What will happen next? Your PC will continue to work with Windows 10 version 1511. But without new security updates, it’s only a matter of time before it will fall victim to future hacker attacks or malware.
Whose fault is this? Not yours; you updated your PC as best you could. And not really Microsoft’s; it continues to automatically update Windows 10 free on compatible PCs. Blame the rapid pace of technology change, which makes the lifetime of a PC about five years.
Q: I have two Dell desktop PCs and a Dell laptop that run Windows 7 Professional. During all of 2017, the desktops have automatically downloaded operating system updates. But the laptop hasn't received an update since the end of 2016. What can I do?
–– Rich Mueller, Maple Grove, Minn.
A: It's a software compatibility issue that's easily fixed. Microsoft altered the software on its Windows 7 update servers this year. That disrupted the servers' ability to communicate with PCs that had an outdated piece of upgrade software called an "agent." The solution is to download new agent software that will enable your laptop to talk to the Microsoft servers again. (tinyurl.com/y79u5ekz
–– Whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit processor chip on your laptop. To find out, go to Control Panel and click the “systems” icon. Then use either the “x32” or “x64” download link on the web page listed above.
–– How to open the “zip” folder that will be downloaded to your PC. A zip folder is one that has been digitally compressed to make it download faster. To open such a folder, you “unzip” it by right-clicking the folder, choosing “extract all” from the resulting menu, and then following the instructions on the website above.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Steve Alexander covers technology for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Readers may write to him at Tech Q&A, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55488-0002; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a full name, city and phone number.