Q: I really enjoyed your June 26 column on computer transitions. I have an old Compaq running Windows 7 and will be switching over to a new Lenovo computer, and am very hesitant and concerned about screwing things up. I plan to order PCmover with a USB cable. LapLink has lots of choices for programs and cables and whatnot and I want to be sure and get the right stuff. Can you please give specific recommendations for these options given my computer specs?
— Jeff Wyckoff
A: Yes, PCmover should do the job for you. Since you’re only migrating one computer you don’t need the Enterprise version.
As for cables, it all depends on what ports you have on both computers and what transfer speeds you want. If you have USB 3.0 ports on both computers, I’d go with their USB 3.0 cable. But if — as is likely — your older computer has only USB 2.0 ports you’re not going to get the 5000 mbps speed offered by USB 3.0. Instead, you’ll be limited to 480 mbps. If that’s the case, and if both computers have an Ethernet port, you may want to use LapLink’s Ethernet cable, which can transfer data at 1000 mbps.
Q: I recently had a very troubling day with Microsoft. I received an email saying that my Microsoft 365 account was suspended. I suspected it was a scam, so I tried to reach out to Microsoft to verify it was indeed a scam. I had tried to enter the proper query to get help and after several attempts I quit. I then had an extremely hard time finding a phone number for customer support. When I finally found the phone number I got a recording saying that all customer support was now online.
I’m disappointed that Microsoft has decided to give up in-person customer service. Online customer service isn’t able to handle all questions at this time.
— Dave Sell
A: I know how frustrating that can be!
While Microsoft has moved support entirely online for home users, I have to say that I’ve gotten better results using the online system than the old phone support, which often resulted in multiple transfers and dropped connections. And that’s not just the case with Microsoft. In my experience, that’s the usual routine with telephone tech support.
In fact, my preference is to contact tech support via email because then there’s a record and that seems to result in more accountability for the answers being given.
Q: I’m running Windows 7 on my desktop computer. (I know, I know … but I just don’t like Windows 10.) Everything was fine until recently, when I began to get popups from the free version of AVG AntiVirus on Chrome (and a very few times on IE and on my email program). The message says: “Threat Secured: We’ve safely aborted connection because it was infected with Other: Malware-gen [Trj].”
The first time I got this message, I immediately ran Malwarebytes; no malware was detected. I also ran the AVG scan; again, no malware was detected. After doing some research, I found several references to Malware-gen, but most indicated it’s a phantom message of some sort. Do you have any idea what is causing this and how to eliminate it? I’m completely and helplessly baffled!
— Debby Nelson
A: That popup is a notification from AVG that it found suspicious code that might be malware.
AVG does offer instructions for disabling those popups. After loading AVG:
1. Click “Options” on the right top corner and select “Advanced Settings.”
2. Select Appearance on the left panel of the settings.
3. Please uncheck the checkbox “AVG Advisor Notification.”
4. Then in left side please look for Privacy Preference and select it.
5. Next untick the first option in right side.
6. Click “Ok” to save the changes.
As for any other popups, you may just want to install a popup-blocking app to your web browser. They are very effective. And you if you’re visiting a website where you want popups to work, you can whitelist it.
And since you already use Malwarebytes, you may want to try downloading their Browser Guard extension that blocks popups as well as other irritating and/or dangerous malefactors.