Friday, December 6, 2013

If You Must Use Windows

There are better choices than Windows for most seniors nowadays in computers.

That does not include all seniors, however, and there are some reasons to continue with Windows, such as needing to work with a very large screen, as for example with genealogy. Another less compelling reason is to use Microsoft Office, which comes free with Windows RT.

Or maybe your old computer has quit, and you still like your old Windows XP or Windows 7, but are faced with Windows 8 or 8.1 in a new machine.

Using Windows always calls for taking some special precautions. Fortunately that has been made easy with Windows 8.1.

With Windows 8 it is also not necessary expend a lot for a new computer unless you are doing video games or video editing or running multiple programs at the same time. A budget of $300 will do, especially if you can plug in a large screen.

Windows 8.1 will then require some learning, but the Metro or Modern start screen can be largely avoided if desirable.

It is best, though, to learn how to use the new Windows. Using the tiled screen is largely a matter of learning to use touch swipes.

With Windows, what the user needs to do is to put himself in a position where, if there is a disaster, the system can be restored simply. That is the secret of using Windows. This is because Windows is extremely subject to problems; viruses, slowups, and overuse of memory.

Again, Windows 8 .1 it makes it easy. Every new user of Windows 8 .1 should make a factory image backup immediately. All it takes is to plug in a USB flash drive and go to the start screen and type "restore drive". A complete image including data may also be made the same way.

Not only that but an ongoing data backup may be arranged.

Here is how, more specifically: Go to the Metro or now Modern start screen with all the tiles. Do not select anything. Simply start typing the following words: restore drive. Then wait. When the screen comes up, select "Create a recovery drive". (Everyone should do this at the outset.)

Follow the prompts to complete this operation. Or select "Backup copies of your files with file history". Again, wait. From the next screen you may select three options: keep a file history, system image backup, and advanced settings where you may set up ongoing back up. Note especially the capability of making a system image backup. Now you are in a position to get back to work quickly when anything happens, simply by inserting a USB flash drive. Pretty nice!

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