Archive for Tech Tip

When Windows 7 is Gone in 2020, What Will You Do?

Windows 7 Coming to an End

It’s official, Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020. What does that mean to you at home?  After this date, your PC running Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates or any other sort of patching by Microsoft.  In this day and age where cyber security breaches are always in the news, this is a big deal.

Many people think they’ll be fine if they keep their anti-virus up to date, but, they are wrong.  Anti-virus vendors are not in the business of guarding against fundamental security flaws in the operating system.  They, like everyone else, rely on the vendor to patch these holes in a timely manner.

2020 is just over six months away, not that far off, and that time will go by much faster than you may realize.  You need to start thinking about what you are going to do about this.  There are several options for you to consider.

Buy a new computer with Windows 10 installed.
This is how many people will solve this issue.  They feel they’ve had their current computer quite a long time so a new one seems like a good choice.

Upgrade your current computer to Windows 10.
This is also a viable solution for many Windows 7 users out there.  As long as your hardware is robust enough to cope with the increased demands of Windows 10 this should work just fine.  You will have to purchase a copy of Windows 10 and install it.  This will cost you anywhere from $139.00 US for the Home version all the way up to $199.00 US for the Pro version.  Most home users do not require the Pro version.

Some people will move to a new operating system.
I’m always impressed when people branch out and try something new in their computer world.  Two other operating systems you could potentially move too are Linux and Mac OS.

Mac OS is a definite favourite of mine, it runs exactly the same way 99.99999% of the time when I turn it on, as it did when I turned it off.  No inexplicable weirdness, very stable, and everything “just works”.  Anti-Virus and Malware scanners and cleaners are really only needed to make sure you don’t pass something on to your Windows friends.  Yes, there are virus strains and malware out there for Mac OS, but it’s not mainstream and you won’t run into them doing normal everyday web surfing etc.  If you live your cyber life on the edge, you would have a better chance of catching something there.  So, while it’s not a bad idea to have an anti-virus suite on your Mac, it’s not life and death like it is for a Windows user.

Now, you can only use Mac OS on Apple Macintosh computers.  Mostly.  There are several sneaky ways of running Mac OS on other hardware, or in a virtual machine, but that is not a project for the average computer user.  Macintosh hardware, while of extremely high quality and excellent specifications, can really surprise some people with the price tag.  I personally do think they are worth the extra bucks.

Wipe out windows and replace it with Linux on your current computer.
This is a great option for people with older hardware who are also not in the position to buy something new, or pay for the new version of Windows.  At this time, my personal favourite Linux distribution is called Linux Mint, but there are many others available.  Linux is a free and open source operating system that is fast, efficient, easy on your disk space, and runs very well on older hardware.  Under the hood, Linux is a cousin of Mac OS down deep, so they share all the same traits that make them reliable, more secure, and far more private than Windows (Windows 10 collects reams of information about you).

So there you go folks, there are several ways to get past Windows 7 and move into a modern operating system.  My favourite option here is moving to Linux, so much more cost effective and so similar to what you’ve been using, your learning curve would be a very gentle incline indeed.

If you need assistance moving on from Windows 7, or if you’d like to talk about moving to Linux, feel free to contact me at 250-485-7146 or email me at service@goldtek.ca and I would be happy to discuss it with you.

War Thunder Update Issues

The other day I went to play War Thunder and the launcher required an update to the game to proceed.  I naturally agreed whole-heartedly, without reservation, and let things happen.

Getting towards the end of the process, an error message pops up, saying that I did not have the required permissions to perform certain actions, actions that were never defined.

In the end, I allowed full control over the whole War Thunder folder, and it’s contents, and that solved the issue.  If you have the time, you could add Full Control to each user or group attached to the folder (Possibly ‘Trusted Installer’ would actually save the day) one at a time to see which is the user/group that needs the access to the War Thunder folder.

Open Request to any and all PC Diagnostic Utility software makers.

Dear sirs!  You know what I want?  I want PC diagnostic utilities that I can run from my iOS device such as my iPhone or iPad.  I envision connecting to the PC via a USB port and proceeding to scan the drive and repair file structure damage ala chkdsk, defrag, scan for viruses and malware, disk file cleanup and registry cleaning and defrag, and navigate in the file system.  What a boon for tech’s doing PC repair like myself!!

Moving Mail Across Windows Versions

Recently I was helping a client move their data from their old Windows XP machine to a new Windows 7 unit.  They were concerned about changes in the mail program that Windows 7 provides compared to their old Outlook Express.  They asked if Mozilla Thunderbird would be a good equivalent mail client, which I assured them it would be.  Better in fact.

If you’ve ever tried to get your new installation of Thunderbird in your new computer to pickup all account settings, mail and address books from the old Outlook Express on the old hard drive, you know that can be problematic.  An easy solution is to install Thunderbird first on the old computer, and have it import all account settings, mail, address books, etc. from Outlook Express.

Then, when i connect the old hard drive to the new computer to copy the users documents and other data, I simply replace the Thunderbird folder in the new computer located at C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming with the Thunderbird folder from the old C: drive, which in XP is located in C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data.

Works like a charm!