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Thursday, October 15, 2015

xxxx. Restoring back to Windows 7, 8, 8.1 , Vista, or XP from Windows 10

We will do an official tip on this next time but if you gave up and caved to the FREE Windows 10 upgrade and do not like it,  You can easily go back to your previous OS.   If you haven't taken our advise to using the Image backup functions of Macrium's Reflect or Acronis's True Image there is a built in RESTORE feature in the Windows 10 upgrade.

If for some reason and you were not able to select the Restore functions then you may have issues.  But I kknow you have followed our recommendations and did do the IMAGE backup.

If not here you are:

Have you tried to Restore?  Go to the Settings, Update & Security, Recovery, and chose an option. 

Or give these some review.  Good luck.  I had to have two out of 14 systems go back.  There wasn’t any problem, they just didn’t like it.  Most with Tablets or Touch Screens love it.   I like it regardless.  Tablets better than other. 


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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Email today from Murph at Yahoo

I tried to replay to you but your email address was wrong.  Send the email agian.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

1623. Control Windows 10 Spying

I’m using Windows 10 and I read somewhere that Windows spies on everything that I am doing. It’s not like I’m doing anything I don’t want everyone to know about but it bugs me to know that Microsoft is keeping track of every window that I open and when I start every application. Is there some setting that I can change to make this a little less obtrusive.

You are right, Windows 10 is spying on almost everything you do but here is how to opt out. If you ever read all of the disclaimers you would think they were spying on everything. Other companies do the same. As invasive as it is, Microsoft does allow Windows 10 users to opt out of all of the features that you might consider to be invasions of privacy. So, go to your settings and privacy, yes there are thirteen screens of things you can remove, read through them and turn off anything that seems worrisome. On the general page are the important ones, you can determine what certain applications can access. You may want to turn off Cortana, the voice activated assistant like Siri on the iPhone. I decided to keep that option but everything that you say after Cortana is kept for research purposes. Siri does this as well. Spend some time reviewing this when you upgrade to Windows 10.  

1622. Windows 10 Security Settings

I upgraded to Windows 10 and I like it so far but I have been reading in the press about a bunch of security settings that I need to examine for Windows 10 to make sure it is set up correctly for me. I went to the security settings and they made may head spin, there were something like thirteen different screens of information. Do you have some way to summarize these or something I can look at to make it easier to understand what I need to do?

The good news is there are many things you can do to control the security in Windows 10, however when you do the initial install you may be taken aback by some of them. There is fine print and you should review it so you can decide what security you can turn on or off. You can control details about things like location, tracking, advertising, browser history, creating a Microsoft account and using Cortana, the Microsoft assistant like Siri on the iPhone. The good news is you can control all of these settings unlike some other systems. So while you are installing Windows 10 or after you install it, you can change all of the settings in the settings section. The sections that are most important are personalization, privacy, accounts and updating security. As an example, in the privacy section you can change what applications have access to your location. We recommend you spend some extra time in your sections area of Windows 10 and take advantage of all of the options that will make your system safe and secure.

1621.Delete Windows 7 or 8 after Upgrading to Windows 10

I upgraded to Windows 10 and I find that my old operating system Windows 7 is taking up a huge amount of space on my hard drive. Can I delete that to reclaim some space?

By default, Microsoft leaves the old operating system in a hidden folder so that you have the option to restore your computer back to its previous state if you find that you don’t like Windows 10. Amazing considering I’m sure Microsoft believes that everyone will love Windows 10. But the fact is you have the option of restoring your old version whether it be Windows 7 or Windows 8 because that huge folder exists. Once you have used Windows 10 for a while you may decide to get rid of that old stuff so you can reclaim the space. To do that, start the disk cleanup utility, you can do that just by selecting the start button or the Windows button in Windows and typing disk cleanup. This will give you the option to remove old operating system files. Once you do that however, be assured that you won’t be able to restore your computer to an earlier operating system unless you have a complete backup of the original state of your computer before you installed Windows 10. But once you are ready to pull the plug, go for it and you will get back 7GB or more of space.    

