Frozen cursor on Dell Inspiron l764

InsideTheParker

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This has been going on for two days. Once it freezes, nothing moves. Can't go into Cntl Alt Delete, nothing. Have to push the button and restart computer. Happens in both Opera and Vivaldi browsers. Using a mouse doesn't help. I know the mouse works, but neither the touchpad nor the mouse will work when the freeze occurs. Have tried patience. Nada. Have run a full scan, and Dell ran a file system check after the last restart. I think the freeze may be brought on by Twitter or other videos. I was reading a CNET page about the Dell 15 5000, which I am considering as a replacement, and a small video came up. Cursor froze, again. Has also happened a number of times while in V&N, which has a lot of Twitter pages. There is an odd coincidence, as it first happened shortly after I did a Vivaldi update, but that could just be a coincidence. I have a couple of other symptoms: sometimes the 4 and the r keys don't record and I have to repeat them. Also coincidence?

I will probably get another computer, as mine is old and I am overdue, but if anyone has any ideas on my problem or a replacement computer, I would love to hear them. Have had and been basically happy with this computer and Win7 Pro for 8-9 years. I am thinking about a 15.6 inch because I want less weight. Also want a backlit keyboard. TIA.
 

Couperin47

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If Ctrl-Alt-Del is not responding then it's not any particular app or browser, that means Windows is, at very least, not polling your keyboard or mouse so it isn't seeing any inputs. You may be able to see what's going wrong by looking in My Computer, opposite click and choose Manage: Then under Event Viewer you can look under Critical and Error events. Also the Windows logs may show errors under Applications or System. If it mostly seems to be happening with the touchpad, it could be that hardware going flakey, but then the keyboard should not be dead unless the touchpad is getting 'stuck' sending inputs that block all other inputs.
 

Harry Hooper

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Take a look at this item. Maybe add a new user and see if the problem doesn't recur for the new user account.
 

oumbi

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This has been going on for two days. Once it freezes, nothing moves. Can't go into Cntl Alt Delete, nothing. Have to push the button and restart computer. Happens in both Opera and Vivaldi browsers. Using a mouse doesn't help. I know the mouse works, but neither the touchpad nor the mouse will work when the freeze occurs. Have tried patience. Nada. Have run a full scan, and Dell ran a file system check after the last restart. I think the freeze may be brought on by Twitter or other videos. I was reading a CNET page about the Dell 15 5000, which I am considering as a replacement, and a small video came up. Cursor froze, again. Has also happened a number of times while in V&N, which has a lot of Twitter pages. There is an odd coincidence, as it first happened shortly after I did a Vivaldi update, but that could just be a coincidence. I have a couple of other symptoms: sometimes the 4 and the r keys don't record and I have to repeat them. Also coincidence?
...
Have your tried hitting your computer? It won't solve the problem but you will feel much better.
 

OfTheCarmen

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My Dell Alienware 15 R2 was freezing up similarly and it ended up being a bad hard drive that eventually completely failed and I couldnt even boot.

Just in case, I would suggest backing up anything important to another drive or some form of cloud storage.
 

Max Power

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Does the clock on the bottom right continue to run when you're not able to use the keyboard or mouse? If it does, then you have an issue with the input devices. If it doesn't, which is much, much more likely, you're probably having some kind of hardware failure. It sounds like a hard drive, but you said that was already checked and came back clean. Replacing the parts that are replaceable isn't guaranteed to work and it's probably time to get something new anyway. The new version of what you have is available under $700 right now.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Laptop | Dell USA
 

InsideTheParker

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I appreciate all these replies. I have looked into most of the suggestions. Oddly enough, (knock on wood), the freezing cursor has not recurred since the computer did that Checking File System on the last restart.
Anyway, I am examining the differences, as well as I can, between the Inspiron 15 5000 and the 15 7000. The advantage of the 7000 is that it has a lot of reviews, whereas the 5000 has none.
On the other hand, the 5000 is having a Doorbuster Special for $649, which is somewhat persuasive. The main difference seems to be in the graphics. And the 5000 has 512GB and 12GB memory. What does it mean when they give it as 8 +4?
 

