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Leo’s Answers #109 – December 28, 2007

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom

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*** Contents

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

Should I turn off my external hard drive when not in use?

I'm just curious if an external hard drive is less likely to die if you don't always keep it on and only turn it on for short periods of time a day? Because I have 3 external drives and I only turn them on when I need to use them instead of keeping them always on.

Short answer: no.

However, as is so often the case, the answer is never really that simple. It really depends on a bunch of other factors as well.

Continue reading: "Should I turn off my external hard drive when not in use?"
http://ask-leo.com/should_i_turn_off_my_external_hard_drive_when_not_in_use.html

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How do I transfer my MSN Hotmail inbox from one account to another?

I've created a new Hotmail account. Is it possible to transfer all information and contacts from my old Hotmail account to my new one?

The short answer is yes and no.

The longer answer contacts: yes; email: no.

Let me explain...

Continue reading: "How do I transfer my MSN Hotmail inbox from one account to another?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_transfer_my_msn_hotmail_inbox_from_one_account_to_another.html

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What should I do about low 'memory' on my recovery drive?

I have HP vista pavilion, running home premium (about 6 months old). The computer displayed a low memory on drive "D" recovery. I stayed on the phone with a tech rep two hours trying to get this explained. Showed I had not done a "backup". Of all the computers I have used I have never received this notification. The tech set my computer to do backup every month. Is this a "must"? Was instructed to insert a disc every first of the month. What is the purpose of doing this and is it necessary? As to the disk, what kind should I use?

There are several misunderstandings in this question, and it sounds like the support technician certainly didn't help. But the misunderstandings are so common that I really wanted to take an opportunity to clear them up if I can.

Continue reading: "What should I do about low 'memory' on my recovery drive?"
http://ask-leo.com/what_should_i_do_about_low_memory_on_my_recovery_drive.html

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Why do I get "device ... cannot be stopped right now" trying to safely remove my USB drive?

Whenever I plug in a flash drive or my external hard drive (Western Digital My Book), I cannot safely remove when I click on the icon. I keep getting the message that the drive is currently in use -- try again later. But, no matter how many times I try, I keep getting the same message. I end up having to shut down my computer to remove the device.

Well, windows certainly thinks that some program is attempting to access the USB drive. Since it's not guaranteed to be safe to remove a drive while it's in use, Windows tells you that you can't. The "wait until later" part is all about waiting until that program, whatever it is, is done with the drive.

What program?

Figuring that out is the trick...

Continue reading: "Why do I get "device ... cannot be stopped right now" trying to safely remove my USB drive?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_do_i_get_device_cannot_be_stopped_right_now_trying_to_safely_remove_my_usb_drive.html

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Is spam inevitable?

Anonymity enables spam. Unfortunately it also enables many other important things as well.

Continue reading: "Is spam inevitable?" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/is_spam_inevitable.html

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*** This Week's Most Popular

The ten most popular articles in the last 7 days on Ask Leo!

  1. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  2. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  3. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  4. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  5. What are the POP3 and SMTP settings for Hotmail?
  6. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  7. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.
  8. How do I hack into someone's account?
  9. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  10. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

You got a new computer for Christmas, and now you're ready to give your old one away. But what about the data that's on it?

How should I erase my hard drive before I give it away?

I would like to clear off/erase all the programs on my hard drive and clean it up so that it's available for donation. What's the best/simplest way to do this?

To begin with, good on you, not only for your donation but for thinking to do this. All too frequently we hear of computers donated by banks, hospitals, or other institutions turning up with all sorts of private information that should have been erased first.

The best way? Well ... how paranoid are you?

Continue reading...
How should I erase my hard drive before I give it away?
http://ask-leo.com/how_should_i_erase_my_hard_drive_before_i_give_it_away.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Not much to add this week, it's been a busy Christmas season. About the only really random news is that Ask Leo! is now also at the URL http://askleo.net. You'll note that's without the dash, and is easier to remember. More importantly it's clearer and less error prone when spoken. All URLs that start with http://ask-leo.com can also start with http://askleo.net instead - you'll be automatically redirected to the right place.

Here's hoping that 2008 brings you much joy and success. Happy New Year!

'till next time year...

Leo

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