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These are articles that have been migrated from the old “” 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 remove Windows XP SP2?

There are two ways to get Windows XP SP2. One of them can be removed, and the other cannot. I’ll bet you can see where this is headed, can’t you? And, as you’ll see in a moment, you really don’t want to remove it anyway.

How Do I Keep Attached Photos Out Of An Email’s Message Body?

You can’t prevent recipient’s image display, but you can fool it: Zip or rename to prevent them from automatically displaying.

Where are the ethics?

I whine a little about the lack of ethics in a large percentage of the questions I get.

Should I Leave AOL?

I actually can’t answer that last question – it’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself. Some of it depends on your level of comfort with computers in general, since AOL remains relatively easy to use for the less computer literate. But apparently it’s also going to depend on your level of tolerance for … Read more

How do I uninstall Hotmail?

This actually illustrates a very surprising confusion I see regularly on Ask Leo!. Many people don’t realize that Hotmail, MSN Instant Messenger, and even MSN itself are all very different things. They use the terms for one when talking about the other, or use a generic term like “MSN” which could be many different things. … Read more

My cable modem has both a USB and an Ethernet port – can I connect two computers?

I’m a little suspicious about the threat of “serious harm” to your modem, and I actually expect the gateway address to be the same. But whether or not it should work, or whether or not you’re allowed to have two IP addresses … that’s up to your ISP.

Hamachi – a simple VPN

Connecting machine-to-machine securely, across the ‘net.

How can I tell what's taking up so much disk space?

Absolutely. In fact, slowly losing disk space is one of those things that’s not only annoying, but can often be a sign of a problem such as a virus or spyware. Fortunately there are free tools available to help figure it out.

Ask Dave Taylor – More free tech support online

Ask Dave Taylor is another resources for getting your technical questions answered online.

How fast can Microsoft fix a bug?

Was Microsoft’s WMF Exploit response fast enough?

Where can I get a PSP downgrade?

I’ll be honest – I know nothing about the Playstation Portable, aka PSP. I tend towards PC-based games, myself. So, I turned to my friend and colleague Dave Taylor, who runs the appropriately named Ask Dave Taylor tech support site. Here’s his answer:

The Internet Tourbus – A free weekly tech newsletter

The Internet Tourbus is another source of good up-to-date tech information and news.

How do I stop MSN Messenger from starting automatically and logging me in?

You’re not alone, I see this a lot. If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to accidentally give someone else access to your account if you use MSN Messenger a public computer or someone else’s computer. It require’s a little diligence on your part, or you’re going to get into trouble.

How should I reinstall Windows?

There are different ways to reinstall Windows. Which is appropriate depends on the problem you’re attempting to solve.

Podsafe for Peace – If Every Day Were Christmas

A musical interlude for the holidays – for a worthy cause.

How do I read a message that flies by too quickly on my screen?

It is frustrating, isn’t it? And to add insult to injury, there are even times where there just isn’t a way to pause or page the messages that are scrolling by. So what to do? I did stumble upon one trick that’s pretty cool … but it requires a little hardware, that you might already … Read more

Gibson Research – Security, Disk Maintenance and Other Useful Tools

Did you ever wonder how you’d know if your firewall is doing the job? (You are using a firewall, right? No? Go here. Now.) In most cases you wouldn’t know you didn’t until it was too late – after an infection or compromise of some sort. Steve Gibson’s an internet security guru, and his site … Read more

Is there a way to shutdown my headless Windows XP Pro machine remotely?

And as you’ve seen, when you use Remote Desktop to get to your machine, the “Turn Off Computer” item is missing from the Start menu. To be honest, I’m not really sure why Microsoft chose to do that, it is inconvenient. But we have ways.

Greylisting – Another tool in the war against spam

A client turned me on to a relatively new, and effective, anti-spam tool.

How can I identify this blank taskbar item?

Time consuming? Certainly. Risky? You bet. Done improperly, I believe you can render Windows unbootable. The result would replace a small problem with a huge one. The good news is that I don’t think we need to resort to anything like that at all. In fact, we’ll use one of my favorite free tools … … Read more

Is free software a viable alternative?

There’s tons of free and open-source software out there. Is any of it it any good?

How do I control which email accounts Outlook tries to download?

