Is It Safe to Download from Download Sites?


Hi, Leo. I seem to remember reading some time ago that it was not safe to download anything from CNet plus I suffered a malware infection, which might have been caused by a download from that site. I’ve been reading your article about Macrium Reflect and considered downloading the free version from the CNet website. What’s your opinion on CNet? Do you think it’s safe to download from this site? I’m presently using Windows XP.

I actually now recommend that you avoid all download sites if at all possible. There are simply too many stories exactly like yours: downloads that come with much more than is expected.

Read moreIs It Safe to Download from Download Sites?

Why Aren’t My Friends Getting My Email?


Hi, Leo. I have two friends in Europe who do not receive my emails nor can I get theirs. Neither one of us has the other marked as spam so what’s going on?

To be honest, it’s almost impossible to say. I will throw out a few ideas based on how the email system might be working, but I really don’t know of a direct or specific way to fix this.

I do however have one workaround for you to at least try.

Read moreWhy Aren’t My Friends Getting My Email?

Why Does Windows File Explorer Right-click Take so Long?


I’m running Windows 8.1. Lately, when I’m in File Explorer, I right-click, the menu takes a very long time to appear. For example, if I wanted to delete a file, I can use the delete key and get the normal immediate response but the right-click takes seconds to appear. For Delete, the keyboard is an easy and fast work around even for multiple files. But Rename? Or Open with? And yes, I back up, I really do. I’ve now restored back about as far as I want to go with no improvement. I’d be willing to go further back if there’s a specific program I could look for. Any ideas?

You know, Windows often gets the blame for this kind of thing but it turns out it’s rarely Windows’ fault. If anything it’s Windows fault for being so accommodating with the various programs that you can install.

Read moreWhy Does Windows File Explorer Right-click Take so Long?

Would deleting Facebook help clear up a malware infection?


Is there such a thing as a computer that’s not infected? I’ve been diligently and faithfully watching my XP for years and yet I’ve been invaded by malware and cannot get rid of it. I’m using AVG 2014; updating it the first thing every day when I turn on the computer. Running MS Security Essentials, Malwarebytes anti-malware yet I have been infected by something called Friendschecker that pops up in Firefox and Internet Explorer. I searched high and low for some tool to delete this despicable program but no luck so far.

Googling is useless as the responses are full of “go to Control Panel, choose friendschecker and delete it.” The program just doesn’t show up. I use CCleaner and Advanced Uninstaller (both fabulous tools) but they don’t find this program. Noted that I use the free tools but what I noticed is that this virus seems to have migrated over to my netbook while it is connected to my home network. As a long time computer user, I’m at my wits’ end. Could you please suggest a virus remover program that is better than the ones I’ve listed? What about deleting Facebook completely? Could that help? I think I deleted something from Facebook, people I have no connection to at all, so I have no problem trying to delete Facebook if it can be done at all.

To be clear, deleting Facebook won’t help. Facebook is nothing more than a website you visit. It actually doesn’t install anything on your computer, so there’s nothing to delete. There are occasionally rogue apps that try to install stuff on your computer, but you usually get those by visiting sites other than Facebook where they try to get you to download something. That’s more traditional malware, as it does in fact download and install on your machine.

Now, I’m not even saying that’s how you got this.

To be honest, I don’t really know exactly how you got it. Somehow, somewhere, though, something was indeed downloaded and installed on your machine.

Read moreWould deleting Facebook help clear up a malware infection?

Should I Defrag TrueCrypt?

Should I defrag a TrueCrypt volume and if so, should I do it with the volume open or closed? 

You know, that’s one that I haven’t thought of before. But now that you bring it up, I intend to act on it.

I believe the answer is yes. You should defrag and yes, do it with the volume open, but with one caveat.

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Where Did these Oddly-named Folders Come From, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?


I run Windows XP Professional on my Dell OptiPlex desktop. I also have a 1 TB My Passport removable drive for storing my data by just copying to the drive. I discovered two folders suddenly appearing on the folders on that drive. Four additional folders have now been added to the previous two. The folders have these numbers: 9c132e36a0fc6471430a1e192 and similar. Each folder contains two folders names amd64 and i386. Only the first folder with the top numbers contain some data. Access is denied each time I want to delete them. How can I delete them and prevent further incursion of these folders on to the removable drive?

This isn’t some kind of malicious incursion. It’s actually expected. It’s simply a side effect of how some software setup programs operate and how sometimes they don’t clean up after themselves.

Read moreWhere Did these Oddly-named Folders Come From, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?