Leo's Answers #135 – July 8, 2008

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

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

How do I backup and restore the registry?

In the numerous occasions where one is going to change something in the registry, often the advise is to backup up the registry. Using the backup program that comes with my Windows XP Professional, I see how to backup the "System State" using the backup utility. Is it easy to backup up just the registry? Or, is it best to just backup the System State? I guess I don't know how to back up just the registry.

There are a few approaches to backing up the registry. Each has its own set of pros and cons.

Continue reading: "How do I backup and restore the registry?"

* * *

Will putting a label on a CD hurt it?

Do you think printing a CD cover and sticking it onto a home made CD with glue would be a good idea. I mean would it corrupt the CD?

I think you'll find that this is one of those things where you'll hear lots of differing opinions. In part it also depends on exactly what the purpose of the CD is, how long you expect it to last, and of course, what "glue" you mean.

My opinion? No way would I risk it.

Let me describe what I do instead.

Continue reading: "Will putting a label on a CD hurt it?"

* * *

Can I save the Sent Items folder to CD in Outlook Express?

In Outlook Express, can the "Sent Items" folder be saved to CD in one step and not message by message?

It depends on what you want to do. Depending on that the either is either yes, or not really.

Regardless, I have to honestly say that this is one of those cases where I wish you weren't using Outlook Express.

Continue reading: "Can I save the Sent Items folder to CD in Outlook Express?"

* * *

What's an "instance"?

What is meant by the term "instance?" I see it used quite a bit and am confused as to what exactly it is?

This is one of those geeky terms that's slowly wiggling its way into mainstream English.

Consider that in discussing the term "instance" I'll be able to talk about World of Warcraft as an example. Smile

Continue reading: "What's an "instance"?"

* * *

Why can't I create a folder named CON? (And other "Crazy Facts")

A colleague at work got this from the Net. Please check it out and please, please, please try to explain. They're weird. Here it is:

Microsoft's Crazy Facts


Nobody can create a FOLDER anywhere on the computer which can be named as "CON". This is something pretty cool...and unbelievable. .. At Microsoft the whole Team, couldn't answer why this happened! TRY IT NOW, IT WILL NOT CREATE "CON" FOLDER


This is something pretty cool and neat...and unbelievable. .. At Microsoft the whole Team, including Bill Gates, couldn't answer why this happened! Try it out yourself...

Open Microsoft Word and type"

=rand (200, 99)

And then press ENTER


For those of you using Windows, do the following:

1. Open an empty notepad file
2. Type "Bush hid the facts" (without the quotes)
3. Save it as whatever you want.
4. Close it, and re-open it.

Is it just a really weird bug?

I know I'm straying just slightly off center here dealing with what is, essentially, just a forwarded urban legend email. But the neat thing about all three of these "magics" is that parts are true, parts are false, and all have completely rational reasons.

Continue reading: "Why can't I create a folder named CON? (And other "Crazy Facts")"

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*** Featured Comments

A sampling of some of the comments that have been posted recently on Ask Leo!

* * *

Why am I suddenly getting spam?

David writes:


The biggest way to cut back on spam is to simply not open it! When you open any spam the sender is automatically notified that they have a legit email. Currently I use a free program called Spamihilator and it does a great job. I was using Norton AntiSpam, but it could not hit the broadside of a barn. Also, I have one primary account that is for friends and family only. A 2nd email account for newsletters and such. My 3rd email is to give out. If I want to try a newsletter for awhile I will give them the 3rd email until they have proved themselves to me, and then I will move them to the 2nd email.

Also, be careful of any website that wants your home address. In other words unless you are ordering something a site does not need your home address and telephone, and if they insist give them fake information.

"When you open any spam the sender is automatically notified that they have a legit email."

That's simply not true. As long as you have "automatically display images" (or it's equivalent in your email program) turned OFF, there is no way for the spammer, or anyone else for that matter, to get notified that you have opened an email.

