Ask Leo! #542 – Facebook Fail, Copied Files, Sending Spam, Why Microsoft Didn’t Fix Your Bug, and more…

Leo's Blog

Facebook Fan Friday Fallout

Up until last week, I've held a weekly "Facebook Fan Friday", during which I made a post to the Ask Leo! Facebook page, and responded to every comment made on that post for an hour or so.

It was kind of an AMA, or "Ask Me Anything", session.

My last session with Facebook Fan Friday was frustrating, at best, and I've elected to cancel it – or at least suspend it until further notice.

The question is, what to do instead?

Continue Reading: Facebook Fan Friday Fallout


Can I tell if someone has copied my files?

Is there a way to find out if someone has copied your files? I sent my computer in for repair and became very suspicious about the people doing the work. Is there a way to find out if my files have been copied in any way?


Seriously, that's the complete answer.

I'll explain a little why that is, but the bottom line is that, no, it is impossible to determine if someone has copied your files.

Continue Reading: Can I tell if someone has copied my files?

Am I Sending Spam?

I am a musician. Every couple weeks or so, I will sit down and send a large number of emails (on average 150 – 200) to radio stations, magazines etc. in order to promote my music. My email will usually consist of an attached mp3 and/or links to YouTube videos etc., along with a bio/description about myself and my music. Though I have had many responses through email, there are still several that have never replied. It suddenly occurred to me, as well as not being interested in the music I am sending them, (can't please everyone) could some of my emails be getting marked as spam?

I use a Hotmail account, which I know you say is bad. But I fear that suddenly changing my email will result in a loss of business. I used to send each email individually, personalizing each one, but since my contact list has grown there are not enough hours in the day to do this. So I use Bcc and send them all in one go.

My question is, do my infrequent emails qualify as spam? Despite the fact that they are spread out over numerous weeks, do the large quantities mean that only a certain number are getting through daily?

In short: yes. It's very likely that your emails are being sent to spam folders.

There are several things that could contribute to this. I'll review what I think those are, and what I recommend you do instead.

Continue Reading: Am I Sending Spam?

Why didn't Microsoft fix the bug I care about?

I've complained about this bug for years and no one has an answer. It's horrible – forums are full of people who are experiencing this bug and no one has an answer. It's been there for years and Microsoft continues to just ignore us. Obviously, Bill's too busy trying to make more money by forcing us to upgrade and doesn't have time for bugs that impact lots of people. WHY WON'T THEY FIX THIS HORRIBLE BUG?

First, I need to be clear: this isn't about some specific bug. There is no bug being discussed here.

This is about folks who discover something that, to them, is a horrible, horrible problem, and they can't understand why it's not fixed immediately.

As you can probably guess, the question above is actually a composite of questions, comments, and rants: every time someone is convinced that they're dealing with what they consider the Most Important Bug Ever and Microsoft – no, Bill Gates himself – is ignoring them.

Typically, there's no satisfying the folks who have landed in that extreme position. I often do suggest – and it's an honest suggestion – that they might be better served by a Mac or Linux solution, because they're not satisfied with Microsoft and Windows.

However, for those who are interested, I'd like to go over some of the things that factor into the process of deciding which bugs get fixed and why a bug you consider important might not be one of them. And yes, I'll also discuss why Bill Gates is not only not ignoring you, but probably has no idea that you, or the bug you care about, even exists.

Continue Reading: Why didn't Microsoft fix the bug I care about?


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Glossary Term


A clone is a form of disk copy that includes both data, structure and even the contents of unused areas.

Disks contain both user data and overhead information about that data, as well as structural information such as partition layout and boot information. Areas of the disk not in use are considered "free" and available, though the disk areas they represent typically continue to hold whatever data had been previously written.

A clone is a bit-for-bit copy of all data and free space, including the physical structure and layout.

Characteristics of a clone include:

  • Actual layout is copied. Files on the resulting clone will be exactly as fragmented as they were on the original.
  • The contents of unused areas or "free space" is copied. If files were recoverable or "undeletable" on the original, then they would be on the cloned copy as well.
  • A clone's size is directly proportional to the size of the original drive, regardless of how much data actually stored on that drive.

Cloning is often used in mass production of new systems, as well as in some backup strategies.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

What Backup Program do You Use?

mazbeach writes:

Based on your recommendation from a long time ago I use Macrium Reflect. While not cheap, I shudder at the cost if I didn't backup, or the backup I had proved to be faulty. You haven't mentioned it, but I always verify each full and incremental backup before I exit. Once, and only once, verify said I had a fault so I redid the backup. I figure if I can afford a computer, internet services and a cell phone I should be able to afford the relatively small and infrequent cost of getting reliable backups.

Kathy writes:

I would like to relate an experience which illustrates one difference between Acronis True Image 2014 and Macrium Reflect 5 (I haven't yet upgraded to 6 but I plan to).

Late last Spring, the hard drive on my 2nd laptop apparently began to fail, but gave me little indication; none of the buzzing or clicks you read about, just a general slowness. I made an image backup with Acronis on June 1st, which took much longer than it should have. About a week later I installed Macrium Reflect, and created the Rescue Disk, but my internal hard drive wasn't recognized, either with the Rescue Disk or while using MR from within Windows. Macrium customer support is absolutely excellent, and they requested info from me, which I provided; their final opinion was that there was a bad sector on the first track of my hard disk (later evidence backed this up). I continued to use the computer; Windows worked just fine and I could get on the internet, etc etc; I had no problems at all other than not being able to use MR, and if I hadn't installed MR I would have had NO REAL CLUE that my hard drive was failing. I had almost no personal files on this computer at this point, but this gave me plenty of time to make sure, and I have Macrium to thank for that.

For Acronis' part, Acronis allowed me to image the failing hard drive while Macrium wouldn't, and the Acronis image is mountable, so if I had had tons of personal data on there, Acronis would have saved it all for me.

In answer to your question, I do still back up with both Macrium and Acronis, although because of recent experiences not detailed here, I am leaning more heavily toward Macrium.

Steven writes:

I was very happy with Macrium Reflect 5 and even happier with Reflect 6. Disk imaging is too critical for me to trust the task to free software. Without a financial incentive, developers won't give their best efforts to create and support an application. The developers of Reflect have created outstanding software and they stand behind it.

I've had my credit card compromised three times; how do I prevent this from happening again?

Robert writes:

I have had several accounts compromised, including my Discover card (2x), Chase Mastercard and my PayPal account. Each time the credit card company recognized the activity and contacted me. I was not charged for anything I did not charge myself.

Now, I was always liable for charges I made and charges based on automated billing that I had arranged, which is fair.

One of the times, I believe my card info was captured by a hacked gas station pump credit reader - as I only use that card for gas purchases.

Another time, the company told me they thought it was compromised at a restaurant. A third time, by someone processing my purchase over the phone.

PayPal said that my password was hacked.

The good thing in my experience is that the companies that handle my payments have, so far, always covered the fraudulent charges.

The bad thing is that there are people out there trying to take advantage of others.

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