Leo’s Answers #301 – September 20, 2011

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Leo Notenboom

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*** New Articles

How can I prevent a Word document from being copied or printed?

How do I protect a Word document from being copied or printed? I have Microsoft Office 2003 student package with a Windows Vista 32-bit operating system. I have tried clicking Protect Document in the Tools menu. It only protects it from not being modified, but it does not prevent it from being copied or printed. I also tried with Prepare, Mark as final, but that also does not prevent it from being copied or printed. I have tried converting my document to pdf but the receiver also can copy or print it.


The super-short answer is that you cannot.

Questions similar to this are so common that I want to review why you cannot, and even go so far as to detail why so many of the suggested approaches simply won't work.

This applies not just to Word documents, but to any digital document or file.

Continue reading: How can I prevent a Word document from being copied or printed?

* * *

A brief overview of Paragon Backup and Recovery

Backups are an oft-discussed topic on Ask Leo!, but options for how best to perform backups and what tools to use can be both confusing and difficult to find.

In this video excerpt from an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll provide a brief overview of one of the options: Backup & Recovery 2011 (Advanced) Free.

Continue reading: A brief overview of Paragon Backup and Recovery

* * *

I accidentally deleted everything on my hard drive, how do I get it all back?

I have accidentally deleted everything inside my hard drive. How could I restore them?


I've accidentally done this myself.1

It's never pretty and your recovery options are usually very limited.

Let me start with one admonition: stop using the drive. The more that you use it, the less likely that you'll be able to recover.

Now, let's look at options...

Continue reading: I accidentally deleted everything on my hard drive, how do I get it all back?

* * *

How do I close my Windows Live Hotmail account?

I need to close my Hotmail account. I'm getting too much spam and besides, I think it's been hacked. I just want to close it and stop it from bothering anyone anymore. How do I do that?


I'd actually suggest that you reconsider closing your account.

If your account has been hacked, it's quite possible that the hacker will just access it and stop the closure anyway.

And even if not, if people are getting spam from your account, so it's not likely that closing it will help at all.

That being said, if you still want to close it, I'll walk you through the steps; it's not really that hard.

Continue reading: How do I close my Windows Live Hotmail account?

* * *

Should I try Windows 8?

This is a question that I want to head off before damage has been done.


No, you should not give Windows 8 a try.

Or, perhaps I'll put it this way: if you have to ask the question, the answer is no. If you're not sure, the answer is no.

I'll explain why I'm taking such a hard line about Windows 8 at this point in time.

Continue reading: Should I try Windows 8?

* * *

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*** Last Week's Articles

*** Comments

Is it safe to share my internet connection with my neighbor?

Bob writes:

The trust actually goes both ways. If you allow your neighbor to share your network, each of you is trusting each of the computers in the other's home -- and any casual user of those computers.

Do they trust you -- and anybody who uses your computer? Do you trust them?

Personal boundaries can be hard to maintain. "Uncle Bob, I just want to check my Facebook account."


How should I protect my computer from natural disasters?

Glenn P. writes:

Nick H. wrote:

"...a simple USB key today can be simple enough to use to save personal documents and photos... Once copied, keep it in your car or at work..."
Folks, never, ever keep valuable electronic devices in your car (and if you've put valuable data onto a cheap USB drive, then yes, it has just become valuable) -- the extremes of temperature (especially, high temperatures in summer) can absolutely fry the components in such devices. We've had two-way radios "die" on us that way, from just that very cause. Remember: electronics are temperature-fragile!


How do I force Windows to reinstall a driver?

Ken B writes:

I have heard third-hand (not having experienced it myself) that the above steps sometimes don't actually get rid of the old drivers, and will simply reinstall the same (broken?) drivers. But, if you do the uninstall/remove in safe mode, it "really, truly" gets rid of the current drivers.

So, if the above doesn't work, try it again by uninstalling the driver in safe mode, and then rebooting. That should then force new drivers to be installed when it detects the hardware.


How should I protect my computer from natural disasters?

Tony writes:

I'm in the process of copying all my photos to Gmail's Picasa Web Albums AND Hotmail's Windows Live SkyDrive. I attempted a third copy as well in Yahoo's Flickr, but they allow very little before charging a fee to upgrade. Yahoo Flickr also seems to emphasize the social networking aspect more than simply allowing me to use storage space.

I also regularly copy my other files to Google Docs and Windows Live SkyDrive.

These personal files also reside on my Home computer, a folder on my Work laptop, and a USB Flash Drive. I try not to allow these three to be in the same place at the same time.

*** Leo Recommends

This Is True - Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary

This is True is a weekly syndicated newspaper column by Colorado humorist Randy Cassingham. Each week Randy reports on several bizarre, but absolutely true news stories from around the world, ending each with his own unique humorous comment. The stories are often odd, frequently head shaking, and occasionally very thought provoking.

But they're always funny.

Continue reading: This Is True - Weekly Weird News, Humor and Insightful Commentary


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

We've come to rely on email as a nearly instantaneous means of communicating with people all over the planet. It wasn't designed to be instantaneous, though. Far from it, in fact.

How long should email take to be delivered?

1. How long does e-mail delivery typically take? What are the most common ranges?

2. How long does it actually take (more or less) for the mailer-daemon at my e-mail host (or whoever) to find the addressee mailbox is full, the addressee is unknown or otherwise undeliverable? (such as address misspelled)

3. Where the addressee data seems valid, how long will the mailer-daemon at my e-mail host (or whoever) keep trying?

Answers to these questions might be of general interest to people frequently replying and to pen pals.

I'm guessing it's really only the first that most people will be interested in, but I'll hit the other two as well.

People have high expectations of email. And most of the time those expectations are actually met.

However, what's considered "allowable behavior" will surprise you.

Continue reading...
How long should email take to be delivered?

*** Thoughts and Comments

The first segment of last week's webinar overview of backup programs is up, covering Paragon; Macrium and Windows backup will follow soon. We had several great questions during the webinar that those are also getting collected and a separate Q&A segment will be available as well.


Lots of buzz around Windows 8 this week. My first, and for a while my only, article about it is listed above. I say "for a while my only" simply because I like to focus more on what people are really using rather what might be the next best thing. Several other sites are discussing Windows 8 if you're interested in some of its details. (GroovyPost has several interesting posts, for one source.) Just remember that Windows 8 isn't released, it will change and if you decide to play with it, it might erase everything on your machine. Smile


If still you're interested in Google+ but haven't joined yet, as I write this I have 113 invites left: get yours here.

'till next week...

Leo A. Notenboom
Twitter - Facebook - Google+

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Posted: September 20, 2011 in: 2011
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/4936
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