Couperin47

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I appreciate all these replies. I have looked into most of the suggestions. Oddly enough, (knock on wood), the freezing cursor has not recurred since the computer did that Checking File System on the last restart.
Anyway, I am examining the differences, as well as I can, between the Inspiron 15 5000 and the 15 7000. The advantage of the 7000 is that it has a lot of reviews, whereas the 5000 has none.
On the other hand, the 5000 is having a Doorbuster Special for $649, which is somewhat persuasive. The main difference seems to be in the graphics. And the 5000 has 512GB and 12GB memory. What does it mean when they give it as 8 +4?
The advertised sale 5000 comes with 8 Gig of memory on a single DDR4 stick, there is a second slot in which you can add memory. Note: their suggested upgrade to a 2nd 4 Gig stick they charge $150, while Amazon or Newegg will sell you a 2nd 8 Gig stick of the same memory...for UNDER $40. Going to 12 or 16 Gig is not a bad idea, buying it from Dell...is not.

You can see what adding the memory yourself entails here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=dell+inspiron+15+5000+add+ram&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#kpvalbx=_qpjXX_P7KuPI_Qazv4v4CA13

You just have to remove the battery, 2 screws, pop that portion of the bottom and snap the stick into the slot.
 

Couperin47

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Note 2 things I have noticed. The keys on this laptop are silver with translucent white letters. Some find it very hard to actually see the letters in daylight. Also, you get 2 "standard" USB 3.1 ports (the rectangular slots) and one USB 3.2 slot (smaller oval, can be plugged in either way) which also doubles as the Displayport output, but as with a lot of slim laptops, no Ethernet port, so no connectivity besides wifi.
 

InsideTheParker

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Note 2 things I have noticed. The keys on this laptop are silver with translucent white letters. Some find it very hard to actually see the letters in daylight. Also, you get 2 "standard" USB 3.1 ports (the rectangular slots) and one USB 3.2 slot (smaller oval, can be plugged in either way) which also doubles as the Displayport output, but as with a lot of slim laptops, no Ethernet port, so no connectivity besides wifi.
Yes, that visibility thing does sound iffy. I actually really dislike the silver color and would prefer to have a black laptop. Is there something comparable that you would recommend? One thing I know I want is an illuminated keyboard, so I can post while watching the Sox in the dark.
 

Couperin47

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Yes, that visibility thing does sound iffy. I actually really dislike the silver color and would prefer to have a black laptop. Is there something comparable that you would recommend? One thing I know I want is an illuminated keyboard, so I can post while watching the Sox in the dark.
Consider the $798 model on this page:
https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkbook-series/Lenovo-ThinkBook-15-G2-ITL/p/XXTBXTMI500
Same i5 cpu
Win 10 Pro, which has more capabilities than the basic Home version on the Dell
Similar IPS screen
Already includes 16 GB of same memory
512 Gb SSD drive is bigger
Similar cam/mic
Backlit keyboard
Same WiFi 6
Fingerprint reader
More USB (2x3.1 standard, 1 3.2 Type C, 1 USB 4.0/Thunderbolt)
Similar 4in1 card reader
RJ45 Ethernet port
 
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InsideTheParker

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Looks good. Great price if you buy today, but there will probably be another great price another day, I reckon. I am a notoriously slow decider. They say they start at 3.75 lbs. I guess you have to inquire a bout the particular one you are interested in. Do you have any experience with Lenovo? We have basically been pleased with the Dell customer service.
No mention of Windows Office. Do you know if I can use an old one with a new computer? I just found in one of my desk drawers a Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 CD, still unopened. Have no idea why I have never used it, b/c I have that on this computer. It says it's only to be used with a new PC. May not play well with anything but Dell. (?)
 

Couperin47

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1. The 2007 CD is from MS and has no idea what computer it is to be used with, it should install on anything you buy without a problem, 2007 is the oldest version that installs on Win 10. Understand, it is no longer supported and may not be able to be registered on-line, but since there are no updates available, it's irrelevant. The major issues are: it doesn't support later Word file formats like docx and there are major security risks if you get many Word or Excel files because Word and Excel files have become a major route for infection. If these are things of only a minor use and you add decent AV protections you should be OK.