1620. Disable Bing Search in Windows 10

I’ve got Windows 10 installed and when I perform a search in the start menu the results include everything in the world coming from a full Bing search. I don’t care much for Bing and all I really want to do is find stuff on my computer. Can I disable this extra search result information that isn’t helpful for me?

I found this confusing as well. I’m used to just using the start menu to find things on my own computer and suddenly I’m finding things all over the world which have no relationship with what I’m looking for. I have good news and bad news about disabling this search however. Yes, you can disable it, the bad news it you have to disable Cortana at the same time. Some people love her some people hate her but she is a voice assistance that is supposedly able to help you while using your computer. She sort of an invisible clippy, as it were. In any case, if you want to disable the Bing search you have to first disable Cortana in the settings and once you disable her, you have an option to also disable the Bing search as part of your start menu search button. Not the best solution but at this point it is the only way to get rid of that extraneous information. 

1618. Digitize Your Vinyls

I have a bunch of old vinyl records that I would like to digitize so I can listen to them when I’m on the road. How can I do this?

You think it would be just as easy as plugging something in from the record player to your computer to digitize your vinyl record collection but it’s not quite that simple. The output from the needle on a record player that is reading the grooves off the vinyl requires a preamp, someway of amplifying that vibration into something a computer can understand, so you need to have a preamp between the needle and your computer. This is a pretty cheap little piece of hardware, it’s very easy to find them at your local Radio Shack, if you still have a local Radio Shack. In any case, once you find your preamp you need some way to connect it to your computer. Most computers have an audio in-jack and you can connect up that way. Then you need some sort of software to do the recording. My favorite is Audacity, it’s a free program for both PC and Mac and it allows you to easily digitize the output coming from that preamp. There are record players that have a USB connection that bypass the need for the external preamp and you might find one of those easier to use. In addition, you might find it easiest to send your records out to a service to be done for you, but you can do it yourself. For more information on this process, check the link on our website. 

1619. Delete iPhone Backups

I store my iPhone and iPad backups in my iCloud account, and recently, I’ve noticed that my iCloud storage is almost full—sometimes, I can’t back up at all. What can I do without giving Apple money for more space?
We’re strong proponents of backing everything up, all the time. So congratulations to you for making the effort. Should you lose or break one of your devices, it should be relatively painless to restore all your data from your online backup.
The problem is that your free iCloud account only provides you with 5GB of data storage space, and that’s really not enough for many situations. (Note that although 5GB is free, 50GB costs only $1 per month, and that should be plenty to back up your entire family’s set of iOS devices! You can also get 200GB of storage for $3 per month. There are certainly cheaper plans out there, but Apple makes it so easy to back up its devices to iCloud storage, it’s worth considering the $1 plan if you’re running out of space in the free account.)

Although 5GB may or may not be enough space, it’s quite possible that you have backups stored in your iCloud account that you don’t need: Perhaps you upgraded your device and your old backup is still hanging out there, wasting space! It’s easy to remove extraneous backups to recover space, however: On your device, select Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and examine the list of backups. If you find any that you don’t need, select the item, and tap on Delete Backup. These backups are quite large, and deleting one can help you clear out a great deal of space online!

1617. What to Do If Your Mac Won’t Boot

Recently, I tried to start up my MacBook Pro and it simply wouldn’t boot. All I saw was a grey screen. I can’t afford to lose all my work! Can I do anything with the computer?
This is really scary, isn’t it? It’s happened to a lot of Mac users, and a lot of them think the only alternative is to get a new computer! Fortunately, the solution usually isn’t nearly that drastic, and the answer might be really simple.
The Mac stores settings that can get “confused” and cause the computer to be unable to boot. It’s easy to reset two of these sets of settings, the PRAM (Parameter Random-Access Memory) and SMC (System Management Controller). Resetting each of these requires holding a specific set of keys as you boot the computer, but the steps are slightly different for laptops with and without removable batteries—rather than quote the steps here, we’ll refer you to a useful article that describes what to do in case your computer won’t boot. Rather than panicking, check out the steps listed here: Doug and Ken have both used these steps to revive seemingly dead Macs in the past—the steps just might work for you, as well! (If all else fails, think about calling Apple support, or visiting a local Apple store for more specific help with your computer. Don’t give up yet until you do!)

