Ask Leo! #341 – More answers than we know what to do with …

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** New Articles

What's an inexpensive way to set up a backup system?

I have a new Win7 PC and I want to buy a backup hard drive that already has your recommended Macrium Reflect installed on it. I would prefer an internal drive but would consider a USB 3.0 external drive as well since I don't have ESAT or Firewire ports on my PC.

I'm not finding either drives with MR (Macrium Reflect) installed on them after much searching. Do you know of places that sell them with Macrium Reflect installed on them since you recommended Macrium Reflect?

If not, my only option is to buy Macrium Reflect and then install it after I buy a backup hard drive which I would prefer not to have to do since it would likely cost more money to buy both separately which I am short on after recent expensive replacements of several other random things. Any help would be appreciated.


In this excerpt from Answercast #4 I discuss why backup software should not come pre installed on a hard drive, and what you can get from free, trial installations.

Continue reading: What's an inexpensive way to set up a backup system?

* * *

Answercast #4: Video crashing & encoding, encrypted files, expiring software, backing up inexpensively and more...

Continue reading: Answercast #4: Video crashing & encoding, encrypted files, expiring software, backing up inexpensively and more...

* * *

Why won't my Truecrypt volume backup?

How can I backup a Truecrypt file container on cloud storage as What are the settings that would work, as timestamp etc.?


One of the nice aspects of Truecrypt volumes is that they are great ways to back up information - to the cloud or elsewhere - safely and securely. Create a volume with a strong passphrase, load up your secure data, dismount and you're good to go.

But ... maybe not.

Depending on the backup technique you use there's a default setting in Truecrypt that might be getting in your way. Fortunately it's an easy fix.

Continue reading: Why won't my Truecrypt volume backup?

* * *

Should I wait for Windows 8?

Is it smart to buy Windows 7 at this point in time now that Windows 8 has been introduced? In other words, if you only have Windows 7 installed by your system manufacturer on your laptop or PC and not separately purchase Microsoft is Microsoft going to stop selling Windows 7 anytime soon?


Unfortunately the release of Windows 8 preview has caused a fair amount of confusion for some folks.

In this video excerpt from a recent Ask Leo! webinar I'll discuss whether Windows 8 should affect your purchase or installation of Windows 7 in any way. (Hint: no.)

Continue reading: Should I wait for Windows 8?

* * *

Answercast #3: User accounts, generator noise, Androids, fooling keyloggers, battery life, deleting files and more...

  • How do I change user accounts in Windows 7?»»

  • My laptop won't boot on a generator.»»

  • Can I be safe with an Android phone connection?»»

  • Troubles connecting to hotel wireless»»

  • Would drag and drop fool keyloggers?»»

  • Battery problems & maximizing battery life »»

  • How do I install my XP Microsoft Office on Win 7?»»

  • How do I find my mail server address?»»

  • Does copying over a file delete it forever?»»

  • Internet Explorer 9 prevents Firefox download.»»

Continue reading: Answercast #3: User accounts, generator noise, Androids, fooling keyloggers, battery life, deleting files and more...

*** Our Sponsor

The Ask Leo! 2011 Archive

All of 2011 at your fingertips!
Full text of early 300 articles published in 2011.
Immediately downloadable PDF, and now available on Kindle!

The Ask Leo! 2011 Archive
Buy it today!

Advertisement. Ask Leo about advertising here.

*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

How do I fix Windows 7 boot problems?

Terry Hollett writes:

My nephew had a problem booting up his new Windows 7 computer that he had gotten for Christmas. Can't remember the exact error message. I first thought it was a corrupted MBR and tried to fix it accordingly but in the end it turned out to be where he had plugged in his USB external hard drive. The computer was trying to boot off it. I went into the BIOS to change the boot up sequence so it wouldn't happen again.


What difference does multiple-overwrite delete really make?

Ken B writes:

We usually describe it to our clients as "how paranoid are you"? Like you say in many of your other answers -- "you're just not that interesting". (And most people just aren't going to spend many thousands of dollars in forensic recovery just so they could steal a few hundred dollars from your PayPal account. Unless they know there's something of value there in the first place, they're not going to bother.)

Though I suppose you could extend your other saying here --- "if it's not physically destroyed, it's not destroyed". Yes, we've given old hard drives to our daughter, along with a sledge hammer and claw hammer, to "take care of" the situation. But, that was more for our daughter's enjoyment than anything else.


How do I read a Kindle book if I don't have a Kindle?

Sheryl S. writes:


Thank You! Lately I've been seeing all kinds of books that Kindle has, but haven't wanted to fork over the money for one yet, till prices drop. This is perfect!

I love how life works and how the universe sees what you need and answers what you want if you only keep your eyes open.

Now I'm off to happily download Kindle books to my PC about this glorious universe. :)


What happens to my initial system image if my system takes an update?

Drew writes:

One way to restore selected files using Windows 7 Open Disk Management click on Action > Attach VHD and browse to your image. You need to look for a file with a .vhd extension, there will probably be two, find the one that has "Users" and click on Users, Windows Explorer will open with your backed up files. Now copy the files you need to your desktop.

*** Thoughts and Comments

A big "Thank You" to everyone who took the time to give me their feedback to make sure I'm on-target with my Maintaining Windows 7 book. If you haven't yet I'll leave the survey open over the weekend since I'd still love to hear your thoughts. Click here to do exactly that.

The Answercast has taken off!

I've done 4(*) so far, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I've received several suggestions to make them more useful, and we've been working hard to make each one a little better than the last.

The latest change to the process is that while the Answercast itself has a page with complete audio, it now has links to the individual questions, each on its own page. I'm hoping this makes the answers easier to find when people need them, and it also allows comments on specific answers to be more clearly posted with that answer. (Yes, your comments are important - I value them highly and I know that other readers do as well.)

That also means that I have too many answers to put them all in each newsletter! So what you'll see here is the Answercast itself - the item that lists the questions that were addressed, and where you'll find the full audio. We'll probably also pick one or two of the questions addressed in that answercast to feature in the newsletter. All this in addition to the "regular" answers published each week.


In addition, if I got all the bits lined up correctly, the answercast is now also available as a podcast. You'll find it in the Apple iTunes store, you you can subscribe directly in your podcast-listening software (aka "podcatcher") by using this URL in that software: (I'm not making that clickable because it's not meant to be displayed in your web browser - it's something you would copy/paste into your podcast listening software. Look for an upcoming article on what that means.)

(*) OK, ok. I've done -5- answercasts so far. Unfortunately I did #5 yesterday with the microphone turned off. Answercasts are a really efficient way for me to answer questions, but without the microphone on I'm only talking to myself, and that helps exactly no one.


'till next week...

Leo A. Notenboom
Facebook - YouTube
Twitter - Google+

*** Administration

Help Ask Leo! Just forward this message, in its entirety (but without your unsubscribe link below) to your friends. Or, just point them at for their own FREE subscription!

Need more help with or have questions about the newsletter? Check out the newsletter administration page.

Newsletter contents Copyright © 2012,
Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC