I helped a client of mine recently prepare for the end of support and updates for Microsoft Windows 7. They have been using Microsoft Windows 7 for many years and wanted to be ready when the updates cease next year. At first I proposed upgrading to Windows 10 which is what Microsoft is telling everyone.
After thinking about what my client does on their computer, I realized that another option is available. This option is cheaper, more stable and secure than a Microsoft option.
This option is another operating system called Linux. It can do everything that my client currently does in Windows 7. Linux Mint 19 was tested first on the computer to ensure the sound, video and network all work on the computer. Next it was installed on their Windows 7 all-in-one PC. The neat thing is you can install it in a dual-boot configuration so windows 7 can still be accessed if needed. Now my client can run Windows 7 or Linux when they start their computer.
Remember that Microsoft Windows 10 isn’t the only option for Windows 7 – you have a better option with Linux.
I have a laptop for my kitchen that plays internet web sites when I’m preparing food or eating(which can be often when I’m home.). It’s easily eleven years-old and came shipped from Acer with Windows Vista. I like it because it has a wheel volume control on the front of the laptop which makes it easy to adjust the sound level. When I first acquired the laptop, I installed the operating system Linux on it. Linux is safer, faster and reliable than Microsoft Windows operating systems and it can bring old computers back to life.
I knew because of it’s age, it’s may die any time or some part of it would break. One day I turned it on and Linux failed to start and I was greeted with a blinking command prompt instead of the Linux graphical desktop. A hard drive diagnostic CD was ran after the computer restarted, but it froze every time I ran it. I tried a different diagnostic boot CD and it ran but said there is no hard drive installed. Maybe the hard drive is physically defective and that’s why Linux can’t run. I removed the hard drive and put it back in the laptop in case it was a bad connection.
I restarted it and chose the recovery mode and let Linux attempt to repair the file system. This failed and it told me to manually run fsck which is the file system check program because it couldn’t do it automatically. I ran fsck at the command prompt and it began repairing my Linux operating system. It found orphaned files and other problems which it fixed. After it restarted, Linux still failed to start and now I suspect a defective hard drive.
Today I was posting some items for sale on FaceBook Marketplace. Pictures were taken with one of my old smartphones and they needed moved to FB. My goal was to connect the smartphone’s USB port to the computer. The USB connector was on the rear of the computer and it couldn’t be seen from my location. I fumbled around trying to plug in the connector and suddenly the computer shut down. It looked like I might have shorted the 5 volt line to ground and fried the computer! Or I static shocked the computer.
Sometimes, removing electrical power to an electronic device will clear any weird state it’s in so I was going to unplug the power cord and leave it set a while. I tried turning on the computer with the power button and it was a no go – no lights or noises. Next, I went for the power cord at the rear to unplug it and it fell out of the power supply connector! Hallelujah it was only a loose cord and not a blown motherboard!
My computer comes on now and I went on with downloading my pictures.
Every summer I switch out my long-sleeve company logo shirts for short-sleeves in my closet. As I’m going through them and arranging every year, I come across three black short-sleeve ones and I say the same thing, “Why do I have three of them?” One would be enough. Black is not a good color for the summer because it holds the heat. It is great for the cooler seasons. I wish I could change them to long-sleeve and have them for the cooler seasons. Or change one to green and one to white. I have no clue how I got three black ones and if I remember, I will let you know.
One of my business networking friends contacted me this week about their Dell laptop which wouldn’t power on. I picked it up at their business and brought it back to my workbench along with one AC Adapter. They said they have two AC adapters and neither powers it on. Just to verify this, I measured the AC adapter’s voltage and it’s correct -19.5VDC. I Tried powering on the laptop with the power button and nothing happens when it’s pressed. The problem is somewhere inside the laptop so the underside-cover has to be removed to gain access. Once this was done, I started troubleshooting.
The battery was disconnected and AC Adapter and I let the laptop sit for a while to discharge any weird data state it was in. The laptop power button was tried again and still wouldn’t power on. Earlier I noticed the WiFi card was loose and one of the wires had come off the board and the connector studs broke off. Also, the mounting screw was missing and I never did see it in the laptop.
Maybe the memory was defective or needed re-seated in the RAM holder. The RAM stick was removed and reinstalled and now the laptop powers on!
The next day I went to test the laptop after it sat idle overnight and to my amazement it wouldn’t power on! I was mad that I had to start over, but it had to be done. I wasn’t sure if a bad solder joint existed or a defective connector or the motherboard was dying a slow death. I went through all the troubleshooting steps again. But this time I disconnected a motherboard inter-connector cable and while moving the laptop around a metal mounting bracket fell off! It did not belong where it fell off and I realized it was the wireless adapter mounting bracket! Being metal, when it rested on the motherboard circuits it shorted them and disabled it. Later, after I disconnected the battery and AC adapter, the laptop came on! We were lucky it didn’t damage anything. I tested shutting down and restarting the laptop and it worked great every time.
In the center of the picture is the aluminum bracket with a black screw. Once it was removed, the laptop worked normally.