1.        Go to settings and select “Users

2.       Select “Emergency Information” 
a.       From here “Info” you can provide medical information like Allergies and your medication

b.      Click on “Contacts”

Now click on “Add Contact”
c.       You can now select a family member or friend you would like to have contacted in case of emergency

Now, when your phone is locked, your medical information and contacts are accessible by First Responders.  It may save your life.