Ask Leo! #575 – Thank You!, Spam from the wrong address, restoring images, and more…

Leo's Blog

Thank You! (For being here)

Continue Reading: Thank You! (For being here)


Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?

Recently, while I was away on a business trip, my wife received this email:

From: Leo A. Notenboom [mailto:********]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:10 AM
To: ****@*********.***


I've used asterisks to obfuscate a few things, but the essence is this:

  • The From: line displayed my name
  • However, the From: line also showed a completely random, unrelated email address that is most definitely not mine.
  • The email was sent to my wife's email address.
  • The email message had no Subject line.
  • The email message consisted of only a link.

Because we communicate a fair amount by email when I travel, she thought it was from me and clicked the link.


I've been getting lots of reports of this particular scenario lately.

I'll describe what I did next and what this appears to be… and perhaps reassure you a little about what it is not.

Continue Reading: Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?

Can I restore an image backup of one computer onto another and have it work?

If I want to restore an image backup from a previous computer, complete with its operating system, onto another computer with a different operating system, will the operating system on the backup be allowed to install and override the operating system on the other computer? If so, how do I get around this?

It's not a question of "allowing".

By definition, restoring a full image backup will completely overwrite everything that exists on the hard disk, replacing whatever was there before, no matter what it was.

So, sure, the previous operating system, along with everything else on the hard disk, will be overwritten and replaced with the contents of the image backup.

The real question is: will what you've just restored then work?

Most of time, the answer is a very short "no".

I'll explain why that is.

Continue Reading: Can I restore an image backup of one computer onto another and have it work?


Backing Up 101

Previous Issue

Glossary Term


An image backup is a complete copy of a hard disk or other media being backed up. The copy is complete in that it can be restored to a completely empty hard drive – as in a replacement hard drive after a failure – and the result is a hard drive that contains everything that the original did.

There are, of course, nuances to and even disagreement on the term's meaning.

An image of a hard disk most commonly refers to a copy of all files, folders, and overhead information stored on the disk, including the information required to boot.

Another definition used less frequently is that an image is a copy of every sector on the disk, including those that are not used, as well as their physical layout. This is more commonly referred to as a "clone".

An image by the first definition is all that is needed for backup purposes. When restored, the files are replaced on the hard disk, but not necessarily in the same physical locations as they were originally. (One positive side effect is that often a restored hard disk has no fragmentation.)

The second, when restored, places all files in exactly the same physical location as the original and restores all unused sectors as well, thus enabling deleted-file data recovery and potentially other forensic techniques.

Finally, the term image can be applied to either a partition, one portion of a hard disk, or to an entire hard disk. While making image backups of specific partitions can have value, only an image backup of an entire hard disk can be used to restore to a replacement hard disk.

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

Featured Comments

Updating the Windows 10 Recommendation

Harlan writes:

I build and maintain about 10 computers for myself, family, and friends. Windows 10 has had trouble on both of my oldest machines which use 1st generation quad core LGA775 CPUs. Windows 10 initially upgraded fine, but later got into endless loops when trying to boot. I was able to resent one of the machines successfully, but am still having trouble with the second and may have to go a Windows 7 image backup if it's still intact on my external drive. I would be very cautions upgrading to windows 10 on machines of the LGA775 and DDR2 era.

Renato Morbach writes:

Upgraded my desktop to Windows 10 and after 2 weeks reverted back to Windows 8.1. The major issue I had is the Internet connection became very very slow. I am in China, with huge censorship, and could not access even with VPN most sites due to slow Internet. My laptop is upgraded to Windows 10 and passed the time to revert. I went on vacation to the Philipines in September/October and had a really hard time keeping a decent connection to the Internet. My iPhone was OK but the laptop with W10 dragged, lost connection, really really slow. I am holding the upgrade on my desktop until things get better. And I am considering a fresh install of Windows 8.1 using the original CD. In the first try it did not allow me to install. It seems I need to format the HD first then install. There is something in W10 installation that refuses to downgrade using the W8.1 CD.

Neville writes:

I had a similar thing with my brother-in law's machine. He went to 10, found some software he used wouldn't run in it, and when we rolled back to Windows 8, it kept freezing. In this case I had made an image before the upgrade, so we were able to rescue him. As you say, having an image avoids that 30 day deadline too. With 4 computers in our house, we changed without any issues, though on one machine I had to change the version of Windows 7 from 32 bit to 64 bit to match the CPU.

darrell writes:

My four year old HP Laptop did not like windows 10 browsing was really sloooow. I tried all the fixes on the internet blogs but none worked. I called HP they confirmed that my machine was NOT suitable for windows 10 due to outdated drivers. I went back to windows 7 and all is well again. If it aint broke dont fix it

Ed Price writes:


FYI, I recently did an upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10.0.10586, and then did a clean install of Win 10 onto my June 2011 Toshiba Satellite C655 Laptop (3 GB RAM, 1 GHZ AMD C-50, 300 GB drive). It was always a slow machine (the Win installs took multi-hours), but it boots faster with Win 10 and seems to be 100% happy.

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
Just Do This: Back Up! The Ask Leo! Guide to Internet Safety The Ask Leo! Guide to Routine Maintenance Maintaining Windows XP - A Practical Guide

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