2. If the Office version on your Dell was preinstalled and came with the Dell, no it's locked to that specific computer and cannot be legitimately transferred to any other hardware (it's an OEM version).

3. All the variations you can stuff into the Lenovo can't add more than a few ounces, except the larger battery, which you're not getting.

4. All my laptops have been IBM/Lenovo for 2 decades. The Thinkbook is not quite as rugged as the ThinkPads, but should be a quarter notch better build than low end Dells. The reality of all these very slim designs is that there's a simple limit to how sturdy you can make something this light and slim. The fact that your Inspiron has lasted this long makes clear you treat your laptops with more than reasonable care. Support should be at least as good.
 

joe dokes

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Note 2 things I have noticed. The keys on this laptop are silver with translucent white letters. Some find it very hard to actually see the letters in daylight. Also, you get 2 "standard" USB 3.1 ports (the rectangular slots) and one USB 3.2 slot (smaller oval, can be plugged in either way) which also doubles as the Displayport output, but as with a lot of slim laptops, no Ethernet port, so no connectivity besides wifi.
Do these adapters work (i.e., give something resembling ethernet speed)?
1607976111906.png
 

Couperin47

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Do these adapters work (i.e., give something resembling ethernet speed)?
View attachment 37042
Yes, the adapter pictured is a USB 3.0 device and it can easily handle Ethernet speeds, it just puts you in the hell that is Apple's dongle-hell and since most laptops have only 2/3 USB ports, so often you now start needing a dock or at least a USB hub (and since many/most of those can't be adequately powered via the laptop USB, that also means a wall-wort power plug...so enjoy your octopus tangle dangling from your 'portable'....grrr)
 

cgori

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I have a slim laptop with no Ethernet, that part is OK (for me). But it had only USB-C ports so I bought a similar thing to this from the same manufacturer, and it has worked great. That newer one also has Ethernet (and an SD card reader). A similar (but cheaper, without Ethernet) model gets a good review from wirecutter as well.
 

Couperin47

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I have a slim laptop with no Ethernet, that part is OK (for me). But it had only USB-C ports so I bought a similar thing to this from the same manufacturer, and it has worked great. That newer one also has Ethernet (and an SD card reader). A similar (but cheaper, without Ethernet) model gets a good review from wirecutter as well.
It looks like an elegant solution for only a bit more money....but check the 1 star reviews at Newegg, these devices have fried the motherboards of some Macbooks and in many other cases after a few months all sorts of failures...seems to be a combo of somewhat poor quality control plus the fact that it's drawing very near to max current available via ...supposedly high current type C connector. The most elaborate version stops pretending and includes a DC input which you 'may' need if you load up the device.
 

cgori

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I can't find the Newegg 1-star reviews for any of the stuff I linked (I guess there are a couple on Amazon with logic board failures though). But yes, I can imagine that using a cheap one for high-wattage charging could be a (potential) issue. Blessedly the one I have I only use for on-the-go use so I'm not charging through it, just port-expanding and I expect that will not cause issues. I also tend to discount the reviews of Mac users by some fraction because of their deranged expectations / attribution analysis for failures :)
 

Couperin47

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I can't find the Newegg 1-star reviews for any of the stuff I linked (I guess there are a couple on Amazon with logic board failures though). But yes, I can imagine that using a cheap one for high-wattage charging could be a (potential) issue. Blessedly the one I have I only use for on-the-go use so I'm not charging through it, just port-expanding and I expect that will not cause issues. I also tend to discount the reviews of Mac users by some fraction because of their deranged expectations / attribution analysis for failures :)
Sorry I meant the Amazon 1 star reviews here:
https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B07QQ11BP6/ref=acr_dp_hist_1?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=one_star&reviewerType=all_reviews#reviews-filter-bar
 

LoweTek

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The advertised sale 5000 comes with 8 Gig of memory on a single DDR4 stick, there is a second slot in which you can add memory. Note: their suggested upgrade to a 2nd 4 Gig stick they charge $150, while Amazon or Newegg will sell you a 2nd 8 Gig stick of the same memory...for UNDER $40. Going to 12 or 16 Gig is not a bad idea, buying it from Dell...is not.

