Leo’s Answers #305 – October 18, 2011

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Leo Notenboom

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*** New Articles

How do I install an ISO file that contains software?

I downloaded a game and all that I got was an ISO file. My computer doesn't know what to do with that. What do I do? How do I install ISO files?


ISO files are becoming more and more common as a delivery mechanism for assorted types of both software and data.

An ISO file is nothing more than an image of a disc. Typically, it's a complete image of either a CD or DVD.

Which gives you at least one clue as to one of the options.

Continue reading: How do I install an ISO file that contains software?

* * *

How do I get "Send To" to work with Hotmail? Or Gmail? Or some other web-based email?

I am using Windows 7. I would like to be able to use the context menu “Send email” option in Windows applications, but I use Gmail exclusively. I have tried searching for a year for a simple plug-in or application that would correct my registry and allow this.


As far as I can tell so far, you can't. I could be wrong and I hope that I am, but this appears to be something that quietly got worse in Windows 7.

There are work-arounds, but they really do side-step the issue rather than actually solving it.

I'll describe the problem in more detail and list some of the possible work-arounds.

Continue reading: How do I get "Send To" to work with Hotmail? Or Gmail? Or some other web-based email?

* * *

How do I remove a partition in Windows 7?

I have a Windows 7 system and by mistake, I have created two partitions. I would like to remove the added partition without doing damage to the original partition. I have not been able to find information on this subject.


In the past, this required third-party tools, but as you're using Windows 7, you're in luck: everything that you need is already on your system.

I'll show you, step by step and in video, how to remove that partition and how to recover the space that it occupied into the adjacent drive.

Continue reading: How do I remove a partition in Windows 7?

* * *

How do I sign in to Windows 7 automatically?

I used to be able to set up my computer to sign me in automatically when I reboot. My new computer doesn't do that and I have to type in my password each time. How do I make it stop needing that?


It turns out that it's not that difficult to set up at all.

I'll walk you through the steps and I'll show you in a short video exactly how to do what you want.

But I do need to ask you a very important question first:

Are you really sure that you want to do this?

Continue reading: How do I sign in to Windows 7 automatically?

* * *

Questions and Answers about Backup

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 answer several questions asked by the webinar attendees.

Continue reading: Questions and Answers about Backup

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*** Last Week's Articles

*** Comments

How can I recover my encrypted data from my flash memory device?

Craig Fearing writes:

Sorry, Dave, but you are wrong. It's true that magnets (even fairly weak ones) can ruin data on credit cards or anything else that uses an exposed magnetic stripe or disk, but flash card technology doesn't involve, nor is it influenced by, magnetic fields. Unfortunately, my very strong magnet seems to be missing from its habitual parking place so I can't conduct the experiment I was planning. Nevertheless, the physics involved rather conclusively indicate that flash memory would not be affected by even a multi-tesla MRI machine. Do you have any evidence to support your claim?

Although Alan is right that Windows may sometimes accept one interface while failing with another, Leo is certainly also right that these devices do have a finite number of write cycles. Think of it somewhat like a piece of metal than can be flexed some number of times before it breaks at the flex point.

Given that many phones - the same ones accused of erasing magnetic strips - actually contain flash memory, I agree that magnetics is not a factor in flash memory issues.



How do I protect myself from my children?

Bubba writes:

I use this same configuration for my business clients to allow visitors (IE customers or sales reps) access to the Internet, while preventing access to their internal network. Also, some wireless routers now offer a "Guest Wireless" feature that allows access to the Internet, but isolates guests from the "private" network; an option if your kids', or guests', computers have WiFi.


How can I recover my encrypted data from my flash memory device?

Bruce Tech Guy writes:

Some good ideas here.

A couple more I might suggest:

1) use a volume or disk copy program to copy the flash card to an available HD. Programs such as EaseUs Partition Master, or Paragon Partition Manager, are free and have partition volume copy function. Or you could try a dedicated copier such as DriveImage XML or HDClone Free to make the volume copy. 2) When one of these succeeds, make a second and set one aside as your fall-back (perhaps copying it to a CD or DVD). 3) Now use your multiple steps to try to gain access to the encrypted volume. First from within TrueCrypt, then possibly doing file directory repair, then trying the recovery methods.

4) If the copy didn't work, try a lower-level copier, such as ISOBuster (the basic version is free, and even though it is designed for CD/DVD it might work, I have never tried it on flash memory myself), or TeraCopy, which retries sectors if the copy fails, or similar low-level, error-retrying copy software.