I have the exact same situation here. I have many “logical” email addresses that all forward to my “real” email account. The good news is that Outlook does have a way to control what accounts are checked, and when. It’s not obvious, and not terribly simple, but it is there. First let me explain the … Read more

How do I change the size of my email display text?

Naturally there are several places that control the look, style and size of items on your screen. And naturally, it’s difficult to find them all, and when you do, they often don’t control exactly, or only, what you want.

How do I install additional network protocols like IPX or Netbeui?

TCP/IP is the protocol of the internet (in fact, the I stands for Internet), so anything you do on the internet requires that you use TCP/IP. TCP/IP can be a little difficult to set up at times, though, because it requires things like routers and subnets and DNS … oh my! If all you want … Read more

When will we see true musical convergence?

It’s easy to listen to your music on an iPod or MP3 player. Elsewhere? Not so much.

Are cheap inkjet cartridges a good deal?

There are a couple of questions here: how much ink did your printer come with, and are cheap replacement inkjet cartridges a viable alternative to those sold by the original equipment manufacturer? The answers are “probably not much”, and “maybe”. Let me explain why, and what you need to look for…

"Cleaning Windows XP for Dummies"

This is a great step-by-step guide to not only “cleaning up” your Windows programs, data, and more, but more importantly keeping your system clean.

Use a Firewall

A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that sits between you computer and the internet, and only allows certain types of things to cross it. It’s about protecting you from them, where “them” is the malicious folk on the internet. A correctly configured firewall does not block your access out to the internet … Read more

Katrina – What can we do?

How can we use our technology to help the victims of hurricane Katrina?

Is advertising evil?

I’ve taken a little heat for hosting advertising – is it a necessary evil? Or just a reflection of how the market should work?

What is Software Escrow?

Getting someone to write software for you can result in a wonderful, custom solution to your problem. It can also incur a significant amount of risk if things go wrong. Software escrow is one way of protecting you in certain types of projects when certain things go wrong.

Two years of Ask Leo!

Some thoughts on the second anniversary of Ask Leo!

Reflections on Two Years of Ask Leo!

On August 10, 2003 I posted the first answer on Ask Leo! – How do I keep the status bar from disappearing in Internet Explorer 6?. As of this writing there have been 577 articles posted to Ask Leo!, and another 671 quick responses posted to the Ask Leo! Mailbag. Add to that almost two … Read more

Full feeds, or not full feeds?

The debate on how much belongs in an RSS feed surfaces again.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a free, easy to use anti-spyware package that does a good job of protecting you, and includes several advanced tools as well.

Why does this error happen in one XP user account and not another?

That’s a toughie, because it’s really related to Avast and how Avast was set up.

How can I rejoin two files into one?

Not only is it possible to rejoin two files into one, you already have the tool on your machine to do so.

How should I set up my computer? (Part VII)

In this seventh and final article in a series of articles covering my new computer’s setup, we continue by making a few final adjustments.

How should I set up my computer? (Part I)

In previous articles I discussed the process I used to select a new computer for myself. Next, we’ll step through configuring my new machine.


Omniscient.exe is a form of adware and should be removed from your system.

What do I do when a program reports a DLL is missing?

DLLs can go missing for several reasons from accidental deletion to corruption or more. We’ll look at some of the common causes and steps to take.

What is a "subnet mask"?

A subnet mask is a way of telling your computer or router what network addresses it can consider local and which are remote.

Quick answers to a few questions…

Quick answers to a few questions… I get a fairly steady volume of questions here at Ask-Leo!. Unfortunately I can’t answer them all personally but here’s a batch of questions received over the past week and some quick answers. Why doesn’t the “Help & Support” Service stay disabled like I set it? Help! The print … Read more

How do I get Word documents on the web to show up in Word, rather than my browser?

By default Word and other documents are displayed within IE rather than in an instance of the application. It’s an easy setting to change, once found.

A spammer is using my cgiemail, what do I do?

Cgiemail is a program that many websites use to send email. Unfortunately certain versions can be abused by spammers, and you get the blame.

Where can I find Unix Tools for Windows?

Unix and Linux include a number of very useful programs. Windows has some that are similar, but you can also find actual Unix tools for Windows.

Can I republish your articles?

Copying entire articles is a violation of copyright and it’s illegal. I do have some alternatives, though.

How do I turn off those ads that look like links on your site?

Ask Leo! is free, but advertising supported. If those ads get in your way, here’s a way to turn them off.