Ask Leo! #427 – Software as a Bathroom (really), too much bandwidth, installing CDs with no drive and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why wouldn't an exploit be caught by my anti-malware tools?

Why would an exploit, even targeted at a software program (it's listed under "programs" in my Win XP), not be caught or detected by my antivirus program (Avast) or Malwarebytes (running in the background)? If not detectable, how much "damage" can the exploit actually do if users follow prudent operating precautions? Would System Restore be usable if infected? I have also followed your advice and routinely image my Dell laptop.


We do need to clear up a little terminology, but your question is a very good one: how can malware get past anti-malware programs to infect the software installed on your machine?

And more importantly, what can you do to protect yourself?

Let's define some terms with what I'm thinking is my silliest metaphor ever, and then talk about how to stay safe.

Continue reading: Why wouldn't an exploit be caught by my anti-malware tools?

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #90 - Too much bandwidth, too little of a picture, installing software from USB, using CHKDSK and more...

Don't have a CD drive or a program that can read wpg files? Have you lost your System Restore icon; worried about updating drivers? Is it possible to have too much bandwidth or only see half of a picture? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!


Continue reading: Answercast #90 - Too much bandwidth, too little of a picture, installing software from USB, using CHKDSK and more...

Why do I get only half of the pictures displayed in email?
Seeing only half a picture in Thunderbird seems odd. Perhaps the preview screen is cutting it off.
Continue reading: Why do I get only half of the pictures displayed in email?

How do I convert wpg files?
To convert wpg files you'll need a graphics program that can understand Word Perfect graphics files.
Continue reading: How do I convert wpg files?

Is 60 megabits per second too much bandwidth?
Too much bandwidth seems like a misnomer, but if you are not using it, why pay for it?
Continue reading: Is 60 megabits per second too much bandwidth?

How do I get at system restore since it disappeared from my Start menu?
System restore can disappear from the Start Menu for many reasons. It's easy to search for it, but learning to back up your computer is a better idea.
Continue reading: How do I get at system restore since it disappeared from my Start menu?

Why doesn't CHKDSK work on my DVD drive?
CHKDSK will not run on DVDs because it is a hard disk repair and checking utility. DVDs are not hard drives.
Continue reading: Why doesn't CHKDSK work on my DVD drive?

Should I update drivers regularly?
You should update drivers only when you are having a problem with your computer. Driver update utilities, that update regularly, are not necessary.
Continue reading: Should I update drivers regularly?

Will deleting history free up space?
Deleting history to free up space depends on what kind of history you are talking about. But it probably won't be much space.
Continue reading: Will deleting history free up space?

How do I install software from CD to a computer that has no CD drive?
A computer with no CD drive still needs to have software installed on it. It can often be done through your USB drive.
Continue reading: How do I install software from CD to a computer that has no CD drive?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Comments

The Most Important Attitude

Richard D. Hawley writes:

I REALLY enjoyed this article as I do most articles by Leo. But this time it really hit home for me! I had to agree 100% whole heartily about the attitude thing. I personally am surrounded on a daily basis with the "stuck in the muds" that are the totally resistant to change types. It could have to do with the fact that I am a senior citizen and most all my friends are S.C.'s I on the other hand have adopted the new computerization of the planet, "full fold" in so doing it has given me "endless" learning opportunities on a daily basis which keeps my mind alert and full of much enjoyment upon learning how to access the things that I am interested in, by utilizing the power of the "WWW"!. I truly find it all quite amazing!


The Most Important Skill

Bnp writes:

At a small upstate New York college I was waiting for my first conference with my freshman English professor. I had little to worry about as I had been in advanced English courses in high school.

He called me in and I sat at his desk noticing the red pencil marks all over my work.

I squirmed visibly, and he finally looked up and said, "Mister Phillips, I am not going to ask you how you got into college but how you got out of high school?"

I stammered, not realizing it was not a question.

As I dropped my eyes to study the designs in the carpet, he further stated that if I wished to embarrass myself for the rest of my life with misspellings and horrible grammar that was up to me.

But, (in his course) I will learn how to use the written word to say what I am trying to explain. He then read aloud some of my work and asked me if that was what I was trying to say.

Now as an old man I often think this was the best advice I ever received.

-bnp (on the most important skill)


The Most Important Skill

Ken B writes:

I'd like to add one sub-topic to "ability to communicate", and that is "using the correct terminology". While one would hardly expect your auto mechanic to know what you mean if you tell him the "whatchamacallit" is making strange noises, many people can't understand why their computer tech doesn't understand what they mean by "the little picture thingy".

Or, worse, using a correct name, but of the wrong part.

Case in point... My wife was trying to help someone who posted a "new hard drive wanted" notice. After several back-and-forths, trying to determine the type (IDE? SATA? SCSI?) by describing the connectors, and the size of the drive he wanted, a simple statement made by the poster -- that he just wanted a new "hard drive" to plug into his "Dell monitor" -- it became clear that what he really wanted was an entire new computer. (And, of course, he had the nerve to blame my wife for "wasting" *his* time.)

Yep, I get those all the time. The one that I get frequently is "CPU" referring to the desktop computer box - e.g. as in your case "the computer". The CPU is only one tiny part inside that box, not the box itself.



Why did Microsoft not provide the option of Windows 8 without Metro?

Greg Bulmash writes:

Microsoft provided an awesome alternative to the start menu and desktop search. It's a unified search. Use the Windows key + Q to search in any application. You can search installed programs, settings, files, or elements within other programs like the Windows 8 app store. I type Win+Q and then the first couple of letters of the application I want to open.

But your older-style start menu is actually still there. They just don't give you a button and the interface you're used to. Type Win+R to open the run dialog and enter: %appdata%MicrosoftWindowsStart Menu

There's your start menu. I found this because I wanted to put an item in my "startup" folder.

And last, if you want the old file search you're used to, open Windows Explorer on the desktop (Win+E or click the folder icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop screen) then hit the F3 key and you're searching in Explorer instead of the Modern UI interface.

*** Leo Recommends

What Security Software do you recommend?

As you might imagine, I get these questions in various forms all the time. As a result, I do have recommendations in various articles all over Ask Leo!.

Here's the short version that sums it all up.

Continue reading: What Security Software do you recommend?

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

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