Ask Leo! #394 – What The File? Transferring Gmail, why I don’t partition my disk, network traffic and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

What's this file that ends in ".dll" or ".exe"?

I found a file on my machine that I don't recognize called "________.exe." What is it? Can I delete it?

My computer keeps crashing with a problem in "________.dll", but I've never heard of this file and have no idea what it does. How do I find out?

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This is actually an update to an article that I originally wrote in 2003, and it's just as relevant today as it was back then.

In the years since, I've received various forms of this question quite literally hundreds of times. The two above are simply examples where the "________" is the name of some file - often obscure - that someone has discovered for various reasons and doesn't recognize.

Most often, the question "what is this?" is really just a replacement for the real question: "Is this malware?"

Maybe. Maybe not.

Here are steps I take, ranging from easy to obscure, to try and track down just what the DLL is going on. This approach actually works for EXEs and many other types of files if you're trying to track one of those down.

Continue reading: What's this file that ends in ".dll" or ".exe"?
http://ask-leo.com/C1838

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #57 - Data travel patterns, certificate errors, transferring Gmail, moving hard drives and more...

Do you wonder how data travels through lines without mixing up, or about those sign-in pages on open Wi-Fi systems? Thinking about transferring Gmail or partitioning a drive? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #57 - Data travel patterns, certificate errors, transferring Gmail, moving hard drives and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5862

Why is my laptop hot and why does it eventually crash?
Some laptops don't have the proper ventilation to handle a high CPU load for a length of time, which causes them to protectively shut down or crash.
Continue reading: Why is my laptop hot and why does it eventually crash?
http://ask-leo.com/C5863

Can I take the hard drive with Windows installed on my Toshiba laptop and have it work on my HP laptop?
This is usually a bad idea, and even when it appears to work, you're never really certain that everything's been fixed up properly.
Continue reading: Can I take the hard drive with Windows installed on my Toshiba laptop and have it work on my HP laptop?
http://ask-leo.com/C5864

How do I transfer my email stored in Gmail to another online email service?
I believe the only reasonable way to transfer a large bulk of email from one email service to another is to use IMAP and a desktop program as the middle man.
Continue reading: How do I transfer my email stored in Gmail to another online email service?
http://ask-leo.com/C5865

Why don't you partition your hard disk so that programs are on C and data is on D?
Ultimately, the reason why I don't talk about partitioning drives for software management is because it's not something I believe in.
Continue reading: Why don't you partition your hard disk so that programs are on C and data is on D?
http://ask-leo.com/C5866

Why does an https certificate work under one browser but not another?
Many browsers don't install the full set of root certificates when you install a browser. That can result in these errors.
Continue reading: Why does an https certificate work under one browser but not another?
http://ask-leo.com/C5867

Why do I get "write protected" when I copy a file to an external destination?
It depends on what external device you're talking about when you're talking about the destination for your file, but the error messages give us a clue.
Continue reading: Why do I get "write protected" when I copy a file to an external destination?
http://ask-leo.com/C5868

Do network communications have different channels or only one?
When it comes to network segments, there's really one pipe that carries all of the information from all of the computers. And the information is colliding all the time.
Continue reading: Do network communications have different channels or only one?
http://ask-leo.com/C5869

If an open Wi-Fi hotspot displays a page asking me to login, does that make it secure?
It's probably a legal terms of service statement. It's important to realize that it has nothing to do with your security.
Continue reading: If an open Wi-Fi hotspot displays a page asking me to login, does that make it secure?
http://ask-leo.com/C5870

Can I determine whether two IP addresses come from the same source?
There's really no way for the average person to determine the end location of an IP addresses.
Continue reading: Can I determine whether two IP addresses come from the same source?
http://ask-leo.com/C5871

Do YouTube downloads slow internet loading?
I think the fact that you downloaded these videos is probably coincidental, unrelated to something else going on with your machine.
Continue reading: Do YouTube downloads slow internet loading?
http://ask-leo.com/C5872

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

executable

An executable is a file containing instructions for a computer to run or execute.

In other words, executable is often simply another word for "program," or a file containing a computer program.

Ultimately, all computer programs are nothing more than a series of simple instructions and the computer's CPU is said to execute those instructions one after the other.

Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Thoughts and Comments

I'm going completely off-topic today, so if you're interested in only my thoughts about computers and technology, you can stop reading here. Have a great week!

As my Facebook fans may have seen, I spent much of last week sitting in a parking lot outside of a hotel near the Portland, Oregon airport.

Why would I do such a thing, you might ask?

Well, my wife and I accompanied our dog's breeder and a friend to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi 2012 National Specialty. It's the annual U.S. Pembroke-only show and our dog's breeder was going to be showing a couple of her dogs.

My job? Driving, lifting heavy things, and dog sitting the remaining dogs outside while others were being shown inside. Fortunately, the hotel Wi-Fi covered the parking lot nicely. Smile

Now, normally, I'd probably not make a big deal of it; it was a good time with good people and good dogs.

But one dog stood out.

You see, out of the hundreds of dogs that were entered, our breeder's dog Herman came out on top, winning Best of Breed. Needless to say, we were thrilled. We consider Herman "family" for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that he's the grandson of our first Corgi.

Just a couple of pictures, including one of Herman, are here.

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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