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Microsoft end free upgrades from Windows 7/8 to 10

For many years after the official end of the free upgrade program allowing machines running Windows 7 or 8/8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 without paying for an additional licence, it was still possible to upgrade using an ISO file or USB installer. This used the previous licence to activate Windows 10 and all was well. As of 20th September 2023, Microsoft have stopped this method from working, meaning that free 7/8/8.1 to 10 upgrades are no longer possible, as Windows 10 will not activate using the old licence. However, you can still perform the upgrade and, as long as… Read More »Microsoft end free upgrades from Windows 7/8 to 10

Windows shutdown with kernel power errors 41 and 142 together

I’ve just had a job where a customer’s laptop was shutting down out of the blue and when I looked in the logs I was seeing kernel power errors 41 and 142 as a pair after every shutdown. I tested for a while trying to characterise the shutdown problem, and I couldn’t make it happen. All hardware tests passed and no matter what I did I couldn’t reproduce it, including getting the customer to keep logs of exactly what he was doing to repeatably cause the shutdown, and then following those logs precisely. He would see shutdowns consistently, and I… Read More »Windows shutdown with kernel power errors 41 and 142 together

Problem with disappearing emails for BT Internet / Sky users

I’ve had multiple reports this morning of BTInternet customers seeing mail just disappear from their accounts. I’ve looked into this and narrowed it down to users using Outlook via IMAP. The symptoms are that when a new message is read, one or more existing messages below it in the inbox disappear within a few minutes. There is a thread on the BT forum about this issue that I am following to keep up with developments, which you can see here: and there are similar posts relating to Sky elsewhere (and apparently AT&T who also use Yahoo email).   Update… Read More »Problem with disappearing emails for BT Internet / Sky users

Data breaches in 2019

Data breaches, scam phone calls and websites are becoming more prevalent all the time. I’ve been made aware of the following article, which describes data breaches that have happened so far in 2019, which is both informative and alarming.

Windows 10 Creators Update

A lot of Windows 10 users were annoyed when the Anniversary update, released a year after the initial release of Windows 10, suddenly decided to install itself on their machines without so much as a polite warning. Well, this is due to happen again this month (April 2017) with the new “Creators” update, and again, most users will not have the power to prevent it. Anyone using Windows 10 Home with the default Windows Update options could find it downloading any time after April 11th. It will then be scheduled to install any time outside “active hours” which if you… Read More »Windows 10 Creators Update email address closure

People with email addresses are probably already aware that they are going to lose access to this service soon, but there seems to be some confusion as to exactly when. Virgin Media sold part of their business to TalkTalk last year and that included responsibility for these addresses, and it seems that TalkTalk are not going to maintain them. I have not been able to find an exact date, but it is suggested that the cut off will be at the end of June, so only a few weeks from now. To avoid loss of email , the simplest… Read More » email address closure

Upgrading to Windows 10 – Don’t rush into it!

Now that Windows 10 has been released and is being rolled out to everyone who reserved it using the little icon that’s appeared in the system tray over the last few months, I thought I should issue a word of caution. Although Windows 10 may be a fantastic OS, and we may all want to start to use it eventually, at the start of the life of any version of Windows it takes time for software companies to make their software fully compatible with it. So if you rush into upgrading to Windows 10 without making sure that everything you… Read More »Upgrading to Windows 10 – Don’t rush into it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

To all my customers, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that 2015 treats you well. Thank you for your custom, I hope I’ve been of help to you, and that I can continue to help as HolmPC enters it’s 5th year of business.

Malware seen today – BT Digital File

A customer asked me about an email they received today, and I wanted to pass on a warning to anyone who receives anything like the following… Subject: Important – BT Digital File Dear Customer, This email contains your BT Digital File. Please scan attached file and reply to this email. To download your BT Digital File please follow the link below : <LINK REMOVED FOR SAFETY> If you have any questions or forgotten your password, please visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” at or call the helpdesk on 0870 240 5356* between 8am and midnight. Thank you for choosing BT… Read More »Malware seen today – BT Digital File

Phishing Virus affecting Tesco Banking website

I was recently called out to a customer who was having trouble logging in to her bank account (credit card) online. She was using Chrome to login to Tesco bank, and the symptoms she described to me immediately made me suspect there was something amiss with her computer. She would go to the website and put in her username on the first page and click login. This would immediately take her to the “You have logged out” page. She had contacted Tesco about this and been talked through trying the same thing with Internet Explorer, but with very different results.… Read More »Phishing Virus affecting Tesco Banking website