Ask Leo! #441 – Why don’t people back up? Password reset disks, Office 2013 subscription, running without a net and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why don't people back up?

I recently posted a recommendation for a specific backup program, but it got me to thinking about backing up in general.

It’s a common topic here on Ask Leo! and for a good reason. Not a day goes by that I don’t see somebody suffering for lack of a backup. Not a day goes by that I don’t see somebody who could have avoided a serious problem simply by having had a backup.

So why don’t more people back up?

Continue Reading: Why don't people back up?
http://askleo.com/?p=3388

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How Do I Create a Windows 7 Password Reset Disk, and Why Would I Want To?

Since the day that password protection was invented, users (and the people that help them) have been dealing with the “lost password problem.” You know how it goes; you or someone you know can’t log in to their account because they can’t recall their password.

Take it from me, it happens. A lot.

For a long time – at least since Windows XP and probably before – Windows has included the ability to create a password reset disk that you can use in cases where you’ve forgotten your Windows login password.

There are a few prerequisites to using this tool. The most important one is you must create the disk before you actually need it.

Continue Reading: How Do I Create a Windows 7 Password Reset Disk, and Why Would I Want To?
http://askleo.com/?p=3395

*** Answercast

Answercast #104 - IE8 errors, advertising popups, defragging D, telling you are hacked and more...

Listen
Listen Now!
(Includes the raw transcript on which the articles below were based.)

How to tell if your email, computer, or Facebook has been hacked
It's actually quite difficult for the typical user to tell if their computer is being hacked. Email and Facebook are another story.

Continue reading: How to tell if your email, computer, or Facebook has been hacked
http://askleo.com?p=3414

Why do I get script error messages in Windows 8 and not prior versions of Windows?
The tiled browser seems to be a different version of Internet Explorer. From what I can tell, it has reduced features and is less functional when compared with the normal Internet Explorer.

Continue reading: Why do I get script error messages in Windows 8 and not prior versions of Windows?
http://askleo.com?p=3433

Is the Office 2013 subscription really worth it?
When Microsoft Office included the Office 2013 subscription on Windows 8 as something that home users could purchase, I had the same reaction. Then I did the math.

Continue reading: Is the Office 2013 subscription really worth it?
http://askleo.com?p=3440

Should I defrag the D drive on my Windows XP?
If you have a heavily used drive, make sure that it’s getting defragged on a regular basis. If it’s not getting used that heavily, there’s no harm in defragging it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way.

Continue reading: Should I defrag the D drive on my Windows XP?
http://askleo.com?p=3444

Why is Norton preventing me from installing Classic Shell?
The problem is that some third-party download sites (not all) actually add software to your download. It could be possible that Norton is correctly preventing you from downloading viruses.

Continue reading: Why is Norton preventing me from installing Classic Shell?
http://askleo.com?p=3447

Why is a website telling me I need IE8 when I already run IE8?
It might be the website's fault. It might be the browser's fault. Either way, start by trying a different browser.

Continue reading: Why is a website telling me I need IE8 when I already run IE8?
http://askleo.com?p=3450

Does Windows support drives larger than two terabytes?
Windows certainly does support large drives, at the worst you may have to overcome some formatting issues.

Continue reading: Does Windows support drives larger than two terabytes?
http://askleo.com?p=3456

Should I be worried about the "open in other locations" message from Gmail?
This is an interesting feature in Gmail. When you’re traveling, it’s kind of fun to see where Gmail thinks you’ve been accessing it from.

Continue reading: Should I be worried about the "open in other locations" message from Gmail?
http://askleo.com?p=3540

How do I get rid of this advertising popup that keeps coming back?
If your anti-malware tools removed the malware but this browser hijack keeps coming back, then you might be doing something to invite it back on to your system.

Continue reading: How do I get rid of this advertising popup that keeps coming back?
http://askleo.com?p=3522

I run no anti-virus software and now have viruses. What should I do?
It’s very possible that your machine has become so infected that recovery really isn’t a possibility. If this is the case, the only practical solution is to wipe the slate clean and start over from scratch.