You can see what adding the memory yourself entails here:
https://www.google.com/search?q=dell+inspiron+15+5000+add+ram&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#kpvalbx=_qpjXX_P7KuPI_Qazv4v4CA13

You just have to remove the battery, 2 screws, pop that portion of the bottom and snap the stick into the slot.
If you put non-Dell memory or HDD or SSD for that matter in a new Dell PC it can void the warranty. Not real important for an Inspiron with one year of coverage unless you buy up. Note: I acquired an Optiplex 5050 small form factor desktop in the past year or so. First thing I did was put Samsung SSDs and additional memory into it (both non-Dell). It flies. No issues at all with it. The likelihood is they will cover it, especially if you opt for extended premium support, as long as it's stable but there is escape language in there, FYI.

Recently acquired an Inspiron 3000 15 for the 85 year old MiL, Intel I-3, 4GB with SSD. Did nothing to it except configure the software. No issues so far t.and she's thrilled with it.

Note both systems are well protected by voltage regulated UPS devices, something I highly recommend. Most issues are caused by sags or spikes in power if they're not caused by excessive dust in the system. Your issue sounds like an aged HDD and nothing more. Gotta get away from Win7 too. No longer supported as of January 2020. Probably time to upgrade. Highly recommend SSD as a factory option (Solid State Drive) as opposed to a spinning drive.

Definitely suggest you back up the current HDD immediately. I agree with the others, it sounds like it's going fast.
 

InsideTheParker

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Take a look at this item. Maybe add a new user and see if the problem doesn't recur for the new user account.
Well, it occurred again, more impetus to buy a new computer. I brought this post up, because I don't even have any awareness of being a user. The links on that page just send you to info re Windows 10 and remind you that support has ended for Win7.
Recently acquired an Inspiron 3000 15 for the 85 year old MiL, Intel I-3, 4GB with SSD. Did nothing to it except configure the software. No issues so far t.and she's thrilled with it.
Definitely suggest you back up the current HDD immediately. I agree with the others, it sounds like it's going fast.
Funny you should say that because I have been looking at the Inspiron 3000. It is black, which I prefer.
Also, I have backed up the computer entirely for some time and recently updated the backup with a few items that I have changed lately.
 

Harry Hooper

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Wow, those Microsoft links worked the other day. Your laptop has at least one user account already, which would be the account you are utilizing every day as your Windows desktop screen.

You can create an additional user account via the instructions here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-a-user-account-in-windows-4fac6fd5-74c0-9737-69b8-6e77e00422dc#ID0EBBD=Windows_7

If you log into the new user account and the freezing doesn't happen, then something about your original user profile got corrupted. There's a way to bring your old documents and user data from your original account over to the new one, but don't bother if you are buying a new laptop. You should back up all you data as was suggested above in case the hard drive on the old laptop is failing.
 

Couperin47

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You keep your laptops a long time...do NOT buy an i3, underpowered, by any standards and unavailable with decent graphics. No maker voids warranty for adding memory. Current laptops, including both the Dell or Thinkbook I mentioned only have 1 M.2 Pcie slot for SSD storage: there's no way to add any additional storage internally, so it's a non-issue. The Thinkbook includes more USB 3.1 and a USB 4.0 port. Within a year external USB 3.2 and 4 external SSD drives will be affordable allowing very rapid backup onto tiny external drives that, unlike the current dirt cheap external HD drives, will not be subject to sudden death syndrome. WD makes tons of these drives, the cheaper ones have 2 year warranties, the best have 3, but oh so many die after only slight usage simply because: 1. The tiny cases mean NO shock isolation and NO form of cooling. 2. Almost no one who uses them understands they should never be moved when operating, that changing their orientation when used each time puts additional strain on ability to read/write. 3. I'm getting tired of stories of friends who load 2 or 4 Tb of movies onto such drives and when they go back 5 months later to watch one...they have lost it all. (Most stick to 2 Tb drives as inputs to most TV or DVD drives can only recognize FAT32 format which limits file size to 2 Tb). Solid state drives should mostly eliminate the issue and perform at blazing speeds for transfer.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Personally I would look into an Office 365 subscription. You can get it for $99/year family plan that covers 6 users with each person getting 1TB of cloud storage. It’s like getting storage for cheap along with free office365. Keep your stuff on your computer but also backed up in the cloud.

