Articles in Category: ask-leo.com

These are articles that have been migrated from the old “ask-leo.com” site but have NOT yet been cleaned up or otherwise updated. They’re here primarily as a reference. We’ll be updating the more important and popular ones over time.

How Do I Make Sure Windows is Really, Completely Up to Date?

Keeping Windows up to date is normally handled cleanly by Windows itself. There are times you may want to force the issue to ensure your machine is as up to date as possible.

Why Does Email to Me Bounce with “Inbox Full”?

When you use a desktop email program, it’s possible for the inbox on your PC to be empty, but the inbox on your email service provider to be full.

How Do I Switch Back to the Old Facebook Layout?

Every time Facebook makes a change to its interface, many people want to go back to what was. I’ll discuss just how realistic that desire is.

Firefox crashes and I can’t uninstall it, how do I get it to work?

Problems with a program that won’t install can be tricky. It’s important to
capture the exact wording of any error messages you are receiving.

Can I copy one USB drive to another without using a computer?

Copying a USB drive without a computer is unlikely. Even a USB duplication
device will need to be some sort of computer.

Is Google Talk a good thing?

Google Talk is a way to talk with other people on their computers. That’s
good if you want to do it and don’t already have an alternative service.

How do I move all emails of a certain year to a folder?

Moving emails to a folder for storage depends on which email program you are
using. First you sort them…

Is cloud backup a reasonable alternative to an external hard drive?

Cloud backup vs. backing up to an external drive isn’t really a debate. You
may want to do both!

Why does Flash keep crashing in Firefox, but work fine in Chrome and IE?

Flash crashing in Firefox means something is wrong with either Flash or
Firefox. We’ll take an investigative approach to get running again.

How Do I Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disk, and What Can I Do With It?

One of the often overlooked steps in preparing for disaster is creating a system repair disk. I’ll review how to do that and what it does and does not do.

Why am I getting tracking cookies from your site?

“Tracking” cookies from most sites aren’t that bad, and usually not tracking
you personally. They are there to help with your user experience.

Which laptop is best?

The best laptop is the one that will fit your needs. To decide what you want
you’ll need to first look at how you’ll use it.

How can I switch back to the old Hotmail from Outlook.com?

If it is still possible to switch back to Hotmail… it won’t be available
for long. If you really hate it, you might want to consider changing
programs.

There’s Just No Need to Hate Windows 8

I recently upgraded my primary desktop machine to Windows 8. I did so with some trepidation after hearing many complaints. My reaction: what’s all the fuss about?

Leo’s 2013 Sabbatical Results

When I went on my sabbatical, I didn’t share the whole story. Even the word “sabbatical” wasn’t quite right. Here’s the background.

Why Am I Asked About Putting a lot of Things on the Clipboard? And What’s a Clipboard?

A message saying you have lots of things on the clipboard is common and
nothing to worry about. It’s simply managing the information you have copied
into memory.

Why are blank messages showing up in my Hotmail Drafts folder?

Blank messages in your drafts folder don’t necessarily indicate a hacker. There
could be a less nefarious explanation.

Why might streaming music play only with starts and stops?

Music that starts and stops while streaming indicates some resource is
overloaded. We’ll check for overloads on both the internet and locally on your computer.

Will Roboform or Lastpass bypass keyloggers?

A password tool may bypass a few keyloggers – but that’s no reason to use
it. You should be thinking of your overall computer and account safety.

Can I move this green block of files in disk defragmenter?

A green bar in disk defragmenter shows files on the hard drive that cannot be
moved. Usually nothing to worry about.

Can I remove all these updates listed in add/remove programs?

Removing updates from “Add-Remove Programs” would be a bad idea. You would
be removing updates that your system needs to run smoothly and safely.

Why do some sites ask to store information on my machine?

Sites download information onto your hard drive to create a smooth user
experience. There is a simple action that will solve the whole problem.

What does it mean when “traces” are left behind from malware removal?

Traces of malware could be left in various places on a computer after a
virus or spyware infection. First thing: don’t panic!

Why do some Android apps need so many permissions?

