Leo’s Answers #100 – October 19, 2007

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom


*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

Can I retrieve a deleted email from three years ago?

I recently read that police computer experts were able to retrieve deleted e-mails from a dead woman's computer. These e-mails were deleted and yet someone was able to retrieve them. How long after they were deleted were they retrieved, I do not know.

I received a very important e-mail, a number of years ago. However, after I read it I soon deleted the e-mail. I am wondering if there are people, if it is actually technically possible, for someone who is very, very good with computers, to be able to go on my computer and retrieve this e-mail. Even though it was deleted maybe 3 years ago.

I have asked the few friends of mine who are good at computers and they tell me that technically this is not possible. However, I wonder if there are people who are better at computers who would be able to do such a thing.

I appreciate any help you may be able to offer me. Even knowing that this would be technically possible, would give me hope to set out and seek someone who would have the know-how. I just need to know if it is possible.

The practical answer is, of course, no. If you delete something, and then continue to use the computer for three years, in all probability it's gone, gone, gone with no hope of retrieval.

"In all probability"?

Yes, yes, there's an extremely small chance it could be retrieved. Extremely small as in you'd have better odds of winning the lottery. But if you have the money to spend, and knowing that you'll probably still come up empty handed ... there's a chance.

Continue reading: "Can I retrieve a deleted email from three years ago?"

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How do I uninstall Windows programs that I never use?

How can I get rid of Windows programs I will never use? Outlook Express, Netmeeting, Frontpage, Movie Maker, Gaming Zone and others. I hate the way Microsoft does not allow them to be uninstalled.

Actually Microsoft does allow many of those to be uninstalled. How to do so is just really confusing at times. You'd think that they would show up on the Add/Remove programs list. Unfortunately you'd often be wrong.

It turns out there's a subtle distinction between what is and is not a "Windows Component", and that makes all the difference.

Continue reading: "How do I uninstall Windows programs that I never use?"

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How do I turn off the Sidebar in Windows Vista?

How do I totally remove the Sidebar (gadgets) from Windows Vista?

My first reaction to this question was "Ah, so I'm not alone."

I've never quite gotten the Windows sidebar. Or the equivalent on the Mac for that matter. Yes they contain cute little gadgets, widgets or what have you, none of which I ever use, and none that I would want to give up precious screen real estate for.

Fortunately turning it off is pretty easy.

Continue reading: "How do I turn off the Sidebar in Windows Vista?"

* * *

How do I use iTunes music in my videos?

I use iTunes to download music from the iTunes store. I use Windows movie maker to edit my vacation videos. I wish to add music I purchased from iTunes store to my video but I cannot import it because it doesn't recognize mp4 files. What do I need to do to make this work?

There are approaches, and I'll cover what they are, but there's another problem with this scenario.

Believe it or not, this might not be legal.

Continue reading: "How do I use iTunes music in my videos?"

* * *

Why does my computer shout at me?

Mystery virus? I've not been able to narrow down what triggers this annoying virus, so I come to you before I pull my last hair out. I believe it has evolved a little too! Several times a day, for no apparent reason, my PC yells at me. For a year, it was an odd dog bark. It changed to a rooster crow and now it shout my NAME as loud as it can.

I run AVG and AVS and recently installed Comodo. I've scanned with Spydoctor, Norton AV, McAfee and some online scanners...everything I could. When any of them finds something, I clean it out and rescan. Even when nothing is found, the screaming continues. I often scan floppies, yet 2 other systems have the same problem.

I was all ready to suggest that perhaps Windows was generating a warning pop up and what you were hearing was the accompanying alert sound.

Up until you indicated that your computer is calling you by name, that is.

I'm actually hoping that my readers can come up with some other plausible suggestions, but I can think of only one explanation.

Continue reading: "Why does my computer shout at me?"

* * *

How do I move my Microsoft Outlook mail and address book from one computer to another?

How do I move my Microsoft Outlook mail & address book (not Outlook Express) from one computer to another?

I've done this countless times back when I was using Microsoft Outlook.

My approach turns out to be extremely easy, though the steps may not be quite as obvious as you might hope.

Continue reading: "How do I move my Microsoft Outlook mail and address book from one computer to another?"

* * *

Do you really need anti-virus software?

Common wisdom is that you do, but the answer might surprise you.

Continue reading: "Do you really need anti-virus software?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

*** A Word from our Sponsor

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

One of my recurring statements is that "If it's not physically secure, then it's not secure." Here's an article from three years ago that outlines why:

Can someone install something on my computer when it's not logged in?

Before I raise heck in the house, would you please answer a question? We have several computers in our home. Recently, I have seen "spy pc 7.0 Quick start guide" in the home. I don't mind if the owner of this booklet uses it on his/her machine; but not on anyone else's. Can this be installed on other personal computer (which are usually password locked)?

The short answer? I think you're right to be concerned.

Read more... Can someone install something on my computer when it's not logged in?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Issue 100?

Can it be?

Yes indeed. It's the 100th issue of Leo's Answers, the Ask Leo! weekly newsletter. I'll actually save my little celebration for the two year anniversary next month, but nice round numbers don't happen all that often, so here's a small "whoo hoo!" for issue 100. Smile

For those interested I posted a new article out on Taming Email discussing one of my pet peeves: Attachments are Evil and Over-used. Regular readers of Taming Email will notice a slight redesign to the site that hopefully makes it a little easier to read. (For those paying even closer attention, you may note that I moved it to an installation using the MovableType 4 publishing system, instead of version 3.2 which drives Ask Leo! and several of my other sites. I'm always experimenting, ya know.)

If you normally skip over the ad in the newsletter, have a quick look at ReadThisToMe.org. It's a extremely interesting concept using technology to bring free assistance to the blind or otherwise sight-impaired.

'till next time...


* * *

The Latest: at Forwarded Funnies: "Grab Me!"

Some of Leo's other sites: The Ask Leo! Store, Leo's Online Business Card, Taming Email, MovableType Tips, Leo's Blog, Buy Leo a Latte (or a Beer), A Letter To Myself, Dolls and Friends, Corgwn.com

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2007, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: October 19, 2007 in: 2007
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3186
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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and after "retiring" in 2001 I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.