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Leo's Answers #240 – July 20, 2010

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A Weekly Newsletter From
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Leo Notenboom

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*** New Articles

How do I automatically forward my Windows Live Hotmail mail?

I’m changing email accounts, but I don’t want to lose people who have my Hotmail address. How do I automatically forward all my incoming Windows Live Hotmail messages to my new account?

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Not long ago Microsoft added to Windows Live Hotmail a couple of frequently requested features.

The ability to forward your email to another address was one of them.

However it appears that there are certain restrictions in effect by default. I’ll look at what readers have told me they might be, and how to get past them.

Continue reading: How do I automatically forward my Windows Live Hotmail mail?
http://ask-leo.com/C3167

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Someone has created a fake social media profile with my name – how do I remove this fake account?

Somebody is using a fake orkut account of my name. How can I remove that account without knowing the person who is using fake profile of my name? Plz help me. I’m in a great trouble. If possible,send me the process to hack the profile.

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Hack the profile? You’re in trouble, and you’re saying that you want to get into more trouble by breaking the law?

I don’t think so.

Let’s look at this from a more rational point of view, shall we?

The news isn’t great, but there are steps you can take.

Continue reading: Someone has created a fake social media profile with my name – how do I remove this fake account?
http://ask-leo.com/C4373

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Is using RAID a good backup alternative, and if so, which RAID should I use?

Do you think RAID 1 is a viable alternative for backing up?

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No.

In fact…

No. No. No. No.

and No.

RAID is not backup, and no RAID array should ever be considered a replacement for backup.

I’ll review what RAID is, and most importantly what it is not.

Continue reading: Is using RAID a good backup alternative, and if so, which RAID should I use?
http://ask-leo.com/C4372

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Should I Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1?

I’ve heard that Windows 7 SP1 is out. Is it safe to install? Should I?

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Once it’s released, probably.

Before that? Definitely not.

Windows 7 SP1 has been released in Beta form for testing by IT professionals. I grabbed a copy and gave it a whirl.

I’ll share what I think you should do, and show you what I saw.

Continue reading: Should I Install Windows 7 Service Pack 1?
http://ask-leo.com/C4371

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How do I get Hotmail to close my stolen account?

My old e-mail was stolen and my contacts asked for money. I have a new e-mail, but just learned that my old one is still open (though I can’t get into it). It worries me that some of my contacts are sending to my old e-mail and what they send may be seen by the thieves. HOW DO I GET HOTMAIL TO CLOSE MY OLD ACCOUNT SO THAT ANYONE SENDING TO IT WILL GET A FAILURE NOTICE?

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Account theft – particularly of Hotmail accounts – seems rampant right now. Lots of people are asking questions similar to the above.

The news is not good, but I’ll walk you through some of your options so you can at least try.

Continue reading: How do I get Hotmail to close my stolen account?
http://ask-leo.com/C4370

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Do external drives commonly fail?

I’ve had two external hard drives fail in the past few months. One was an older drive that required external power in addition to a USB connection (to my Windows XP computer which has lots of RAM). The other was a newer, smaller one, just a year old, which was connected via USB alone. Is this kind of failure common? How do I make sure all my data is not at risk if I dispose of these? And will the new, larger capacity USB flash drives work as well for back-ups?

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I’m not quite sure what “this kind of failure” might specifically refer to, but yes – drives do fail.

If you’re asking about the timing – well, I’ve had two drives from the same manufacturer die within a few months of each other, and then had no failures for a couple of years.

My case is a little different than yours and I was able to draw a conclusion.

In your case my conclusions are little different.

Continue reading: Do external drives commonly fail?
http://ask-leo.com/C4369

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*** Comments

Why is my MSN Hotmail Inbox suddenly empty?

Wendy writes:

Is there no longer a hotmail.com? I am so confused. I sign into hotmail and it automatically sends me to hotmail live. It would not take my old password, so I had to change it. But, there is nothing in the account. How do you retrieve information that was in hotmail.com. This is crazy!!How can I get my messages from my old account or is this really something that has happened. Is there no longer a MSN hotmail.com? or is this a joke of some kind. Please answer – I really am having a hard time because it is hard to trust the things you read. I would just like to know if this is real or not.
Thank you

Microsoft has made this confusing, that’s for sure.

Item #1: Hotmail has been renamed Windows Live Hotmail. Hotmail.com exists, but if you go to it you will be taken to a “live.com” domain and you can login to your account there. In the upper right you’ll probably see “Windows Live” and underneath that “Hotmail”.

Item #2: All MSN services have been renamed to Windows Live. So what used to be MSN Hotmail is now Windows Live Hotmail. What used to be MSN Instant Messenger is now Windows Live Messenger. And so on. “msn.com” remains a home page with the latest news and other information.

Item #3: If you’ve paid for a “msn.com” email address some or all of the previous many not apply.

Item #4: this is all a name change only and should NOT involve any loss of email or any change in your email address. Everything should work as before. If you’ve lost email, then something else is going on.

-Leo

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Do external drives commonly fail?

Ken B writes:

You can also dispose of a hard drive by giving it to your 9-year-old daughter, along with a screwdriver and hammer. 🙂

(It’s amazing how many neighborhood boys will come by, ask what she’s doing, and ask if they can have a turn.)

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Kindle – Much more than an electronic portable book reader

Sandra writes:

Two questions: What do you think of the screen reader feature that the original Kindle had? And do you have any prognostication about when textbook publishers will finally provide their product for Kindle? I know publishers were against the screen reader, but that is a feature I would want if I were to buy a Kindle. I have a college student with a reading disability who could benefit from digital textbooks with a screen reader.

