Ask Leo! #451 – Losing disk space, forwarding Hotmail, hacked webcams, WAIK and more…

The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

How do I automatically forward Hotmail in

I’m changing email accounts, but I don’t want to lose people who have my Hotmail address. How do I automatically forward Hotmail messages messages to my new account at a different provider?

The recent forced switch-over to the user interface left many long-time Hotmail users upset and dissatisfied. Many are considering leaving behind, except that this would mean abandoning their email address.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to automatically forward Hotmail messages or any email that comes into your account to another email provider.

Continue Reading: How do I automatically forward Hotmail in

Where's my disk space going?

Our disc drive is split into a C and a D drive which both have between 30 and 40GB on each. We only ever save on the D drive, but the C drive is up to about 31.9GB with 540MB left available! Apart from about 5GB of photos, I can’t understand what is taking up all the memory. The memory seems to continually go down and is now getting to a critical level. I have run spyware and adware checks and deleted all critical errors, but still not been able to free up any memory. I can’t even defrag as I need 20% free to run this option.

Disappearing disk space is a common scenario. Somehow, no matter how much we have, disk space never seems enough. As we collect pictures and programs (and programs themselves collect data), more disk space is consumed unless files are deleted. With so much happening on our computers these days, it’s almost impossible to simply and quickly realize exactly what’s taking up space.

Fortunately, there’s a free tool that I frequently recommend that can give us some very helpful data.

Continue Reading: Where's my disk space going?

*** Answercast

Answercast 114 - Hacked webcams, forever forwarding, laptop hard drives, WAIK and more...

Do you ever wonder about changing a laptop's hard drive or rearranging the startup sequence? Want to forward email addresses or worried that your webcam has been hacked? Having problems with websites disappearing or Java warnings? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

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

How hard is it to change a laptop hard disk?

It 's impossible to say how hard it may be for any one person, but, let me go down a list of things that you need to think about it when it's time to replace a hard drive in a laptop.

Continue reading: How hard is it to change a laptop hard disk?

Why did this site go away? And how do I contact the owner?
The site you're used to visiting has simply gone away. Tracking down the owner might not be easy to do.

Continue reading: Why did this site go away? And how do I contact the owner?

What is WAIK that Macrium seems to want me to download?

The Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) allows programs like Macrium Reflect to create bootable rescue media. If you don't have this, you have two options.

Continue reading: What is WAIK that Macrium seems to want me to download?

Can my PC get a virus from my smartphone?

Your computer is safe from any virus using the phone's operating system. But if you are using your smartphone as a USB device... that's another story.

Continue reading: Can my PC get a virus from my smartphone?

How do I tell if my email has been hacked?

It can be surprisingly hard to tell if an email account has been hacked, especially when the hackers are covering their tracks. I'll show you a few possible signs.

Continue reading: How do I tell if my email has been hacked?

What if the forwarding service goes away?
There is little that you or I can do when a website goes away except to use online tools to try to trace it, or find some other way to replicate the service.

Continue reading: What if the forwarding service goes away?

Why is Java telling me it's not installed when it is?
Java in your browser, and Java on your computer, are actually two different, related, things. If you install it in the browser, then it won't work elsewhere. Confused? I don't blame you!

Continue reading: Why is Java telling me it's not installed when it is?

How do webcams get hacked?
The bottom line is - avoid malware. Do all of the things you know to do to keep your machine safe and malware-free and you will also keep your webcam secure.

Continue reading: How do webcams get hacked?

Can I access one email account from another?
It is often quite simple to set up one email address as your main address that picks up all your other email - depending on the services you use on various accounts. The trick is deciding which way you want to go.

Continue reading: Can I access one email account from another?

How do I change the Start sequence?
I believe the people who designed anti-malware software understand when it needs to load during the Startup sequence. If they didn't put it first, there is probably a reason why.

Continue reading: How do I change the Start sequence?

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week


Root actually has several different meanings in technology.

When applied to hard disks or other file storage media, the root refers to the “top most” folder in which files are placed.

File systems allow you to organize files into folders, and of course folders can contain other folders. This is typically thought of as a tree structure (often, though not always, conceptually drawn and thought of as an upside down tree). For example:

Folder Tree

A folder tree (click for larger version)

In this image “C:\” represets the “root” of the C: drive; the top-most folder into which files and folders can be placed. It is unique in that it is, itself, not contained within another folder.

When applied to operating systems root is the name of the administrator or super-user account in Linux and Unix systems. It is conceptually equivalent to the Windows “Administrator” account.

To root a device is to gain access to the root account or its equivalent so as to be able to perform actions such as installing or uninstalling software that would otherwise be prevented by the system’s default configuration.

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

How do I remove ransomware?

Dane writes:

I had a similar infection. And after booting into safe mode and recovering from a previous restore point, all seemed to work just great. However, I have always been a firm believer in reloading my machine from scratch more or less once a year. Eventually two things held me back - I grew tired of the seemingly endless windows updates and I wasn't so sure I had all the license information for the software I've download through the years. But another leader in tech advice maintains that in most cases, you just can't be sure if you've removed all the infection and that it is best to reload your machine.

So recently using a second hard drive, I took my time, collected all info and backed up the data using four different methods (a cloned disk image to an alternate disk, Windows image backup, Acronis WD edition image to an external hard drive and finally used Windows Easy Transfer copy my data to an external hard drive.) Some worked much better than others and my machine can't seem to write a windows rescue disk that actually works (so it's a good thing I can work around this).

Anyway, my reloaded machine is much faster and more stable running the original drive, I now have an image of factory install of my machine with windows updated to June 2013 to get things going much faster next time around and before long I'll clone this new image to the faster WD Green variable speed drive. Or better still, treat myself to a shiny new solid state drive for the OS and APPS!

You must be careful and methodical, but I still recommend infrequently reloading a machine to be sure your free of riffraff and stragglers. Cheers!

Why does the size of my Office file grow excessively after I make simple changes?

bob price writes:

For small files, this does not matter, but my business reports can be hundreds of pages long with charts and pictures. They can become enormous. What John recommended on June 11 is correct. When all the edits are done and the report is ready, simply use "save as" and rename it. I just add "rev1" at the end of the original file name to keep track. This will radically reduce file size.

Will Windows XP keep working after support ends?

Mark Jacobs writes:

One statement which I tend to have some reservations about: "you may actually be kind of more secure by having the older operating system that the malware authors aren't paying attention to either."

I believe that was true in the case of Windows 98 after XP had come out, but I'm not sure if that will be true about windows XP after it is no longer supported. XP still has close to 40% market share of OSs. XP has such a loyal following that when support stops, it will still have probably well over 30%. In that case I thing that it will become prime target for hackers, with known vulnerabilities and such a large pool of unpatched machines.

*** Thoughts and Comments

Interesting news over the weekend: Microsoft is shutting down MSN TV.

Originally known as Web TV, this service was primarily a set-top box that allowed you to connect to the internet on your TV.

At the time it was released the primary means of connecting was via dial-up modem, and this was long before TVs had themselves gone digital. With broadband internet connections now the norm, and computers and other connected devices proliferating like crazy, MSN TV's time has certainly come to an end.

However there are definitely people still using the service.

If that's you, Microsoft has a FAQ available at the MSN TV Website. Unfortunately the FAQ is unclear on this, but my guess is that if you've been able to login to with your MSN TV or Web TV email account, you'll hopefully continue to get your email there after the service ends.

Naturally if I find out different before the closure date in September, I'll let you know.

Leo A. Notenboom
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