Q: I read in your column that Windows 7 isn’t updating properly (see tinyurl.com/zzhdlyf). Do you know why I can’t update my PC’s Windows Vista 64-bit operating system?

I’d like to update my PC before Microsoft stops supporting Windows Vista this April. But I haven’t received an update since mid-July of last year, and the software last checked for updates in early August.

I tried manually searching for new updates, but Windows Update ran for two hours without finding anything. What should I do?

Joseph Umphrey, Maple Grove

 

A: Don’t worry too much about fixing Windows Update. You need to get a new PC, and soon.

Why? On April 11, Microsoft will stop providing security updates for Windows Vista, which will leave you vulnerable to hackers. Updating your Windows Vista PC now won’t prevent that.

Your best option is to buy a new or refurbished Windows 7 PC, which will receive security updates until Jan. 14, 2020, or a new Windows 10 PC that will continue getting security updates until at least Oct. 14, 2025.

In the meantime, try fixing Update in Windows Vista by downloading and installing update KB3216775. It’s the Vista update for “x64-based systems” at tinyurl.com/z8vvl4m.

 

Q: My iPhone 6 became locked after I installed an update. I don’t recall having a password, so how can I get the phone unlocked? Will unlocking the phone delete the information stored on it?

Shirley Holden, Slidell, La.

 

A: You won’t lose any data with this alternative update method that also unlocks the phone. Data is only erased during a different operation called a “factory restore.”

Download the newest version of iTunes to your computer, then connect the phone to the computer via USB cable. You will get a message that the phone is in recovery mode. It will ask whether you want to update the phone or restore it; choose update. The iTunes program will then download the update and the phone will install it.

During that process, you may be questioned about “two-factor authentication,” which is, in effect, an optional double-password system. Choose to skip that step.

 

Q: About six months ago, the scanning part of my Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro4000 printer quit working, although the printing portion kept functioning. Lexmark suggested that I use the ImageCapture program on my 2009 iMac, which runs OS X 10.7.5, the newest version of the Lion operating system. But I can’t get the new software to connect to the printer’s scanning equipment. Do I need a new computer or a different printer?

Roxanne Markoff, Minneapolis

 

A: Your Mac and printer are OK, they just need some new software drivers to be compatible.

I suspect that your periodic updating of the Mac’s operating system (the Lion OS version you have is three years newer than your computer) eventually made the driver for the scanner obsolete. Go to tinyurl.com/csxk5kr to download the scanner and printer software drivers that were introduced in late 2015.

 

E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.