Leo’s Answers #273 – March 8, 2011

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Leo Notenboom

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*** New Articles

How do I restore a backup from a BitLocker encrypted drive?

I recently had the unfortunate situation where I needed to recover my system from a backup stored on a USB drive that was 'BitLocker Drive Encrypted'. When trying to restore from the boot sequence, both Acronis Backup and Windows Backup (yes, I had two versions of my backup) were unable to read the drive that my backup files were encrypted on. Fortunately, I was able to decrypt the USB drive that the backups were on, but this took nearly 20 hours to do before I could recover my system properly. Is there a way to access and unlock a BitLocker-encrypted drive from the boot-up sequence and then recover my system without having to go through this long, drawn-out process? With the Windows backup, I had to unlock my system hard drive before I could proceed to the backups, but it didn't allow access to the drive where the backup was stored. Surely, someone at Microsoft should have thought of this when they designed the OS? Or are they that dumb?

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No, they're not that dumb.

They're just operating from a different set of assumptions.

You assumed that putting a backup on a BitLocker Encrypted Drive would work, and I'm guessing that Microsoft assumed that this would be outside of BitLocker's scope. With BitLocker, Windows needs to be running and you need to be logged into your account. So if you're restoring, it just doesn't make sense if Windows isn't completely running.

That's just one of the problems that I have with BitLocker, and one of the reasons why I avoid it completely.

Continue reading: How do I restore a backup from a BitLocker encrypted drive?
http://ask-leo.com/C4758

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Why does my computer say I need to be administrator, when I am?

My computer says that I need to be the administrator [to perform a task], but I already am! Any ideas as to what is happening?

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Sure.

You're not the administrator. Not really.

Oh, sure, you may think that you're the administrator. And Windows may have even lead you to believe that you're the administrator.

But, as the result of a new security feature introduced in Windows Vista and made less obnoxious in Windows 7, you're not the real administrator by default.

But you can be.

Continue reading: Why does my computer say I need to be administrator, when I am?
http://ask-leo.com/C4757

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How do I uninstall this program from a used machine?

I purchased a used machine from a neighbor who had bought it from his workplace. He is no longer in the neighborhood, so I can't ask him about this. The program, Trend Micro, is the virus-scan program that was on the machine when I bought it. I'd prefer to use AVG but when I try to install AVG, it tells me that there's a conflict with another virus scanner and that I must delete that one before installing AVG. So, I went to Add/Remove programs and clicked on 'Remove'. It came up with a dialog box, requesting that I enter a password in order to uninstall the program. And that's where the problem lies. I don't have the password nor do I know how to get in touch with the guy who sold the machine to me. How in the world can I get rid of Trend Micro? I don't know if it's actually scanning my machine, if it's up to date, or how to use it. Any suggestions?

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I do have a suggestion and I can tell you right now that you're not going to like it.

And because I know that there's a really good chance that you won't want to follow my suggestion, I'll throw out a few other ideas as well.

Continue reading: How do I uninstall this program from a used machine?
http://ask-leo.com/C4756

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How do I create an image of my new machine?

I have a new machine, but I wasn't able to get true installation media, only recovery disks. I've heard you say that instead, I should make a backup image of my new machine as soon as I possibly can, so that I always have that to fall back on if I need to start over.

Great. But, how do I do that?

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Funny that you should ask; I just got a new machine myself.

I did, however, get the reinstallation media with it for $10 extra. That's a price I'd gladly pay. Thank you, Dell!

But I'll pretend that I didn't and take the very steps that I've suggested that you take when you get your new machine.

I'll show you what I did, step by step.

Continue reading: How do I create an image of my new machine?
http://ask-leo.com/C4755

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How do I setup Acronis True Image Home 2011?

In several of my responses, I mention Acronis True Home Image. Most presume that Acronis is, in fact, installed, or that the process of installing it is obvious to the casual observer.

That's not always the case.

Let me walk you through the steps of installing Acronis True Image Home 2011.

Continue reading: How do I setup Acronis True Image Home 2011?
http://ask-leo.com/C4754

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*** Comments

What computer should I get?