Needless to say I strongly recommend having "automatically display images" turned off.



Can I recover data after I accidentally formatted my hard disk?

Snail writes:


Speaking of backup, how do you back up data when copy and paste doesn't work?

The only method I find working on this system is saving as an attachment to an e-mail. If there was a way to save a copy of ~18GB of data to a reliable source (private and not likely to crash) I would like to know.

In the event that I don't find one...or I have to reinstall the OS(XP Home) how would I (best)pursue a path to data recovery?

If the system is unable to boot, how would I recover data?

My recommendation is a backup program like Acronis TrueImage (or others) and an external hard drive. That way the external drive can be taken to another machine should it ever be needed.


*** This Week's Most Popular

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

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

*** Leo Recommends

Keep Yourself Safe from Internet Scams and More

Anyone who's been a reader of Ask Leo! for some time knows that in addition to technical topics I often cover many issues related to the non-technical side of keeping yourself safe on the internet. Things like account theft, phishing, privacy and more are all common themes that show up in my inbox as people ask me questions every day.

ScamBusters is a site run by my friends Jim and Audri Lanford dedicated to providing education and information to educate and protect folks like you and me from the vast array of schemes and scams that are out on the internet.

At ScamBusters.org you'll find tons of free resources on how to avoid scams, identity theft threats, and urban legends making the rounds.

Continue reading: "ScamBusters.org - Keep Yourself Safe from Internet Scams and More"

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

All the protection in the world won't protect you from ... yourself. As this podcast from three years ago reflects, it's impossible to truly design a system that isn't vulnerable to the likes of you and me.

The best anti-spyware, anti-virus ... and dancing bunnies?

A couple of frequent questions I get here at ask-leo are "What Anti-Spyware program should I use?" and "What's the best Anti-Virus program?"

Now, while I use and recommend Microsoft's Anti-Spyware, and have used Computer Associate's eTrust anti-virus software for many years, I have to remind people that there's no perfect example of either. All of the anti-spyware programs miss things that some of the others might catch. Same for the anti-virus programs. That's why my real recommendation is typically: run one of the better ones, but have a couple of others in reserve, just in case.

But make sure you run *something*, for both spyware and viruses, and keep the databases for each as up to date as possible.

Continue reading...
The best anti-spyware, anti-virus ... and dancing bunnies?

*** Thoughts and Comments

A big Hello! to the 400 or so new subscribers who've found Ask Leo! courtesy of Scambusters.org. Welcome to our little family of over 32,000.

And yes, even though Jim and Audri are friends, my formal recommendation of ScamBusters above is honest and to be frank, long overdue. Their mention of Ask Leo! last week just reminded me and gave me an opportunity to finally get around to it and also return the favor.


Just so you all don't feel alone with your problems (Smile) I'll share another of mine that's got me quite stumped.

I run a dual monitor system. I have a pair of ViewSonic VP231wb monitors on my desk. It's great - each is 1920x1200 giving me an effective 3840x1200 desktop with lots of room to play.

Well, it did, anyway.

Last week the power supply for one of the monitors went out, complete with snapping noises and the smell of burnt electronics.

"Oh Well" I thought. I'll just get a replacement.

Not so fast. I can't for the life of me find one. Everything's coming up empty, including eBay. And, on top of that it's a non-standard supply: 24 volts at 5 amps. I can't even find a suitable hack-it-together alternative either.

I've found I've become so used to having that extra screen that I went and cannibalized one of my other machines for its monitor. Not as big, but it's better than nothing.

I just can't believe I might have to replace my monitor(s) because of a simple power supply failure.


See? This kinda stuff happens to me too.


As always, thanks for subscribing, for reading, and for your feedback. If you appreciate this newsletter or the site, one of the best ways you can say "Thank You!" is to link to Ask Leo! or simply to tell a friend or colleague. Just send folks to askleo.net.

'till next time...


* * *

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2008, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: July 8, 2008 in: 2008
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/3439
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