Q: The older apps on my Windows 7 PC, such as Office 2007, don't run correctly on my new Windows 10 laptop. As a result, I'd like to continue using the Windows 7 PC for most things that aren't related to the internet. But I've forgotten the password to my Windows 7 PC (I haven't shut it off in years.) What if it shuts down while I'm networking the Windows 7 and Windows 10 PCs together?
Don Robinson, Elk River, Minn.
A: You shouldn't connect your Windows 7 and Windows 10 PCs on a home network. It opens up the Windows 7 PC (which no longer gets security updates) to internet threats. It can be infected by malware, even if you never use it for e-mail or Web browsing.
Use your Windows 7 PC only as a stand-alone computer with no network connections. You can maintain your access to the PC by using a password recovery program. (Such programs work by either finding your password in Windows, or erasing the password so you can create a new one. And, yes, they prove how little protection a password provides.) Download a recovery program (see tinyurl.com/ya3doy2a) to a flash drive on your Windows 10 PC, then move the flash drive to the Windows 7 PC.
You can already see what a pain it will be if you have to transfer data between the two PCs via flash drive. The more practical approach would be to abandon your Windows 7 PC and use only the Windows 10 computer.
To do that, replace Office 2007 with a newer version. It won't ever work smoothly on Windows 10 because its Access database and Outlook e-mail programs are outdated. Those problems, and any future incompatibilities resulting from Windows 10 updates, will never be fixed because Office 2007 no longer gets Microsoft technical support. To make older non-Microsoft programs work on Windows 10, use "compatibility mode," which simulates earlier versions of Windows (see tinyurl.com/y8j9cxv8).
Q: I want to transfer all of my Mac's music and video to an iPod, so I bought an iPod model with 256 gigabytes of memory. But iTunes doesn't recognize the iPod. What can I do?
Dallas Roskamp, Edgerton, Minn.
A: If you have upgraded to the latest Mac operating system, version 10.15 (aka "Catalina"), you will have to sync your iPod and Mac through the Mac's Finder app rather than use iTunes. Catalina, introduced last October, doesn't use iTunes (see tinyurl.com/y3rrzarp).
If you have an earlier Mac operating system, here are some things to try:
• Make sure your iPod is unlocked and displays the home screen.
• Hold down the Mac's "option" key, click the Apple menu and choose either "system information" or "system report." On the left side of the screen, choose "USB." If you see your iPod in the resulting list, get any operating system updates for your Mac (see tinyurl.com/j8sdddn) and iPod (see tinyurl.com/nnojxm7).
• Try plugging the iPod cable into other USB ports on the Mac, or using a different cable.
• Restart the Mac and the iPod.
• Try connecting your iPod to another Mac. If that doesn't work, return the iPod to Apple.
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