Q&A: Can I install the free Windows 10 upgrade using just a Windows 7 product key?

Windows-10-logoQuestion from Todd J.:  My company has just informed us that they’re going to replace all of the 3 year old Dell XPS 15 laptops in our division with new machines by the end of the year.

They’re going to remove the hard drives from all the old laptops and destroy them, then give the laptops to us to keep.

I’ve been told that computers running Windows 7 qualify for a free Windows 10 upgrade, but only if Windows 7 is currently installed on the hard drive. The problem is our IT guys are going to remove the hard drives before they transfer ownership of the laptops to us employees.

My question is will I be able to install a replacement hard drive and then download Windows 10 and activate it using the Windows 7 product key that’s printed on the bottom of the machine?

From what I’ve heard it sounds like I’m going to have to buy a copy of Windows too, but I’d like to know for sure so I’ll know what all I need to do in order to get the laptop back up and running again.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Beware: Burglars now using social media to find vacationing victims

houseIf you’ve been on Facebook for more than 5 minutes, you’ve no doubt seen lots of status updates similar to this:

“We just arrived at the airport. So glad our trip to Jamaica is finally underway! See ya’ll in 10 days!”

Most people would read this status update and think nothing of it, but a thief would read it and immediately start making plans to pay your home a little visit sometime during the next 9 days. [Continue Reading]

Is your PC infected with a Rootkit virus? If so, find and remove it with the free TDSSKiller utility.

tdsskiller-logoMalware comes in many forms. Some varieties, such as adware, are often merely annoying. But more malicious forms of malware can actually wreck your Windows installation and help hackers steal your identity and/or your valuable financial information.

A high-quality anti-virus program such as Avast can help keep your computer free of malware, but a special class of malware known as rootkits often goes undetected by regular virus scans. Rootkits load into your computer’s memory before Windows even boots up, and that makes them especially difficult to find. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can you recommend a good parental control software that’s free?

parental-control-software-logoQuestion from Renee:  I just bought my 9 year old son his first computer. It’s an Acer laptop with Windows 10. Can you recommend a good parental control software program that doesn’t cost a lot (hopefully free)?

Ideally the program would prevent him from visiting porn sites and downloading any programs. Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How much will it cost to have the audio jack on my laptop replaced?

usb-audio-adapterQuestion from MaryAnne G.:  I’m hoping you can answer a question for me. How much will a computer shop charge me to replace the audio jack on my three year old Lenovo laptop?

I use headphones a LOT when I’m watching videos and the connector has become wallowed out and I can’t seem to get a good connection anymore when I plug the headphones in.

I know it’s the connector on the laptop that’s bad because it does the same thing with a brand new pair of headphones.

If it’s gonna cost more than $40 to $50 I think I’d rather just buy a new laptop. If you can give me a rough estimate that’ll help me decide what to do. Thanks.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

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