Barry Zander writes:

I've been using PCs since they were called "IBM Compatible," but this year it was time to upgrade my 6-year-old Dell Latitude D620. I asked experts I've known for years and who have used both PC and Mac, plus Asking Leo what was new at the Las Vegas show that might make a difference in the future. I have had excellent service through Dell's Gold Tech Support over the years, and I have the software and peripherals. But like switching from film to digital cameras, U.S. to Japanese cars, and other cataclysmic changes, I decided to move to a MacBook Pro. I'm now on the learning curve, which is traumatic. I'm confident that my advisors steered me in the right direction, but it's painful. The important points in making the change were that I don't have any PC-specific programs ... and my level of acceptance from my 21-year-old daughter has soared.

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How do I protect myself from my IT consultant?

Dave Smithson writes:

Great article - just one point LEO - when changing all the information in the Gmail account - its important to check the forwarding settings, automatically forwarding all incoming emails to a third party address, also each & every filter, potentially forwarding specific emails to third party addresses.

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How do I login to Windows automatically?

Ted writes:

I've always felt somewhat safe that all my "stuff" would be safe (from most) should I ever be burglarized and my machine stolen. This would take that away. I think it best to keep it password protected.

If your machine is stolen your login password is trivial to work around. Seriously, requiring or not requiring a password on login makes almost zero difference when it comes to loss of security due to computer theft. This article is one reason why: http://ask-leo.com/ive_lost_the_password_to_my_windows_administrator_account_how_do_i_get_it_back.html

-Leo

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Can I restore the complete backup of one computer onto another and have it work?

Vic writes:

Another way to do this successfully is by doing a repair install of Windows after copying the backup to a new drive. I've done this for friends on many occasions and only rarely has it not worked.

An interesting approach. I like it as something to try when this is necessary.

-Leo

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Is there a way to bypass keyloggers?

Saetana writes:

I use a piece of free software called Keyscrambler (I'm using IE 9), this encrypts all login details/passwords as I am entering them. Obviously I use a security suite (Microsoft Security Essentials) plus Threatfire free version for backup but I like this add-on for a little additional security ;o)

As noted in the article and in my replies on other comments there is no tool that will protect you from sufficiently sophisticated keyloggers or malware. I'm concerned that people are getting a false sense of security and as a result dropping their guard.

-Leo

*** Leo Recommends

Dell - PC Desktops, Laptops and Accessories

I'm taking a bit of a risk with today's recommendation because I know that Dell has its detractors and horror stories. The question as a friend put it is "do they have more, on average, as compared to other computer manufacturers?"

My opinion is they do not.

But I do have a few suggestions to make your Dell experience more like mine, and less like the ones getting all the negative publicity.

I own, or have owned, probably a dozen Dell computers over the years. Each has served me well, and each has lasted longer than the ever-increasing system requirements of operating systems like Windows. My Dells don't leave because they've irreparably failed; they're more likely to fall out of use because they can no longer be expanded to support the latest version of Windows, or handle newer and more demanding applications. My Dells have all lasted for years.

Continue reading...

Dell - PC Desktops, Laptops and Accessories
http://ask-leo.com/C3648

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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

This is a common request. The solutions aren't always what people want, but they are workable.

How do I stop someone from sending me harassing email?

I continue to receive harassing emails from an individual of whom I did not give my address. I have asked him several times to cease from writing to me but this is to no avail. I receive mail both in my in-box and my junk mail. I delete it without opening it but I now find that he is using other names/means to get through. I have never opened his mail so I don't know what his email address is. I have contact with several friends/relations/church members, etc. and really don't want to change my email address if possible. Can you advise me as to what I can do, please?

This is an unfortunately common situation.

And even more unfortunate is that there are few actual remedies, and those that do exist take a little bit of work.

But perhaps we can come up with an acceptable work-around...

Continue reading...
How do I stop someone from sending me harassing email?
http://ask-leo.com/C3307

*** Thoughts and Comments

Have you had your email account hacked in the last six months or so? If you have, and you know how it happened, I'd love to hear from you.

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I'm running my recommendation for Dell this week because I recently took delivery of yet another of their machines. My new Latitude E6410 replaces my Studio XPS as my mobile office and primary machine for Email. After a long and venerable career - including my trip to Australia and New Zealand last year - the XPS had an unfortunate encounter that broke the socket into which the power is plugged. It still works, but it's no longer travel-worthy.

I'm once again quite pleased with my new Dell.

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'till next week...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom

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