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The Warning Signs of Disk Failure: An Unexpected Tale of Gradual Decline and Urgent Replacement

The reinstall of my system slowly uncovered a potential hardware issue. Here's how I diagnosed and repaired it.

Why Do I See Lots of Failed Login Attempts on My Account?

I'll show you how to look at your recent activity and review why it might be full of failed login attempts.

Surprising Reasons to Use a VPN at Home: More Than Just Privacy

Although a VPN service is probably not necessary at home, there are a few scenarios where you may want to consider it.

It Was My Time to Reformat and Reinstall

The steps I took, the software I installed, and a few things I discovered as I reinstalled Windows 11 on my main machine.

Where Can I Download Windows 11? Or 10? Or 8?

You can download Windows 8.1, 10, and 11 from legitimate sources. If you have a legal retail product key, this can be your replacement media.

Use the Cloud; Just Don’t Rely on the Cloud

Online services, aka "the cloud", are often treated as if they are invincible. They're not. They represent a single point of failure that could cost you your data.

What to Do With an Unexpected Two-factor Code

Getting an unexpected authorization code on your phone or via email can be concerning. Let's see when it's a sign of a problem and what to do about it.

Using the DISM Command Prompt Tool to Repair Windows

DISM is a tool included with Windows that can repair some types of Windows corruption.

How Do I Go Back to Windows 10 From Windows 11?

Yes, you can still go back to Windows 10 from Windows 11. It just may not be easy.

How Do Gmail Labels Relate to Folders?

Gmail labels are similar to folders, but there are a couple of important differences to know if you use a desktop email program to access Gmail.

How Often Should I Wipe Hard Drive Free Space?

Free-space wiping prevents the recovery of deleted files. Whether you need to do it, or how often, depends on how interesting your data is.

I’ve Been Accused of Being a Spammer. What Can I Do About It?

It's not uncommon for email to bounce in ways that imply you might be spamming. I'll look at what may or may not be happening.

Why I’ve Stopped Using Google Search

Google search used to be the winner by far, but recent decreases in its trustworthiness and the improved offerings of other search engines make switching a pragmatic choice.

6 Steps to Fix Your Browser Problems

Browser problems can be caused by any number of things that may or may not include the browser itself. I'll review common troubleshooting techniques.

My Email Information Is on the Dark Web. What Do I Do?

What action to take on breach and exposure notifications depends on how much information you get.

Set Up Windows Again With the Windows Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE)

Use the Windows 10 and 11 Out-of-Box Experience to reset a variety of items associated with initial computer setup.

I Don’t Claim to Be a Journalist

My background is most assuredly not journalism. I bring something else entirely to the table: experience.

I Got a Call from Microsoft and Allowed Them Access to My Computer. What Do I Do Now?

A very common scam has people supposedly from Microsoft, your ISP, or other authorities calling to help you with computer problems. Don't fall for it.

Will Backing Up My Computer Back Up My Email?

To back up your email, you first have to figure out where it lives. It might be on your computer, or it might be on the internet.

Why Might My Internet Connection Randomly Stop Working?

Let me walk you through eight of the most common issues when it comes to internet connections, drops, and general connectivity.

How Do I Fix “Internal Server Error”?

An Internal Server Error happens within the server attempting to show you a webpage. It's usually a server-side problem out of your control.

How Do I Recover Encrypted Files From Cryptomator?

Recovering individual files from a Cryptomator encrypted vault can be tricky. I'll discuss why and how to protect your access to those files.

How Do I Download All OneDrive Files to My PC?

Downloading all your OneDrive files isn't particularly difficult; it's just not particularly obvious. I'll show you two ways to do it.

Terminology Matters

When it comes to technology, it seems like there's a whole 'nother language to learn. Using the right terminology is important to being understood and getting your problems resolved.

What Comes After Terabytes?

Zetabytes? Petaflops? Gigahertz? Confusing terms for the ever-increasing capacity and speed of our computers.

How Do I Repair Microsoft Office?

Occasionally, Microsoft Office becomes damaged. Fortunately, you can repair it.

Can Permanently Deleted Email Be Recovered?

In most cases, deleted email is gone beyond your ability to recover it. As always, however, there are exceptions.

Beware the Middleman: How Your 2FA Could Be Compromised

Some forms of two factor authentication have vulnerabilities. Here's how to avoid it.

The Secret Behind Ask Leo! I Know Less Than You Think

I know less than you think I do, but I make up for it with a very important skill -- a skill anyone can benefit from improving.

Can’t We Just Spam the Spammers to Death?

Unfortunately, that turns you into, yes... a spammer! There are many, many problems with this idea. I'll explain a few.

How Do I Reformat and Reinstall Windows 11?

To reformat and reinstall is considered the "nuclear option" when it comes to dealing with Windows problems (or just cleaning up).

Facebook Marketplace Scams: 3 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Facebook Marketplace scams are on the rise. Here are three red flags that should tell you something's not right.

Is OneDrive Free?

OneDrive has both free and paid offerings.

How Do I Change the Email Address of My Microsoft Account?

You can associate multiple email addresses with your Microsoft account. Who knew?

Has a Hacker Really Hacked My Email Account?

An email claims your email account has been hacked, possibly even including a password you've used. Don't be fooled; it's a scam.

What Happens If You Delete System 32?

Apparently, there's a prank or scam suggesting that people delete their System32 folder. Don't do it. It's a trap!

Why Am I Getting Email from a Dead Person?

It's hard enough to experience the loss of a friend or a loved one. To get email from them thereafter can be very disturbing.

What’s the Difference Between an Image Backup and a Files-and-Folder Backup?

This choice is about what you back up on your computer. It can make the difference between an easy or difficult recovery.

Behind the Scam: Decoding the Secrets of Fraudulent Emails

Scam emails often have clues ranging from obvious to obscure. I'll take a scam email and show you what I see.

Can I Move My Old Hard Drive to My New Computer to Transfer Data?

You can take the internal hard disk of an old computer and install it as an additional drive in a new one, or consider a more flexible alternative.

What Does “Over Quota” Mean? What’s a Quota?

Being over quota means you've received or kept too much email. To deal with it, you need to understand where that email is being kept.

What Is Credential Stuffing?

Credential stuffing: less complicated than the fancy words imply and easy to prevent.

What Is My Microsoft Account Recovery Email?

Your Microsoft account recovery email address is an important part of making sure you never lose access to your account.

Don’t Be Ashamed or Smug

If you're embarrassed at having fallen for a scam, it's tempting to want hide and not tell anyone. But it's important to learn from the experience and share it. There's no need to feel shame.

How Can I Tell If a Web Address Is Safe?

URLs are simple in concept, yet can be constructed in ways that might fool you. I'll look at some examples and discuss what's important.

How Do I Sign In to a Different Gmail Account?

There are several ways to be signed in to multiple Gmail accounts simultaneously. I'll review the most common and what I find the most useful.

Can You Recommend a Good External Hard Drive?

Quality and features in external hard drives change over time. First, look at what you need.

6 Steps to Dealing With Phone Spam

Phone spam, be it voice or text, is as annoying as it is persistent. Here's what (little) you can do.

How Can Passkeys Possibly Be Safe?

Passkeys may feel confusing now, but they're a doorway to a more secure, less frustrating, passwordless future.

Why Does Software Only Seem to Get Bigger?

It's a march of technological progress: computers can do more, and we expect software to do more. That leaves those of us with older machines in a difficult spot.