Q: I have an old Sony VAIO PCV-2220 desktop with Pentium 4 processor 2.60 GHZ and 1.49 GB RAM, and 111 GB hard drive with 56 GB free space. It has Windows XP Home Edition Pack 3. Is it possible to upgrade it to run Windows 10?
— S. Ahmad, Seattle
A: From your description, your old computer meets the system requirements for Windows 10. But there is another requirement. You’ll need to make sure that your graphics card supports DirectX 9 or later and has a Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 driver.
Even if your old computer meets all the requirements, however, there are other considerations. First, you can’t upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10. Instead, you’d have to reformat the hard drive and install from scratch.
Also, you’ll want to check if older device drivers can be updated for Windows 10. Many manufacturers don’t continue to offer new drivers for older products so you may have to replace some of your attached devices — printers, webcams, graphics adapters, etc.
Q: I use Outlook 2019 and standardly Rich Text Format-generated emails. I’ve found that my outgoing emails with attachments get converted to winmail.dat files IF they are received, on at least AOL and Apple accounts. If I know this ahead of time, I can switch the outgoing format to HTML (or plain text if I really have to). Perhaps this is also true on other non-Outlook apps.
But now my problem is in reverse. I receive emails with the attached winmail.dat file from non-Outlook senders. The Googled solutions I’ve found almost exclusively deal with the sending but not the receiving part of the problem.
— Ted Landreth, Sammamish
A: First, though, I have a question. Why are you using RTF? Do you find that it does something HTML doesn’t do?
Microsoft itself recommends using HTML rather than RTF, which is supported only by Outlook and Microsoft Exchange Client versions 4.0 and 5.0. And, in fact, if you are connected to an Exchange server it will automatically convert RTF to HTML for messages sent outside the organization.
As for you receiving messages from non-Outlook clients with winmail.dat attachments, there’s only one explanation I can think of: Those senders must be forwarding or replying to messages that had winmail.dat attachments.
Q: I’m confused. I tried to update my Windows 7 Home Premium PC for the “Out of Band Print Spooler Patch” (kb5004953). After following the knowledge article prerequisites and attempting the update, after restart I get the following message:
“After installing this update and restarting your device, you might receive the error, ‘Failure to configure Windows updates. Reverting Changes. Do not turn off your computer,’ and the update might show as Failed in Update History.”
So is this it for my PC?
— Robert Iacofano
A: I wish I had good news for you, but I don’t.
As you probably know, support for Windows 7 ended in January 2020. While the operating system still works, it is no longer being updated and Microsoft is no longer offering support.
The one exception is that Microsoft occasionally issues Extended Security Updates. The update offered in kb5004953 is one of those. The snag is that those can only be installed by organizations that subscribe to the Extended Security Updates program and that is only available through volume licensing. In other words, it’s not available to individual users.
Windows 7 has also not been receiving security updates since January 2020, so I’d urge you to move to a currently supported version of Windows.