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Ask Leo! #489 – Backing Up, Hacking your Administrator Account, Internet vs. Brick-and-mortar, and more…

*** The Universe Speaks - and I listen

Last week I attended an internet entrepreneur's conference / mastermind group. I've been attending twice a year for well over a decade now, and learn a tremendous amount from the group. They are, in fact, directly responsible for Ask Leo!'s very existence.

This trip I learned that I've been doing you a grave disservice by doing a poor job telling you about my books on backing up. "Imagine someone not backing up and losing everything - where if you had mentioned your book they might have used it to back up and would have lost nothing" is what I was told.

Another member reminded me that yesterday (March 31) was World Backup Day.

When both my group and the universe are trying to tell me something it seems silly for me to resist.

So here's the deal

Maintaining Windows 7 - Backing Up

Buy a copy of Maintaining Windows 7 - Backing Up, register it using the link in the book, and you'll also get immediate access to downloadable digital copies of the two books that update and replace it: Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect (which applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8) and Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup.

Yep, that's three books for the price of one.

I had planned on removing this offer today, but with the universe telling what it's telling me I've decided to mention it here and run the offer a week longer. On or about April 8th, Maintaining Windows 7 - Backing Up will be removed from sale.

If you're still not convinced ... I have some stories to tell you in the coming weeks. But either way the sale ends next week.

Now, listen to what the universe and I are telling you ... get backed up! Smile

*** Featured

I've lost the password to my Windows Administrator account. How do I get it back?

When I set up my machine, I set a password for the Administrator account and then I promptly forgot it. I never use that account. Now, I need it. What can I do?

Do you have physical access to the machine? Can it boot from a CD or USB drive?


You can't learn what the passwords are, but you can reset any Windows password on that machine that you like.

And if that doesn't scare you, I really need to drive home a point.

Continue Reading: I've lost the password to my Windows Administrator account. How do I get it back?

*** Answercast

Answercast #150 - XP emails, Windows upgrade, keeping up to date, economic problems and more...

Do you think the internet is responsible for the world's economic problems or that email from XP users might become compromised. Do you need help keeping up to date or upgrading Windows? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

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

Is there software that will allow me to keep all the software on my machine up to date?

It's important to keep software up to date, and there are several ways to do it. But when it comes to drivers... be careful!

Continue reading: Is there software that will allow me to keep all the software on my machine up to date?

Will it be safe to exchange emails with XP users after support ends?
XP machines may have a slightly increased risk of spreading malware. But in the end it boils down to safe computing habits - both for you and your friends.

Continue reading: Will it be safe to exchange emails with XP users after support ends?

Does my Windows upgrade disc require that I have the previous operating system installed?
What I'd do first is just try it. If that doesn't work then we'll have to dig a little deeper to find a solution for you.

Continue reading: Does my Windows upgrade disc require that I have the previous operating system installed?

How do I safely switch from one security tool to another?
If you follow a few security measures it's perfectly safe to uninstall an old anti-malware program and then install your new choice.

Continue reading: How do I safely switch from one security tool to another?

Is the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?
Economic change is actually nothing new. I feel pretty strongly that you can't blame the internet for the economy - find out why!

Continue reading: Is the internet directly responsible for our economic problems?

Why would scanning a disk be quick, but just a file on it be slow?
If that large file is a backup image, then maybe your anti-malware tool knows what I know... that there's no point in scanning it.

Continue reading: Why would scanning a disk be quick, but just a file on it be slow?

*** Our Sponsor

Maintaining Windows 7 - Backing Up
Backing up doesn't have to be hard. Let me show you how.
step-by-step instructions and explanations
using both Windows Backup and Macrium Reflect.
Register your purchase to get access to bonus videos & more!
- An Ask Leo! Kindle book for all platforms.
Now also available in PDF and EPUB!

*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Featured Reader Comments

Is OpenOffice a viable alternative to Microsoft Office applications?

Don writes:

Kingsoft has a free version of their office suite that includes word processing, spreadsheet and presentation. The look and feel is very close to Office 2003 with the "classic" theme which I VERY MUCH prefer. Just one gotcha during install offering to add some sort of PC speed-up BS which is easily ignored. As support for Office 2003 ends, I may leave Microsoft"s products behind.

Why am I suddenly getting spam in my inbox?

Mary writes:

I have my own web site and found I must have been picked up by several spammers. Over 100 per day were getting through to my computer.

I have found that Thunderbird is pretty good at spotting spam there. I set it to automatically send Spam to the Trash where I can review it for something I actually want that might have been sent in error.

Google (gmail) has a good reputation for catching spam. Yahoo users might want to check that out. Plus gmail can use POP or SMTP and has a huge amount of space available.

If a Yahoo user, check out the spam settings inside your own Yahoo account. In the past they have changed what comes through automatically and some excess spam may actually come through Yahoo itself.

Will April 9, 2014 be a Very Bad Day for Windows XP Users?

Launi writes:

Hi Leo - you make some really great points here. Thank you for expressing them so concisely! I love the comparison between Windows XP and Y2K, which I believe is a very valid comparison in most senses. But there's one very important point to note here about where the comparison abruptly ends: Y2K was the result of a very real concern about major worldwide systems breaking down due to shortsighted planning by programmers who used abbreviated 2-digit years in code rather than 4-digit years. Fortunately for us all, when zero-day came and went, Y2K ended up being a non-event. Unlike Windows XP, Y2K didn't have hackers, who've demonstrated their abilities on a daily basis, poised to unleash more of the ickiness they've proven they can find and use to exploit the computers upon which we rely so heavily. I believe that Windows XP's zero-day will be a frightening one, indeed, for anyone who is still running this very old and soon-unsupported operating system. Sticking with Windows XP until and past the bitter end just isn't worth the very tangible risk involved here. And for those trying to use Windows XP and a more recent OS in the same network, who's to say that their XP machine won't be exploited in a way that will make it a conduit to compromise the integrity of their other, newer network devices? It's just a bad idea to stick with XP - kick it to the curb and move on.

James B writes:

I'll chance it. I can't afford anything else. We're behind both the Windows and the router firewalls, so I'm fairly confident nothing will get in that is not invited. We're pretty smart when it comes to what we do online and we don't do a lot of downloading or visit unusual websites. When we do have to download it's usually off our Windows 7 laptop. The XP desktop is mostly email these days when someone else is using the laptop. Is there a risk for the desktop computer? Yes, but it's a risk that I am fully informed and aware.

*** Leo's Blog

My new toy

No, not my Mac. That's a topic for another day. :-)

I don't normally talk much about mobile technology because I tend to feel that I'm nowhere near an expert on the topic. Besides, there are plenty of other resources on the web for getting more qualified help.

That being said, I recently upgraded my phone, and I'm so pleased with the results that I wanted to share.

Continue Reading: My new toy

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*** Leo's Books

Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Backing Up 101 Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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