Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Solutions: Should I upgrade to Windows 8?

About one year ago, I purchased a new HP laptop, with your recommendations. I am running Windows 7 and IE 8. So far so good. When would you recommend upgrading to Windows 8 and IE 10?

I've been in the computer business since 1978 and if there is one thing I've learned it is: If it's not broke, don't fix it. If Windows 7 is working well for you, I see no reason to plan an upgrade to Windows 8 anytime soon. Windows 7 will be relevant and supported for quite some time. Traditional Windows users have not been happy with the Windows 8 interface changes. The 8.1 update really didn't do anything significant to resolve those issues. As for your Internet Explorer 8, I do recommend an update to version 10. IE 10 contains several security related changes that you want to have.

My screen flashes sections of black at different times. I have a Hallmark Card Deluxe 2013 program that will often not save correctly. Instead the program message comes up that the program is not working correctly, and I have to shut down the entire program. Sometimes when I go to open my file back up, some of my graphics have disappeared. In playing games such as Solitaire, my screen sometimes freezes, and I have to try different things to unlock it. I almost feel that I have two screens running at the same time. I use Norton 360 and often run full computer scans. The scan goes through 750,000 files, programs, etc. This seems like a lot. I'm afraid I'm not very savvy on computer problems.

It's not unusual at all for modern PCs to have 750,000 files. Your issues seem to be video/graphics related. That could mean drivers (software), video monitor or system board related. Always start with the easiest solution. Check to see if your video device drivers are current. You didn't state which version of Windows you're running, so I'll have to be a bit more general.

For Windows 7 click the Start button and type Device Manager and click the link at the top of the results, otherwise click Start, Settings, Control Panel, double-click the Systems icon then the Hardware tab, and then the Device Manager button. Look for and double-click Display adapters then double-click the adapter. Click the Driver tab.

It should show you the name and version of the video adapter. You will need to go to the vendor's support website and check to see if you have the latest driver for your adapter. If not, download and install the version that is correct for your version of Windows. Even if it shows you have the latest, reinstalling may sometimes fix the issue. If the problem persists, try uninstalling and reinstalling your Hallmark Card program (Control Panel, Programs). This should correct any problems of file library mismatches. If your PC is a desktop, borrow a monitor to see if that corrects the issue. I know this sounds like a lot of instructions and it really should be easier, but PC troubleshooting is not at that point quite yet.

Maybe someone you know who is more comfortable with computers can help you out. Another option, and one highly recommended, would be the Tampa Bay Computer Society ( This is a users group with expert staffers who help people with their computer issues and offer classes and other computer-related events.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Should I upgrade to Windows 8? 12/20/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 20, 2013 6:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. McConnell trying to revise the Senate health care bill by Friday


    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is aiming to send a revised version of his health care bill to the Congressional Budget Office as soon as Friday as he continues to push for a vote before Congress' August recess.

    Protesters rally against the Senate Republican health care bill Wednesday on the east front of the Capitol building.
  2. Police raise likely death toll in London high-rise blaze


    LONDON — The number of people killed or presumed dead in the London high-rise fire has inched up to 80, but the final death toll may not be known for months, British police said at a grim briefing Wednesday.

  3. Rick Baker gives himself a "B" in 1st debate against Rick Kriseman


    Rick Baker gave himself a “B” in his first debate against Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Rick Baker chats with supporters at a fundraiser at St. Petersburg Yacht Club Wednesday evening
  4. Companies, governments assess damage from latest malware attack


    PARIS — Companies and governments around the world on Wednesday counted the cost of a software epidemic that has disrupted ports, hospitals and banks. Ukraine, which was hardest hit and where the attack likely originated, said it had secured critical state assets — though everyday life remained affected, …

  5. Details of Trump's travel ban still being finalized


    WASHINGTON — Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security labored Wednesday to finalize rules for visitors from six mostly Muslim nations who hope to avoid the Trump administration's revived travel ban and come to the United States.