if you don’t have other family members to share with, you can get an individual subscription for around $50.

If you need more than 1TB of storage, you can use multiple slots for yourself.
 

InsideTheParker

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Wow, those Microsoft links worked the other day. Your laptop has at least one user account already, which would be the account you are utilizing every day as your Windows desktop screen.

You can create an additional user account via the instructions here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-a-user-account-in-windows-4fac6fd5-74c0-9737-69b8-6e77e00422dc#ID0EBBD=Windows_7

If you log into the new user account and the freezing doesn't happen, then something about your original user profile got corrupted. There's a way to bring your old documents and user data from your original account over to the new one, but don't bother if you are buying a new laptop. You should back up all you data as was suggested above in case the hard drive on the old laptop is failing.
I'm hopeless, I fear. I followed all those directions, made a new user, but then realized I have no idea how to log in with a user and am afraid to log out of the one I have been using because I can't find the password, don't know if I even have one. Things were pretty distracting when I set up this computer---that's my only excuse.
Edit: Mr. ITP, who finally woke up, tells me I don't have a password, since I don't have to log in every time my computer starts up. So, I may try this solution later in the day, when I have time. Thanks again.
 
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InsideTheParker

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Today I opened my second user and used (ugh) Internet Explorer. I couldn't do anything at all, not go to Sosh, NYT, nada. Couldn't download another browser. It said that something was amiss, but when I did one of those "what's wrong" things (I forget what you call them) it couldn't find anything. So, I give up. Tomorrow I will be choosing between the Vostro 15 5502 and the Lenovo ThinkBook 15. They are both lighter than I am used to with black, back-lit keyboards. If there are any last-minute cautions I would like to hear them. Once I can figure out how to get rid of the worst of Win10 features and make Internet Explorer work long enough to download Vivaldi, I will be thrilled. Thanks again for all the advice. Oh, one more question: on the front page, the Lenovos don't say anything about Microsoft Office. Is the best thing to buy a disc (assuming my old one might not work)? I think I will need a physical disc because our broadband is so limited it will probably take days to download over the internet.
 

Couperin47

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The most important thing is..go here. This is the continuation of Classic Shell, it will allow you to make Start menus and the look and feel of Win 10 almost any combo of features in Win 7 or 8 interface you want. On that page, which is very techie, since it's the hub for those who contribute to it's continued development, look on the right for Release 4.4.160 with the download oval button to it's right. After you install, it has voluminous settings that cover almost 22 tabbed pages. Some of these may not be all that evident. After a few weeks you can explore those settings again anytime you want by opposite clicking on the start menu to get to the settings. Many here running 7, 8 and 10 swear by it. You will be able to tinker to make most of your daily interface look familiar and logical. When you are satisfied you can then save your configuration to a file so you never have to go thru it all again.

Re: MS Office. Lenovo will sell you the Home & Student version (just Word, Excel, Outlook and One Note for $139.95, normally $10 more. BUT, 2019 is not available anywhere as a physical CD (and your new laptop isn't going to have an optical drive...) ( https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/accessories-and-monitors/software/office-suites-downloads/Microsoft-Office-Home-and-Student-2019-license-1-PC-Mac/p/78010708) All sales are of a key to download one instance which is a permanent license that will lock to the hardware where it is installed (OEM). You can also, via tons of on-line stores or Ebay purchase 'legit' keys which are mostly grey-market, which is to say, they are supposed to be sold in other countries where Microsoft can't and doesn't charge their inflated US prices. Since laptops move everywhere and with a quick look at actual reviews you can get the same OEM license to this basic product for anywhere from $25 to $40. If you need Publisher or any of the other programs then such grey market keys to Office Pro can be had for a little more. There is nothing whatever 'illegal' about purchasing such keys any more than buying legit prescription drugs in Canada for deep discount prices.
 

cgori

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Classic Shell is awesome. @Couperin47 recommended it a long time ago in another thread, I took it for a test-drive and I could not be happier with it. I use it and install it all over the place now.

