Ask Leo! #351 – Decompressing Windows compression, paying for free software, IP addresses, paging files and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

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Will not having a paging file slow down my system?

If I turn off my paging file, I've heard that in most cases it will actually slow down the computer rather than speed it up as it would logically seem to because of the way that memory is managed. Could you shed some light on that?


Windows memory management is complex, confusing and the stuff of nightmares. And that's for the people who "understand" it. Smile

In this audio segment from an Ask Leo! webinar I'll discuss paging files and virtual memory and why I don't see how not having a paging file could slow you down.

Continue reading: Will not having a paging file slow down my system?

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How do I decompress all the files that Windows compressed for me?

When I used the Windows Disk Cleanup Tool it compressed old files. Is there a program to decompress all files on my PC that have been compressed?


There is indeed a program that will do that.

It's called Microsoft Windows. Smile

What I mean is that you don't need to download or get any additional programs to decompress the files on your system; you can do it right from within Windows.

Continue reading: How do I decompress all the files that Windows compressed for me?

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Why should I pay for free software?

I've used [removed] products for several years. Rather than glossing over the Donate invitation that comes up when downloading/installing [product], I would strongly recommend and encourage users to consider donating any amount to support further development of the software program(s). I have contributed twice and would encourage others to do so at least once.


Obviously this wasn't so much a question as it is a statement or a recommendation made by one of my readers.

A recommendation that I agree with.


Yes, I believe that if you can you should "pay" for most free software that you find valuable and use regularly.

I'll explain why.

Continue reading: Why should I pay for free software?

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Answercast #14 - Lots of Firefox and Mac questions, alternate emails, slowing videos, filling up hard drives and more...

Continue reading: Answercast #14 - Lots of Firefox and Mac questions, alternate emails, slowing videos, filling up hard drives and more...

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*** Comments

How do I get my computer back to like-new without reformatting?

Jack writes:

You do not need to do it every year. I've done it approx. every three years, i.e. typically after every major hardware/OS update. The key to success here is HOW you maintain your computer's software environment. I have a good piece of security software, run 1-2 times a month HD defrag, registry error checking, registry defrag, and CCleaner. Maybe most importantly I keep my software updated with the aid of Secunia PSI and automated MS updates. I do also backup my data.

I do work with my computer a lot with a wide variety of programs and medias, including office file formats, binary and text data, photos, video, e-mail and internet. And I have never (so far) had any major issues with software. No malware, no data lost, no hang-ons, etc. I guess the only way to improve significantly would be using HD images to clean the HD every month or so, but my way has worked for me so far fine.


Can I replace my LCD screen from one laptop to another?

David B writes:

I've replaced the keyboard and screen on my daughter's ASUS laptop - definitely not for the faint of heart. Not only is the access a challenge, but dealing with ribbon connectors and tiny screws can be not fun.

One of the things that can often be upgraded by most people on a laptop is RAM. Access is usually pretty easy and there are instructions in the user materials.


What causes my computer to fail a Smart Short Self Test, and do I have to reformat?

Richard writes:

I am just in the process of replacing a failing drive, after getting a SMART warning from the BIOS at boot. I downloaded a program that displayed the SMART data and at that time some 1800 sectors had become unusable and had been relocated to other sectors. By the time I copied the data off the drive the number had increased by several hundred and by the time I removed the drive from my system (a few days later) the number of relocated sectors was over 3000. The manufacturer had a downloadable test tool which verified that the drive needed to be replaced under warranty. Keying the test result code into their website generated an RMA, authorizing the return for replacement of the 2 Tb drive. I am waiting with bated breath for UPS to deliver its replacement.


Where is "Run" in Windows 7?

Bill Landau writes:

There is another option you didn't mention: click on Start (the Orb) and type the command you want to run and hit enter. By default, when you hit Start, the focus is in the "Search programs and files" box. If you enter any of the commands such as Cmd or RegEdit, they will be run when you hit enter. I think that's one of the reasons that Run is not shown by default.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Just a reminder that the next live Webinar will be one week from Sunday. Webinar #12 - Q&A will be Sunday the 13th at 1PM PDT / 9PM UTC.

Bring questions ... lots of questions. Smile

My, my, my this DNS Changer malware has generated a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding. I've had more people asking me if the internet (seriously, THE INTERNET) is going to be "turned off" on July 9 because of this thing.

Let me be super clear:

The Internet will not be turned off on July 9th.

Not only is there no such concept (the internet isn't something you can just "turn off"), the idea is completely and totally wrong.

On July 9th a couple of DNS servers are being turned off. (Seriously, it might quite literally be just a couple of machines.) Because of the DNS Changer malware of a couple of years ago some folks who a) were infected and b) haven't updated or scanned for malware since then might be impacted. It'll kinda look like the internet stopped working, but only for them.

You can read more about it in an article from a couple of weeks ago: Will I lose internet access in July?.

I'm pretty convinced that July 9th will come and go and you and I won't notice a thing.

That's mostly because we've all been running up-to-date anti-malware tools and were either never infected in the first place, or those tools have dealt with the malware already.

Heck, it's been long enough ago that just having set up a machine in the last 12 months or so is probably enough to have completely side-stepped the problem.

I support the efforts to get the word out, but folks writing the news need to write headlines that reflect facts, not sensationalism.

'till next week...

Leo A. Notenboom
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