Android app sometimes legitimately need services from your phone. But it’s always good to use some caution in giving out permissions.

Does minimizing the time data is spent in use improve security?

Improving data security is best done by keeping anti-malware scans up to
date, and practicing safe internet policy.

Do I need to be online to perform anti-malware scans or backups?

An internet connection is not required for anti-malware scans and backups,
but it is required to keep your software up-to-date.

What password should I change on my router for security?

Routers have several usernames and passwords. One is very important to
change for network security.

Are bigger internal memory or RAM sticks faster then those with less capacity?

Bigger RAM sticks only matter if they help add up the overall total internal
RAM in a computer. Get the most you can!

Are hard drives getting more reliable?

Drives are getting bigger, but are they more reliable? That’s a hard
question.

How do I know what sites to enable in NoScript?

Enabling sites in NoScript is usually done on a site-by-site basis. Each
webpage is different and will need to be checked individually.

How do I obtain the ID of a spammer to block their spam?

You can’t effectively block a spammer’s ID, IP address, or “from” email
address because they’ll just change it and keep sending spam. There’s only one way to battle spam.

How do I enter my product key if I can't read it from the sticker on my machine?

When the Windows sticker becomes worn it is hard to read the product key.
There is software to retrieve it from the installation, but that may not
help.

Why does copying text from some sites cause a program to stop working?

Copying text from websites shouldn’t cause a “stopped working” error. This
will take some investigation.

Why does my backup fail after 13 discs?

That’s a lot of CDs to juggle! Backing up to that many discs can easily fail
from the mechanics of handling those CDs, or from using backup software that
isn’t reliable.

Do I need a specific type of Ethernet card to connect to the internet through my DSL modem?

An Ethernet card to connect an older computer to DSL needs the right
connectors. You may be able to find one secondhand.

Why does my screen suddenly scroll to the bottom when I'm typing?

A screen suddenly scrolling on a new laptop sounds like a touchpad problem.
There is an easy way to test for that.

How should I configure my email so that clicking mail links in other programs works?

Clicking email links will open the default email program on a computer. That
can be confusing if you use an online email service like Yahoo.

Why is my 750GB external hard drive full when it has only 70GB on it?

An external hard dive is showing full though it has a small number of
visible files. First we’ll look for hidden files.

How can I prevent neighbors from accessing the open WiFi hotspot I provide to my customers?

Preventing neighbors from accessing a WiFi hotspot with a posted password
will be a little tricky. There is one solution that many motels use.

If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?

Regularly losing internet connectivity does not indicate that your router is
being hacked. Start by looking at connectivity issues.

Can I move Office 2010 from my old computer to my new one?

Moving Office to a new computer is best done with the original installation
media. Other than that? You may have some problems.

Why can't I format the memory in my camera to empty it?

Troubles emptying a camera memory card could be because the write-protect
tab is toggled, or maybe it’s time for a replacement.

Am I scanning for malware too often?

Scanning for malware regularly is a good idea. Whether or not you are doing
it too much is a matter of opinion. What matters is that you are doing it!

Is it possible to use exotic characters to make passwords stronger?

Exotic characters can make strong passwords… if the password field accepts
them, and if you can type them in. There is a better way to get a stronger
password.

Do Apple Computers get malware?

Apple computer viruses do exist, just not in large numbers… yet. Don’t let
a false sense of security get you into trouble.

How should I deal with two different programs that handle the same file extension?

Program file extensions can sometimes be in conflict. You can’t change the
programs, but you can still run them both on your machine with an easy
work-around.

Is it safe to look, just look, at spam?

Just looking at spam may be safe… if you know how to take the proper
precautions.

How can I see all emails from a specific person grouped together?

You can group emails, in most email programs, by using the column headers. It
may take two clicks to get it in the order you want.

Why does a web page redraw several times before it's done?

When a web page flashes and redraws, it’s usually a result of the code for
that page. There may not be much you can do about it.

Does the TOR Browser provide any additional anonymity as compared to just running TOR?

TOR anonymity is because of the TOR network, not the browser – though the
browser certainly makes it easier to set up.