Ask Leo! #598 – PUPs, Unknown Partitions, Contacting Customer Service, and more…


How Do I Remove PUPs, Foistware, Drive-bys, Toolbars, and Other Annoying Things I Never Wanted?

Ending up with random software on your machine that you never wanted in the first place is annoying as all heck.

And unfortunately, it's happening more and more. I'd say that PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs, although there's rarely any "potentially" about it), rogue toolbars, and search-engine hijacks are some of the most common issues I see in my inbox.

I'll talk a little about prevention, but first, let's walk through the steps I recommend when you suddenly realize you've been saddled with software you didn't know you'd agreed to and certainly never wanted.

Continue Reading: How Do I Remove PUPs, Foistware, Drive-bys, Toolbars, and Other Annoying Things I Never Wanted?

EaseUS Todo Gave Me An Error on an "Unknown Partition", What Should I Do?

When I did my backup I got this pop up message. "Checking the partitions found errors on two partitions without drive letter (Unknown Partition). Click ‘OK' to create a sector by sector backup or ‘Cancel' the backup." I did the sector to sector. Did I do right?

Yes, but we might want to do a little more.

The problem here is that EaseUS has detected a problem with your hard disk. The good news is that this problem is not in any partition you use regularly.

But hard disk problems still make me uncomfortable, and it's possible that this type of problem could impact your ability to perform certain types of recovery in the future.

Continue Reading: EaseUS Todo Gave Me An Error on an "Unknown Partition", What Should I Do?

How Do I Contact Customer Service?

I get questions like this a lot. And what's interesting is that the answer keeps changing.

Things are getting better, but it still feels like we're dealing with variations on the theme of "no".

Of late, however, there's a little hope.

Continue Reading: How Do I Contact Customer Service?


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Glossary Term


A vulnerability is a bug or design flaw in software that allows that software to be used in some malicious and unintended way.

All software has bugs, which are nothing more than mistakes made in the design or implementation of the software. Bugs can take many forms, from simply displaying something improperly, to crashing the application or entire machine.

When a bug can be intentionally triggered and in turn exploited for malicious purposes, that bug is termed a vulnerability.

The results of exploiting a vulnerability may have nothing to do with the software's primary purpose. All that matters is that the vulnerability can somehow be used by malware – typically to infect the machine on which the software is running.

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Featured Comments

We Need To Talk...

Alex Dow writes:

To be clear, I have updated all our Windows PCs to Windows 10.

However, when reading discussions about such upgrading, I have yet to see a logical explanation why XP should suddenly become dangerous etc, literally overnight, because of MS Support being withdrawn.

Any remaining weaknesses and issues must remain the same as at that withdrawal - agreed not decreasing - but equally not increasing.

As the number of operating PCs using XP diminish directly or indirectly by moving to virtual versions, hacks for XP will be less attractive, so reducing the likelihood of attacks.

At that time, it had been updated for various aspects over several years, including particularly security, so was generally considered safer than when originally issued.

Contrast that with W10, a new or updated system, without its own years of testing and use, so theoretically more open to having as many if not more and different problems coming to light over the next few years, until proven otherwise in practice.

Leo writes:

Vulnerabilities are not increasing. But the number of known vulnerabilities is. For example there's very likely a bug in Windows XP right now, though no one knows about it. In fact, it's in all versions of Windows. It's a bug that could be used by a hacker to compromise your machine. One day that bug is discovered, and hackers begin to use it. Microsoft fixes that bug in all versions of Windows that they support, which does not include Windows XP. XP still has the bug, and will always have the bug, and now hackers know about it and can exploit it.

Warren Warshaw writes:

"Windows 8 was not enormously different to Windows 7". Are you kidding me? It was COMPLETELY different. No Start button or menu. Tiles instead of icons. And that's why the Start menu was brought back in Windows 10 - because of the enormous outcry.

Leo writes:

And yet, if you restored the start menu using something like Classic Shell ... there was little difference to be seen beyond that. It was most certainly NOT "completely" different.

Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW

Jasper writes:

Live your life in reality and not so much via electronics. Getting hacked is probably the best thing that ever happened to you. Brings you back to reality.

Leo writes:

While I can understand the sentiment, email has connected me with more people more closely than anything else so far. And by connected I do mean "in reality", including friends I now meet with regularly that I would never have encountered otherwise, friends I've reconnected with to that same end, as well as family members - particularly overseas - for which email has made continued connection a practical reality. Yes I could have used "old technology" like pen and paper for each, but the pragmatic reality is that I likely would not have. Email made it all easier. Email made it all more likely to happen. Email made all this real connection possible. In reality.

Ask Leo! on Business

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So, Am I Now A Blogger?

The term "blogger" means many things to many people. You may or may not be one, but it's irrelevant as long as you continue to add value.

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Backing Up

You're about to put a lot of effort into your website. You'll want to protect yourself from disaster. That protection? A good backup, of course.

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Leo's Books

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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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