(sorry for a small hijack - Coup, I'm still using Classic Shell 4.3.1, circa ~2017, with no issues, as opposed to OpenShell. Do you find big issues fixed in OpenShell or ?)
 

Couperin47

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Classic Shell is awesome. @Couperin47 recommended it a long time ago in another thread, I took it for a test-drive and I could not be happier with it. I use it and install it all over the place now.

(sorry for a small hijack - Coup, I'm still using Classic Shell 4.3.1, circa ~2017, with no issues, as opposed to OpenShell. Do you find big issues fixed in OpenShell or ?)
I still use Classic Shell, because I run Win 8.1, which is NOT a moving target, it's utterly stable for 7 or 8. For Win 10 you need to install Open Shell which has to keep up with the endless changes made to Win 10, which is what ITP is going to get with any new laptop. If you run 7 or 8 Open Shell really has nothing particularly new to offer.
 

cgori

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I still use Classic Shell, because I run Win 8.1, which is NOT a moving target, it's utterly stable for 7 or 8. For Win 10 you need to install Open Shell which has to keep up with the endless changes made to Win 10, which is what ITP is going to get with any new laptop. If you run 7 or 8 Open Shell really has nothing particularly new to offer.
Interesting. I'm on Win10 and Classic works for me (it has to be re-installed/re-configured maybe once a year when MS pushes a big patch for W10 but that's manageable). /shrug
(End-of-hijack, sorry)
 

Couperin47

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Interesting. I'm on Win10 and Classic works for me (it has to be re-installed/re-configured maybe once a year when MS pushes a big patch for W10 but that's manageable). /shrug
(End-of-hijack, sorry)
If you're on 10, you really should replace with Open Shell, they have done a ton of work to make it compatible and handle all sorts of Win 10 features. 4.3.1 was the last version by the original author, Ivo Beltchev. When he announced he was retiring there were so many seriously dedicated users, with his blessing the open source code was moved to GitHub and a large and dedicated group of voulunteers keep Open Shell relevant. It's, of course, ironic that now GitHub is owned and run by...Microsoft.
 

Max Power

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You can always just use Windows 10 out of the box and see how it works for you. I upgraded about 300 computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in a decidedly non-technical environment a few years ago and had basically no issues from the staff with the new user interface. The only two things I ever hear about are people switching to Tablet Mode and not knowing how to get out of it, and a weird quirk with a network drive disconnecting that a home user would never see.

As for Office, the previous suggestion of Office 365 personal for $50 or $60 a year is a good one. Couperin will plotz at the idea of keeping a copy of your data on Microsoft's servers, but you get 1TB of OneDrive space and auto backups of everything on your Desktop, Documents, and Pictures. If your hard drive totally fails, everything automatically comes back to the same place when you get a new one. Plus you can install the OneDrive app on your phone and it will automatically back up every picture you take with that, too.
 

Couperin47

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I am endlessly amused by an entire generation that not only desires to rent everything, own nothing and actually pays to install audio and, in some cases video surveillance equipment in their homes, 'just for the convenience'. Not to mention exactly what happens the moment you don't renew those subscriptions plus the added 'benefit' that they can and will change anything they want in the method, features and operation of the programs you get to pay for annually and you have exactly zero control of any of this. Feel free to "owe your souls to the Company Store". Especially something like Word. Unless you work in a very large organization where documents are routinely collaborations between many colleagues, there are almost no added features since Word 2007 that are of any value, and I'm an attorney. I routinely use Word 2010 and 2013 and even used 2007 on our last Win 7 laptop since an addon allowed it to convert docx files.
 
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