5) Once copied, as above, make a copy of that copy and save it off for fall-back. 6) As above, now try to use the various methods to gain access to the encrypted volume.

Two other tips regarding flash drives.

There are times I have had the flash drive tell me it could not be written to - and it turned out to be a case of too many files in the root level of the drive - not lack of space or other drive issue. The simple fix for that was to delete unneeded files, or put some of the root level files into a folder. Which then clears up space in the flash drive root area to allow it to function again.

Lastly, a flash drive testing app, such as Check Flash (1.16) can be used to check the flash drive to see how good (or bad) the sectors/cells are. Just make sure to either use ONLY in Read mode, or ONLY on drives with no important data.


How can I recover my encrypted data from my flash memory device?

eMark writes:

I have had great success with a program that is not free called getdataback there is FAT32 and NTFS version. I once had a customer delete all her pictures then reformat her drive and reinstall a new windows! I got back about 85% of her pictures. That was amazing to me.

*** Leo Recommends

Recuva - A free, easy to use undelete and file recover tool

As you might expect, I have a small collection of useful tools that I keep available for assorted system maintenance and troubleshooting tasks. However, for the longest time I haven't really carried a file un-delete utility with me. Not because there aren't some good ones out there, but more because I never really got comfortable with any of the ones I had tried. I certainly was not comfortable enough to recommend any.

I recently discovered Recuva, which I just added to my toolkit. It's free, it's easy to use, and it's from the same people that bring you CCleaner, which gives added credibility.

When you delete a file, the contents of that file are not necessarily immediately overwritten or removed. Instead, the space used by that file is marked as "available" so that it can be used the next time data is written to the disk. As long as that doesn't happen and the old data is not overwritten by something new, there's a chance you can recover the file.

This is where utilities like Recuva come in. They scan the available space and the control information on the hard disk to identify files that might be recoverable.

Recuva starts with a Wizard that allows you to specify what drives to scan, and what classes of files to look for. Let's say you just deleted a picture on your flash drive by mistake, you can tell Recuva to scan all the removable media for pictures, and it'll do exactly that. Or, you can dive right into the program's advanced interface and have it scan a specific drive you specify, and then filter the results based on type or name.

Continue reading: Recuva - A free, easy to use undelete and file recover tool


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

Since I just wrote about defragmenting last week this article seemed timely, as it's a common situation experienced by many.

Why would the defragger tell me I still need to defrag after it's done?

When I defrag and then analyze, defragmenter tells me over and over again that I need to defrag? Why would it do that?

I'm assuming what you mean is that you've defragged, and then immediately thereafter run the analysis again only to have it tell you that "this volume should be defragmented", even though that's exactly what you've just done.

I can think of a couple of reasons.

Continue reading...
Why would the defragger tell me I still need to defrag after it's done?

*** Thoughts and Comments

This week's webinar was a success! Well, almost a success. Smile

I couldn't record it.

As a side effect of my computer rebuild I found that I had failed to install one important component that GoToWebinar required for me to be able to record. And of course I found this out at the very list minute (literally with seconds on the down-count clock). So we forged ahead without a recording.

The upshot is that I'll be re-recording four segments on my own this week, one on each of the items we covered in the webinar: Evernote, Dropbox, Snagit and xplorer2. As always you can check the webinar page, and you'll see those links light up as the segments become available.

Or you could just watch Twitter or Facebook, or wait until next week's newsletter.

In the "this happens to me too" department, I rebuilt my primary desktop machine in the hopes that doing so would take care of a random freeze I've been experiencing. The good news is that the freezes are less frequent. The bad news is that they've happened twice. Still "feels" like a video driver issue, but since I'm running up-to-date drivers as a result of the rebuild I feel like I have two choices: find an older driver and install that and see how it goes, or buy a new video card to change things.

I'm about to opt for the later.

And yes, random freeze's - especially those that persist across a system rebuild - are a pain.

I find myself repeating a couple of mantras:

Save early, save often.

since as I write documents I find myself habitually typing CTRL+S to save my work in progress, just in case.

If it's only in one place, it's not backed up.

In case the absolute worst happens.

I'll admit that I'm looking forward to cranking up the settings in World of Warcraft. To 11, as a friend of mine suggested. Smile

'till next week...

Leo A. Notenboom
Twitter - Facebook - Google+ - YouTube

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Posted: October 18, 2011 in: 2011
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/4957
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