Ask Leo! #628 – Thanks!, Fast Startup, Setting Default Programs, and more…

Leo's Blog

Giving Thanks

In which I give thanks for many things, including you.

Continue Reading: Giving Thanks


Turn Off Fast Startup in Windows 10

"Fast Startup" was added in Windows 8. It's on by default and applies when you boot or reboot your machine. I view it as a kind of hybrid that lands somewhere between a normal cold boot, in which everything is loaded afresh, and hibernation, in which the previous state of the machine is rapidly re-loaded from a disk image.

As I understand it, fast startup attempts to reuse some of the previous state of the machine's last use so as not to have to reload everything from scratch. In "hibernate", currently running programs and the users' logged state is preserved, however when you shut down programs are closed and the user is logged out. However fast start can still reload much of the rest of the operating system more quickly from files saved during the shutdown.

The theory is that it saves time, and most of the time, it does.

It's also something worth turning off when diagnosing boot problems, because it can occasionally have other impacts.

Continue Reading: Turn Off Fast Startup in Windows 10

How Windows 10 Changed Setting Default Programs

In order to thwart poorly-behaved programs, Windows 10 made a relatively major change to the way default programs are set. The change can be a little startling if you're not prepared for it.

So, let's prepare.

Continue Reading: How Windows 10 Changed Setting Default Programs


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Glossary Term

image backup

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

Should I Accept My Security Software's Recommendation of What to Remove?

camile writes:

I do like Malwarebytes

I use it every day

So I can't accumilate so many items at once

In case It found something potentially dangerous I put That in quarantine so that I could reverse in case I face adverse effects

Doing that I have never face difficulties with Malwarebytes

What do you think about that??

Ray Smith writes:

"I use it every day. So I can't accumilate so many items at once." - You should think about how/why your computer is being compromised. If you're using your computer in safe manner, it should be clean and Malwarebytes should never detect anything.

How Not To Get Locked Out of Your Microsoft Account While Travelling

Tony writes:

While this article is about Microsoft / Hotmail, I'm a regular contributor to the Gmail Help Forum and this is a very real problem we see daily with users of Gmail accounts as well. However, just like Leo, I've traveled to places very far away from home and didn't get locked out. Maybe because I always take my familiar Work laptop with me. Maybe because I always take my phone with me and can receive codes by text if necessary. My wife travels with me and uses my laptop to access her account without getting locked out either.

Unlike Leo, my Work laptop is not configured to log in with personal Microsoft credentials, although it is on Windows 10. Actually I think the last time I traveled was before it even got upgraded from Windows 7, so the Microsoft account sign in would not have been an option anyway.

My "real" account is Gmail for communications, some subscriptions I put through Yahoo, and I have a Hotmail just for testing. They all have Security Challenge procedures. Yahoo challenged me a few weeks ago right at home, saying something didn't look right with recent activity. I got distracted before answering the challenge, and left it open. When I came back a few hours later I logged right in as though nothing had ever happened.

I fully endorse the paragraph above sub-titled "Be Prepared".

What is Event Viewer, and Why Does It Have So Many Errors?

Malfunction writes:

The Windows Reliability History is more practical. The Event logs are detailed but the Windows "Reliability history" provides a useful overview. The Reliability history lists critical events, warnings, and successful software updates and installations, including Definition Updates for Windows Defender and updates to Windows 10 apps. It can be viewed by Days or Weeks. It also seems to include information from the useful Custom Views > Administrative Events log.

To start the Reliability history:

[1] Click the Windows 7 or 10 Start button and type Reliability, then click on View Reliability history

[2a] Right click the Windows 10 Start button > Control Panel > Security and Maintenance > Maintenance > View Reliability history

[2b] Right click the Windows 7 Start button > Control Panel > Action Centre > Maintenance > View Reliability history

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