1624. Installing Windows 10 Upgrade On Your Own

I’m currently running Windows 7 on my home computer, and I keep seeing reminders to upgrade to Windows 10 in the system tray. I’d like to try out the new operating system, but I’m afraid something will go wrong as part of the upgrade process. Do I need to enlist professional help to perform this upgrade? Can I trust Microsoft to get it right the first time?
It would be great if we could honestly say “Microsoft got this right, and there’s no chance anything will go wrong as part of your upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10,” but any sane person knows that such a statement would be incorrect in a large number of cases. No matter how much effort Microsoft put into making the the Windows 10 upgrade as foolproof as possible, everyone’s computer is set up differently, and there’s always the possibility that something will go wrong along the way. We’ve upgraded a large number of installations, and for the most part, they’ve all gone without a hitch. Each of us has failed at least once, however, and it’s best to be prepared for that eventuality.
Please note that it’s quite possible that even though you haven’t asked Microsoft to do so, Windows Update has already downloaded the Windows 10 update. Using this approach, the upgrade can proceed quickly. The files are most likely sitting there on your hard drive, awaiting you to initiate the update. Don’t do it yet, however!
Before you start the update process from Windows XP, Windows 7, or Windows 8/8.1, you should make a complete backup of your computer (Even better: clone your computer’s hard drive to an external hard drive, remove the current hard drive, and boot from the new copy of your hard drive. This requires some extra hardware, however, and might be best left to a professional.) Whether you back up or clone/replace, we suggest the free utility, Macrium Reflect ( for the task. Please, don’t even consider an operating system upgrade without performing this backup, and testing the backup, first.
Once you have a complete system backup, you’re ready to go. You can begin the upgrade process, and most likely, it will succeed without a hitch. In the unlikely event that the upgrade fails for some reason, Microsoft has put a fail-safe plan in effect: You can easily toss the upgrade and go back to your original Windows installation. During the upgrade process, Microsoft stores your original installation of Windows in a safe place on your hard drive, so that it can “roll back” the upgrade in the case of a failure.

Given a complete image backup of your computer, there’s no reason to delay the upgrade to Windows 10. We both like the new operating system a lot, and it seems to work far more smoothly than did Windows 8.1 on our computers. (Ken has Windows 10 running on a 2005-era laptop, and it’s completely happy there! No need for new hardware!) Just remember that in the case of a failure, you can always roll back to your original Windows installation.

1616. Room for iOS 9 Upgrade on iPhone

When I attempted the upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8 on my 16GB iPhone, the upgrade failed because I didn’t have enough free space. I completely reset my phone at that point to allow for the upgrade, losing all my photos and other information. Now I’d like to upgrade from iOS 8 to iOS 9, but I really don’t want to go through this drill again. Is there some way to ensure that I can upgrade without resetting my phone?
It’s true—the upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8 required a lot of free space on the phone, and that space is hard to come by on a 16 GB iPhone. Luckily, the upgrade to iOS 9 should require a good deal less space than the upgrade to iOS 8 did, and you may be able to perform the “over the air” upgrade without removing any contents from your phone. A simple alternative, however, is to perform the upgrade via iTunes on your computer. Connect your phone to your computer, fire up the current version of iTunes, and let iTunes download and install the new software. This takes up far less space on the phone, as you don’t need room for the downloaded upgrade in addition to the entire operating system, in that case.
On the other hand, if space is that tight on your device, you might want to invest some time in clearing off some real estate. Photos, messages, videos, and other content can take up a lot of space on your phone, and occasionally, it’s best to clear out unwanted items so you have room for the latest photos of your cats. You can find many techniques for clearing space on your phone (one of our favorites is to store your photos with an online service that automatically sweeps new photos to the service’s space, like DropBox, and deletes them from your phone). For more information on explicit solutions and techniques for clearing your device, see the article here: ht