Ask Leo! #591 – How I Back Up, Website Pop-ups, Fixing Windows Update and more…


A Peek Behind My Backup Curtain

I was asked the other day to describe how I back up my machine. Presumably the intent was to learn some kind of "best practices" from what I choose to do for myself.

Ummm…. no.

Oh, I'll describe what I do, as best I can, but I'll warn you: I'm a geeky edge-case, far away from what "average" computer users do. It's unclear whether anything I do might help you directly.

The big take-away might be that I'm crazy, I back up like crazy, and I automate as much as a I can.

Beyond that … well, it's a maze of twisty little passages.

Continue Reading: A Peek Behind My Backup Curtain

Why Do Websites Use Pop-ups?

If you read my article Can we no longer view websites without getting pop-ups?, you'll see that some of the comments on that article range from annoyed to indignant – and not at the state of the web in general (though that's certainly represented there as well).

No, some people are absolutely outraged that while reading an article that will hopefully help them make pop-ups go away, they're suddenly faced with…

A pop-up.

From me.

So, let's talk about pop-ups, why they exist, why some are worse than others, and why some sites (including Ask Leo!) use them.

Continue Reading: Why Do Websites Use Pop-ups?

How Do I Fix Windows Update?

I returned from vacation and found that Windows Update would not download any of my 90 updates (even though it sat for many hours saying "downloading" nothing was coming). I eventually used Windows Readiness program and was able the to get 15 or so downloaded and installed but trying the next group again it is not downloading anything. There is no error message, just no action at all.

While it works well most of the time, problems with Windows Update can be very, very frustrating. There's often no specific fix for whatever specific situation you're faced with, other than to "keep trying" or "let it run"…

… neither of which helps in many cases.

Fortunately, Microsoft has outlined what I'll call the nuclear option: resetting Windows Update completely. Regardless of the problem you're faced with, if it involves Windows Update, I suggest you give this a try.

Continue Reading: How Do I Fix Windows Update?


Saved! Baking Up With EaseUS Todo

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Glossary Term


A rootkit is a virus that uses specific techniques to infiltrate your computer's operating system that make it nearly impossible to find. For example, a rootkit virus may exist as a file on your system, but it uses advanced techniques – more advanced than traditional malware – to hide itself in such a way that most anti-malware tools, and even the operating system itself, have no idea that it's present.

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

Featured Comments

The Death of the Security Question

Andy writes:


You started out well when you described how the only reason you are using Hotmail in a far away place is because you do not have access to your mobile, your computer with POP/IMAC mail etc. Then you miss the point entirely by praising Microsoft for putting these convoluted procedures in place that defeat the whole aim of an internet based email account; that is, for basic communication when you cannot use your normal accounts. Hotmail is essentially useless now so I do not bother with it anymore, but thankfully Yahoo and GMail are for the time being still usable in that role.

Leo writes:

I did not praise them for their solution. I pointed out that their (bad) solution is attempting to solve a real and serious problem.

Connie (Team Leo) writes:

Hotmail was actually useless *before* because it was so often hacked. Ask Leo! used to be swarmed, daily, by questions (an mean comments) from people whose accounts were hacked. Not only did they lose everything, but their reputations were often harmed by the activities of the hackers, and everyone in their contact list was mercilessly spammed. Those complaints are pretty much gone now. So you choose: previously if a person did not set up their security and recovery options correctly they were hacked. Today if a person does not set up their security and recovery options correctly they are inconvenienced while traveling. Either way, the responsibility is on each account user to set up their account properly.

Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors

Ray Smith writes:

"Sometimes I wish I was also a moron." - While that's a very lofty goal, it can be achieved. Here's how:

1) Extend your right arm with the palm facing upwards.

2) Using your left hand, place a brick into the palm of your right hand.

3) Rapidly bend your right arm until your elbow makes a 90 degree angle and the brick makes contact with your head.

4) Re-extend your right arm and then repeat step #3.

5) Keep on repeating steps #3 and #4 until encryption backdoors start to seem like really, really great idea.

Ask Leo! on Business

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The Three Pages You Need

There are three pages that every website should have. I'll cover what they are, and creating them. When done, your website will be ready to go to work.

Read: The Three Pages You Need

Get Information - Analytics and Search Console

With your web site up and running, it's now time to begin gathering information about how visitors see and use it, including one special visitor: Google.

Read: Get Information - Analytics and Search Console

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect - 2nd Edition Saved! Backing Up With EaseUS Todo
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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Posted: March 15, 2016 in: 2016
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