Why would scanning a disk be quick, but just a file on it be slow?

//

Leo, I’ve got a portable hard drive that contains various PC disk image files. All of which take up about 500 GB in total. When I right-click on the root directory to scan the portable drive with my Norton Internet Security software, the scan is completed in about 5 seconds. However, when I scan just one of the disk image files contained therein, it would take over 30 minutes which is roughly the time it takes to directly perform a full scan on the PC. The same behavior is exhibited when I scan with Malwarebytes. Why is it that scanning the entire 500 GB portable hard drive at one time is so incredibly faster than scanning just one of the files in that portable hard drive?

Your question brings up some very important distinctions about the different types of scans possible, and the different ways anti-malware tools perform them.

Read moreWhy would scanning a disk be quick, but just a file on it be slow?

Is the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?

//

I was going to ask you this but I posted on Yahoo Answers and got a stupid response. Brick and mortar stores and restaurants are dropping like flies. I was actually referring to Radio Shack at first. Well, today, Quiznos just filed for bankruptcy. The only one near me was turned into a Little Caesar’s. So I’m asking you anyway if this depression is caused by the internet with the web and people buying things online instead of real stores with real workers and across the country instead of a central location called Amazon?

You’re basically asking  “Is the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?”

In my opinion: absolutely not! Things are certainly changing, but that’s nothing new. Things have been changing well before the internet came along.

I’m no economist, but as you can tell, I do have a few opinions and I can go on about this for quite some time. I’ll try and control myself.

Read moreIs the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?

How do I safely switch from one security tool to another?

//

I’ve had AVG, the free version, for years. In the last two weeks or so, even prior to my update a few days ago, I suddenly have to reload my Gmail several times a day because I get a notice telling me my Gmail connection is lost and it starts a countdown to reconnect and never succeeds so I have to reload. I use Chrome and my Chrome browser is now very slow where it went lickety-split before, as recent as two weeks ago.

Now I’ve read where you recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, so I figured I would go that route assuming AVG is what’s causing all the problems listed above. My question to Google got me nowhere. It seems the root of the problem can’t possibly relate it to Gmail or Chrome. Can you tell me the step-by-step instructions I need to follow to safely remove AVG and replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials? I don’t want to leave my computer exposed to threats while I make the changeover.

I want to start by saying that there are many possible reasons for the symptoms you are describing with Gmail and Chrome. The anti-malware tool is one, but it’s not the first one that comes to mind for me. So, while I’ll absolutely walk you through the steps to make the switch (they’re actually pretty simple), I will warn you that this may not resolve your problem.

Read moreHow do I safely switch from one security tool to another?

Does my Windows upgrade disc require that I have the previous operating system installed?

//
Leo, I’ve been thinking about reinstalling my operating system but I’m not sure I can with the installation disc that I have. I had Windows Vista and I then upgraded to Windows 7 Home Premium with a disk that states in the upper left corner of the package, “Upgrade designed for Windows Vista”. Does this mean that it will only install if Windows Vista is present? Or will it install Windows 7 Home Premium on a clean hard disk?

I can’t recall ever seeing a disc with an upgrade designed for a specific operating system. That doesn’t mean there isn’t one; it’s just the first time I’ve heard it put that specifically. So, I can’t say exactly what’s required here, but I can absolutely run down the likely and not-so-likely scenarios.

Read moreDoes my Windows upgrade disc require that I have the previous operating system installed?

Will it be safe to exchange emails with XP users after support ends?

//
I use Windows 7 and Mac OS but like most users, I have friends and family who don’t want to take the time trouble or the expense to get a more modern machine. We’ve heard and read about the risks of running XP when you’re the user but what risks do we face when we exchange email with a die-hard XP user after Microsoft ends life support? What if that loyal XP user never sends anything attached to email? A simple email message can’t carry anything malicious – right?

What a wonderful scenario that I actually hadn’t considered before!

The short answer is yes, you should be quite safe. The longer answer is that you should be quite safe as long as you practice safe computing and you know what you’re looking out for.

Read moreWill it be safe to exchange emails with XP users after support ends?

Is there Software that Will Allow Me to Keep All the Software on My Machine Up to Date?

//
Leo, is there a program updater out there that you recommend? I’m currently running Windows 7 on my laptop and Windows 8 on my desktop.

The answer really depends on what you mean by program updater. If you mean a third party program that will somehow keep track of all the various versions of all the various software that you have installed and try to manage updates for you, there are a couple to try. But it’s an incredibly difficult problem to solve and solve well.

Read moreIs there Software that Will Allow Me to Keep All the Software on My Machine Up to Date?