Skip to content

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

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

Making addresses auto-complete in Outlook 2010

Many users rely heavily on the autocomplete feature when they are composing emails in Outlook. This feature allows you to type just the first one or two characters of an email address or recipient name in the To, CC or BCC field and then choose the correct recipient from a drop-down list. If you have been using this feature for some time, it can appear that this list is a representation of the contacts in your address book, as over time the lists naturally become similar. However, this autocomplete list is made up of addresses that you have previously used… Read More »Making addresses auto-complete in Outlook 2010

How to get back deleted or lost files

[This post is a work in progress, but the basic GOLDEN RULE of file recovery is so important I have posted it before it’s finished. I’ll update with more information when I have the opportunity.] There are many reasons why files get lost, and the flippant and unsympathetic response of many companies of “Do you have a backup?” is normally followed by an even less helpful look of scorn when the reply is “I’ve been meaning to but never got round to it”. This is not helpful in the slightest, and just adds to the despair of losing those photos… Read More »How to get back deleted or lost files

Pages: 1 2 3

Simple computer performance tips

There are many things that can be done to make an old laptop, or even a brand new machine, run that little bit faster. Some of them are complicated or risky, and best left to experts who can perform complete backups before attempting them. However others are simple enough for anyone to do for themselves. Here are a few things that you can try to keep your PC clutter-free and working smoothly. Don’t install things that come free unless you really want to. Nowadays, many software providers (especially free software) make a bit of money on the side by bundling… Read More »Simple computer performance tips

Windows keyboard shortcuts

Using the keyboard to accomplish simple tasks such as opening, closing and switching between windows, copying and pasting is quicker and easier than using the mouse and navigating your way through menus to get to what you want. There are many shortcuts available, and you can also create your own for tasks you carry out particularly often. These are the shortcuts I find most useful. Most are available in all versions of Windows. The Windows key is the key to the left of Alt, which is just to the left of the spacebar, with a symbol on it similar to a… Read More »Windows keyboard shortcuts


Here are some quick and simple tips on how to do basic tasks and find information in Windows.  Ideas for new ones welcome! Q – How do I find out what version of Windows I am using? A – Click Start and the right-click on My Computer (XP) or Computer (Vista and 7). The windows or dialog that comes up will tell you which version of Windows you are using, and the level of Service Pack, if relevant. Q – How do I stop a CD from running when I put it in the CD drive? A – To stop… Read More »FAQs

How to repair a broken user profile in Windows XP (and in Vista or 7 with a few changes!)

I was recently called by a client who thought her computer had lost all of her pictures, email and contacts, She had logged in and was presented with an unfamiliar desktop, without her normal background and very few files and shortcuts visible. This can be quite scary, as it appears that your data has disappeared, and the first thought is that you won’t be able to get it back. I was able to tell this lady that it was probable that her user profile had been broken in some way, and that she needn’t worry, we just needed to fix… Read More »How to repair a broken user profile in Windows XP (and in Vista or 7 with a few changes!)