Continue reading: I run no anti-virus software and now have viruses. What should I do?
http://askleo.com?p=3526

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

A backup is nothing more than an additional copy of data kept in a different location than the original.

If there’s only one copy of something – say a photograph on a mobile phone – then it’s not backed up. If that device were to fail or be lost, then the photograph would be lost forever as well.

Computers are excellent at making copies of digital data, and backups are one important use of that functionality.

It’s generally recommended that important data be backed up in at least one, ideally more, separate devices or media, such as an external hard disk. In addition it’s recommended that critical data also be backed up in another physical location, such as a different building or by backing it up online.

More than anything the important concept is that there never be a single copy of important data. That’s not backed up.

See also: back up

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.

*** Featured Reader Comments

There's Just No Need to Hate Windows 8

Ken B writes:

I, too, was hesitant to take the plunge into Windows 8, for all the same reasons as everyone else. (The "everything's a touch-enabled tablet" mindset of many "Metro" apps is probably near the top.)

However, last November I was "forced"(*) to upgrade my Windows 7 laptop to Windows 8, and I pretty much agree with your "what was all the fuss about" opinion. I haven't bothered with Classic Shell, and instead have grown accustomed to the tiled menu. (And I like the global "search" capabilities in it.) I still do 99% of my work on the "old" desktop, and the few changes rarely get in my way.

If you're good with Windows 7, then you can be just fine with Windows 8. Mostly because, Windows 8 essentially is Windows 7.
Under the hood, Vista is Windows 6. And, ignoring the marketing hype, "Windows 7" is really Windows 6.1, and "Windows 8" is really Windows 6.2. (Just open a command prompt window and type "ver" if you don't believe me.)

(*) The HD in my Windows 7 laptop died. After installing a new HD and restoring my backup, Windows started throwing up the "not genuine" warning. (The only change was the hard drive.) Apparently, the new HD was enough to trigger Windows' WGA tests, which failed. After numerous attempts to remedy this (it turns out that one of the critical system files, which I apparently never use, but which WGA needs to verify things) had been corrupted some time in the past. Being a "protected" file, I wasn't able to find a way to fix the situation. It became clear that my options were to factory-fresh restore the system, and reinstall all of my programs, or bite the bullet and upgrade to Windows 8. Given that the upgrade was only $39, it was the most cost-effective method of getting me up and running again.

I actually don't read much into the internal version number - 6, 6.1, 6.2. I believe Microsoft has been fighting compatibility issues should they change it to, say, 7, so instead elect to let it change at that slower rate. I certainly don't take it as a measure of the scope of the change from one version to another.

-Leo

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If I let my neighbor share my WiFi, can they see my network traffic?

Alan Jones writes:

Letting someone share your wifi is a bit like lending a friend money, you may lose both.

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Why I don't like System Restore

Ken B writes:

System Restore has come in handy numerous times for fixing client systems. (At a minimum, to get to the point of having a non-booting system booting again, so the rest of the problems can be fixed.) It's come in handy numerous times to repair a corrupted registry.

On the other hand, I've also seen a perfectly good, newly-fixed system brought to its knees by someone else carelessly using System Restore. (Basically, they restored it to a bad state. We're considering implementing a policy where we create a restore point after fixing such a system, and deleting all old restore points, to prevent something like that from happening again.)

In short: I see no problem letting the system make restore points. Just don't restore to one unless someone who knows what he's doing says to do so. (And don't rely on them to magically fix any problem you may have.)

Agree completely. The key words here are "don't rely". If it works, fantastic. But be prepared (usually with a backup) for the case where it doesn't.

-Leo

*** Thoughts and Comments

Today's newsletter might look a teensy bit different around the edges. Much of it was assembled automatically, with a few parts manually pasted in. The goal is nearly complete automation ... this is a step in that direction.

Quoting last week: "pardon our dust" Smile

See you next week,

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
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