Install Windows 10 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

The Lenovo ThinkPad X61 is the small laptop that just keeps going.  I have installed multiple versions of Windows on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and Windows 10 does not disappoint.

For this test I did a clean install of Windows 10 Pro X64 update 1511.  I did the install using an external DVD drive but you could probably use USB flash drive as well.  After the install I ran Windows Update (like you always should), and after that there were no more drivers to install.  Making this an easy setup.

Now while Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 it is not to Windows Vista which came on this machine.  If you have an open license of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you can use that key to install and activate Windows 10 on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61.  Below is the Device Manager and System Properties.

System Properties Windows 10 Lenovo X61

System Properties Windows 10 Lenovo X61

As far as performance, I do not have any numbers to compare it to but Windows 10 feels just as responsive if not more so than Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 did on this machine.

If you have one of these Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Windows 10 is an obvious upgrade whether you are running one of these as a personal computer or as part of an enterprise.


Thinking about new hardware, update about the Useful Windows Blog

Hello people of the internet.  I wanted to give and update and let you know what is going on with me and how it will affect Useful Windows.

I accepted a new job recently.  I am now working full-time in the tech field once again.  This is a great thing as it helps me come up with great how to articles that I hope to have done soon.  It also keeps me on the pulse of technology in general.

That being said I am making a little more than I was before so I believe it is time to consider upgrading my desktop that I built five years ago.

To understand why I built this computer the way I did you have to understand where I was at.  Five years ago I was working part-time doing remote tech support from home on my laptop which I had connected to my TV in my bedroom.  I was engaged and getting ready to be married later that year. I was not making a lot of money and was putting as much as I could toward my wedding but I knew I needed a better machine to work efficiently.

I gave myself a budget of $400 to $500 to build the best machine I could.  I knew I could build a machine better than I could just buy one preconfigured.  I reused some parts from a desktop I had built about six years earlier including the hard drive, power supply, case fans and case.  I also knew that the newer Intel Core i series processors had integrated graphic controllers and some of them operated at faster speeds than others.  With this in mind I decided against buying a separate graphic card to cut down costs as this computer was for work and not games.

What resulted was a desktop computer with an Intel DH55HC motherboard, an Intel Core i5 661 3.33 GHz processor and 4GB of Patriot ram.  I also bought an aftermarket CPU cooler and an internal DVD writer and memory card reader.  I later bought an 16″ Asus monitor to add to the little Dell monitor I had connected to the machine.  I was running Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Ultimate in a dual-boot configuration and continued to do so for some time.

After I got married I moved back out of my parents house (I had moved back in to help with bills after my mom lost her job) and left my dad the small Dell monitor as his had died on him.  I once again used my TV in my bedroom as my second screen as I kept the desktop in our bedroom.  Over time it became clear that my wife did a lot of photo editing on the computer and upgrades would be necessary.  Before that though my power supply died resulting in the first upgrade to an Antec 650 Watt power supply.  A few months later I would buy a graphic card running and AMD ATI Radeon HD 6750.

A year or so later my grandmother would get a new computer and I got the one I built for her back. From this I added a 500GB hard drive, and additional DVD burner and a second monitor (Dell 20″).  While clearing out some old computer junk from a local college I found some very old Altec Lansing Multimedia speakers and sub woofer.

The truth is, this is still a very good computer and would meet most people’s needs but it no longer meets my needs.  I am out of space as the original hard drive is only 160GB and is currently my data drive.  The 500 GB hard drive is used as the operating system drive with Windows XP Pro X64, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 8.1 Pro in a quad boot configuration.  It also contains a lot of data and some virtual machines I use for testing to write articles for this site.  My wife uses this computer for work most days of the week and has gotten used to the multiple monitors but does not like how they are different resolutions.  She also downloads pictures from an SD and XD card to the computer and comments on how slow that process takes.  Unfortunately my motherboard does not have USB 3.0 and while I could add a card that does, why not just look at upgrading the whole computer.

So once again I start by looking at processors and am highly considering an Intel Core i7 4790K 4 GHz processor.  This should be more than enough speed to handle anything I can throw at this machine.  I will once again use an Intel motherboard as they are the best boards I have ever used.  I will go no less than 8 GB of ram but really want to start at 16 GB of ram.  Either a USB 3.0 or Sata memory card reader which will make downloading those pictures a snap.  I figure I will use a traditional hard drive for my testing operating system which will have Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Pro.  Then I will also have an SSD with Windows 10 on it, multibooting between five versions of Windows.  I am also considering getting two identical hard dives to have in a mirrored RAID to keep my data safe.  I will put this all in a new case with a new power supply.  I am lost on what kind of graphic card to get but there will be something in there.  I will probably have at least two monitors, maybe three. This time they will all be the same resolution if not size as well.

So I am curious if anyone has any suggestions on hardware, what has been good for them, what has been bad, etc..  I know this may sound like over kill for a lot of people but I really use this computer and when you are trying to run more than one virtual machine this computer reaches its limit.  When my wife is working and has a million things open it also slows down.  Granted this is due to the low ram size but to fix some of the other limitations and annoyances I might as well just upgrade the whole thing.  I do not have the money to buy everything at once but I figure I will buy a part or two a month till I have enough to start the build.

Thanks for reading and please leave any input in the comments.

SCAM Alert! Do Not Answer 235-683-4810 Infected Computer Windows Update Scam

I have another scam to warn you about. just a few minuets ago I received a call from 235-683-4810 telling me the same thing as the last unknown number (see my post about 1-111-111-111 Scam) My computer was not responding to the updates from Microsoft, so this time since I was home I decided to humor the guy and have a little fun, and gather as much information as I could to tell you about the scam.