I think digital text books are inevitable, but more likely for the larger format devices like Kindle DX. It’s just a matter of time. (You’d think that nuking the used textbook industry would have them flocking to this form of delivery).

The screen reader wasn’t in the original Kindle, but it was in the fist iteration of the second version (I though it was still there, just disabled on a title-by-title basis). Publishers hate it because it competes with audio books, which they would prefer to sell separately.

-Leo

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Did I really just win an email lottery or sweepstakes?

Dave Markley writes:

I’m sure Leo will agree with me in that virtually ALL of these ‘winnings’ are scams, and almost always from a country where this type of thing is not enforced by any law enforcement(if it’s even illegal there). The FBI is who would investigate internet scams like this, but they can only do something if the scammer is in the USA. That leaves Interpol, but with global terrorism, child slavery, etc., they’re a little too busy to deal with it.

I recently tried to report someone for trying to get me to launder money through my PC repair business. They wanted to buy a used pc from me with a money order, which would be for much more than the purchase price, then I was to split the difference with the person who would pick up the pc. I went to the Broward County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office with the printed emails and was told by a deputy “By law we have to take your report, but I’ll tell you right now it won’t be investigated because money laundering is only a 3-year mandatory sentence in Florida and it’s not worth our time and trouble”. Yet God forbid you walk on the beach too drunk, right? So, the best thing to do is just delete these emails without even opening them.

Also, keep this little scenario in mind: If you reply with even just you’re full name and date of birth, they can probably pull up your driving and/or criminal history. With either of these they most likely now have your Social Security number. With just that little bit of info they can now open accounts in your name, get into your bank accounts, steal your identity and so on, and no one can stop them if it doesn’t originate in the USA.

Just remember the old saying ‘If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is’.

*** Leo Recommends

PDFCreator – Create PDFs from any application that can print.

About 6 months ago, perhaps more, I decided to go as paperless as I could. My prior recommendation of the ScanSnap document scanner was a big part of that and allowed me to empty three drawers of my four-drawer file cabinet, saving documents digitally instead.

Once you’re in the habit of creating PDFs from paper documents, the ease with which PDFs can be used, saved and perhaps most importantly – backed up – becomes readily apparent.

As a result I’ve also cut down on the amount of actual printing I do by changing my default printer to the free PDF Creator virtual printer.

It’s not at all uncommon to want to save something, say a sales receipt from an on-line purchase, by printing it. But it’s rare that you actually need to save it on paper. Instead, I print to the PDF Creator printer which creates a PDF of the printed output that I save on my computer. If I need to actually print it to paper, either now or sometime in the future, I can simply load up that PDF in a viewer such as Acrobat or Foxit, and print to my real printer from there.

Continue reading: PDFCreator – Create PDFs from any application that can print.
http://ask-leo.com/C3728

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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

Most people need not bother with tweaking their Virtual Memory or Swap File size. However it’s a common question because it’s a pretty mysterious setting.

How should I configure my swap file / virtual memory settings?

I have Windows XP Pro SP2 MCE with 2 gigabytes of RAM, to which I just added a 500 MB hard drive to the original 250 MB HD. The new drive is now the primary. Both are 7200 rpm SATA. What do you recommend for a swap file? The “3X RAM” rule of thumb doesn’t make much sense. It should be bigger with less RAM, not more. It’s currently set to a 2 GB minimum and 4 GB maximum size on the C: drive partition. What size should I set it to, should it be on a different partition, and should I give it its own partition? I will be doing a lot of scanning and PhotoShop, if that affects the answer. It’s my understanding that a fixed size reduces fragmentation (or at least makes defragmentation easier). I’ve also seen suggestions for making the swap file an entire partition. (I have Partition Magic.) Would putting it onto the second drive improve read/write speeds? The second drive will be for backing up data files and not in constant use.

You’re asking a lot of good questions, and providing a lot of the right kind of data from which to make some recommendations.

I’ve written about Virtual Memory a time or two already and it does seem like so much voodoo to many people. The same is true for figuring out what to do with it.

But if you’re trying to eke out a little more performance from your machine, then it’s possible that a couple of settings might help.

Continue reading…
How should I configure my swap file / virtual memory settings?
http://ask-leo.com/C3062

*** Thoughts and Comments

I answered a common question regarding the Windows XP book project I’m working on – have a look at my answer here: Why Windows XP?

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I’m occasionally asked how I got here … no, not that “how I got here”, but rather how I got to be doing Ask Leo! and things like the book project and so on. Technically I “retired” from Microsoft (9 years ago? wow!), but being the geek that I am I of course couldn’t keep my fingers out of technology so I kept on with it.

But that’s certainly not enough to switch from employee to entrepreneur and start a successful business.

I had help.

I was extremely fortunate to have been invited to join a private “mastermind group” run by my good friend Randy Cassingham, the man behind This Is True. “Mastermind group” is an old term coined originally in Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book Think & Grow Rich. I think of it as a group of kindred spirits who share a common interest or goal, and then actively contribute ideas, advice and assistance to each others success.

You wouldn’t be reading this today had I not joined.

Like I said, it’s a private invite only group (and if you have to ask to join that’s almost a strike against you Smile), but Randy has started a project to share exactly how a successful mastermind group can work, and how to lead one successfully.

If that kind of thing sounds at all interesting to you, head over to Mastermind Source where Randy’s already begun sharing a bunch of very valuable information. In fact he’s starting a mastermind group specifically for mastermind group leaders (and, yep, I’ll be over there “helping out” as time permits).

’till next week…

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

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