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.
Windows Update generally works. Here’s the successful approach I took when it didn’t.
Moving email from one machine to another is a snap when you’re using Thunderbird as your email program. I’ll show you how.
Copying a USB drive without a computer is unlikely. Even a USB duplication
device will need to be some sort of computer.
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.
Moving emails to a folder for storage depends on which email program you are
using. First you sort them…
Cloud backup vs. backing up to an external drive isn’t really a debate. You
may want to do both!
Flash crashing in Firefox means something is wrong with either Flash or
Firefox. We’ll take an investigative approach to get running again.
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.
“Tracking” cookies from most sites aren’t that bad, and usually not tracking
you personally. They are there to help with your user experience.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
Blank messages in your drafts folder don’t necessarily indicate a hacker. There
could be a less nefarious explanation.
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.
A green bar in disk defragmenter shows files on the hard drive that cannot be
moved. Usually nothing to worry about.
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.
Sites download information onto your hard drive to create a smooth user
experience. There is a simple action that will solve the whole problem.
Traces of malware could be left in various places on a computer after a
virus or spyware infection. First thing: don’t panic!
Android app sometimes legitimately need services from your phone. But it’s always good to use some caution in giving out permissions.
Improving data security is best done by keeping anti-malware scans up to
date, and practicing safe internet policy.
An internet connection is not required for anti-malware scans and backups,
but it is required to keep your software up-to-date.
Routers have several usernames and passwords. One is very important to
change for network security.
Bigger RAM sticks only matter if they help add up the overall total internal
RAM in a computer. Get the most you can!
Drives are getting bigger, but are they more reliable? That’s a hard
Enabling sites in NoScript is usually done on a site-by-site basis. Each
webpage is different and will need to be checked individually.
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.
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
Copying text from websites shouldn’t cause a “stopped working” error. This
will take some investigation.
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
An Ethernet card to connect an older computer to DSL needs the right
connectors. You may be able to find one secondhand.
A screen suddenly scrolling on a new laptop sounds like a touchpad problem.
There is an easy way to test for that.
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.
An external hard dive is showing full though it has a small number of
visible files. First we’ll look for hidden files.
Preventing neighbors from accessing a WiFi hotspot with a posted password
will be a little tricky. There is one solution that many motels use.
Regularly losing internet connectivity does not indicate that your router is
being hacked. Start by looking at connectivity issues.
Moving Office to a new computer is best done with the original installation
media. Other than that? You may have some problems.
Troubles emptying a camera memory card could be because the write-protect
tab is toggled, or maybe it’s time for a replacement.
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!
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
Apple computer viruses do exist, just not in large numbers… yet. Don’t let
a false sense of security get you into trouble.
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
Just looking at spam may be safe… if you know how to take the proper
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.
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.
TOR anonymity is because of the TOR network, not the browser – though the
browser certainly makes it easier to set up.
It’s hard to say, on a global basis, which is better: Cable or DSL. There
are going to be differences related to the number of users on the line and
distance from your ISP’s equipment.
Replacing the CPU for Windows 8 requirements could easily cause you to
replace much more than just the CPU. There may be other alternatives.
Paying someone to remove a virus may be okay depending on how you found that
person. If they found you… don’t!