First the guy on the phone sounds Indian or at the very least Middle Eastern, I say this to warn you not to talk bad about these people I have known many great Middle Eastern people over the years that would never do this kind of thing.

I asked the guy how he knew my computer was not getting these updates and he tells me he has an ID from my computer, so I ask him which computer it is since at any given time I have multiple.  He told me it was my home computer, again I ask which one since I have about 18 here currently (all in various states of operation) He then tells me to just start-up one of them so I chose my laptop.

As I am starting my laptop I decide to have some fun and boot into Windows 8.  After I tell him I am logged in he asks if I can see icons, I tell him yes as I am staring at the Start Screen and then he asks me to click on the Start Button.  “I don’t have one,” I replied.  He paused for a while and then tells me to hit the Windows Key and the R Key at the same time on the keyboard.  This of course brings up the Run Box, to which I replied “you could have just said go to the Run Box,” he then had me type in CMD to bring up the Command Prompt and then type in a command Assoc and hit Enter.  This brings a list of File Associations and he tells me to look at the one for ZFSendToTarget=CLSID\{888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062} and this guy tells me that this CLSID is a unique ID for my computer.  I explained to him that it is not unique and that ID would come up on any computer that you did this on.  This is where they try to trick you with smoke and mirrors.  Do not fall for this.



This guy then had me open another Command Prompt and type in EVENTVWR and hit Enter.  This brings up the Event Viewer I again told him he could have just told me to go to the Event Viewer.  In the Event Viewer he has me double-click on Windows Logs and then Application and asks me to scroll through and see if there are any Errors I tell him there are no Errors there then he ha me double-click on System and see if there are any Errors there I say yes there are many.  He then tells me this is proof that my computer is infected and that they can clean it up and make it run fast.

Event Viewer in Windows 8 showing Errors

Event Viewer in Windows 8 showing Errors

Now  I want to pause here, if your computer was infected it could have Error entries in the Event Viewer because of that however they are specific Errors. Also there will always be Errors in here and they are not something to worry about.  I also asked this guy how he would fix Disk 11 Errors as these were usually signs of a bad hard drive and not an infection, he insisted that my machine was infected.

I finally told him and I knew they were running a scam.  He tried to argue with me that they were not a scam, but I know better.  I finally told him I was going to report everything to the proper authorities.

I hope this helps warn you and I hope the links I provided gives you more information on how they try to use things incorrectly in your computer to trick you.  I think the bottom line is if you do answer and you hear a Middle Eastern accent from a number you do not know, just hang up.

Do Not Answer Calls from 1-111-111-111, SCAM or Let Anyone Tell You Your Computer Is Not Getting Windows Updates

Today I got a call from a weird number it was 1-111-111-111, first this is not a real number second is what the guy on the phone said, he clearly was from India and told me that “My computer was not receiving the Windows Updates and was rejecting them”  I laughed and said “yeah right” and hung up.

This is a two part lesson, first if the number is all the same number or not in the correct format, do not answer it.

Second never let anyone convince you over the phone that your computer is not getting Windows Updates because they have no real way of knowing and if they do, that is unlawful spying.  Microsoft does not know and will never contact you about it. Same with the company that does your Antivirus software, just hang up the phone and save your self from a scam.

I have heard of people getting scammed from people like this, paying for someone to remote connect and do “work” just ignore these jerks, they are just out too hurt you.

So please just don’t answer the phone!

A First Look at Windows 8

Since the BUILD Conference, I  have used the Developer Preview of Windows 8. I initially installed it in Virtual Box however I really wanted to try it on real hardware so I installed it on my laptop. Here are my thoughts.

1. It’s a trip, no really it boots fast and switches between apps and the desktop very quickly. Going between the new apps and the old ones can be a bit different but I am sure I will get used to it.
2. It has some quirks, this is just a Developer Preview meaning this is not in Beta stage but rather more of an Alpha so some things do not work as expected and some things are placed weird so it takes a bit to get used to. This will mostly be worked out by the time we get to Beta.
3. One operating system to rule them all, no seriously this takes over, I have it installed next to Windows 7. When you start the machine Windows 8 boots to a point then asks you which operating system you want to boot to. If you select Windows 7 it restarts the machine and boots Windows 7 just like as if Windows 8 was never there. However, the OS selection screen is nicely done and touch first like the rest of the OS.
4. Programs are missing, but you can enable a desktop toolbar to bring most of them back, I’ll talk more about that later.

All in all, Windows 8 is very interesting and I think it could change how we use a PC forever. I can see some “Power Users” that may stay with Windows 7 or even maybe abandon Windows for Linux or even move to Mac because they do not like the new Start screen or app model. We will just have to see. For now, I am excited and use Windows 8 for much of my day-to-day browsing and computing, and even used it to write this blog. Stay tuned as I go deeper into Windows 8.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows, Part 1 An Introduction

I started this look at internet browsers on Windows years ago. Since then web browsers have changed a lot, so I try to update these articles every once in a while.  Here is a list of the articles for the best internet browser for Windows broken down by version. Feel free to check them out and as always, thanks for reading!

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000, it is 15 years old but can still get online.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP 32-bit, Soon to be unsupported but still installed on many machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows XP Professional X64 Edition, one of the first 64-bit versions of Windows, it had limited support.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 32-bit was not received well upon release but there are still a few people who have not yet upgraded their machines.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows Vista 64-bit, this version started making 64-bit computing a household name.

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 7, this is becoming the next Windows XP and we will be using Windows 7 for years to come.

Also check out my review of browsers in Ubuntu, one of the more popular Linux versions.

I hope to have these articles updated this year and add one for Windows 8, as well as maybe looking at older versions of Windows, and one for Windows Phone 7 and 8.  Make sure to like Useful Windows on Facebook to keep tabs on new articles.