Leo’s Answers #312 – December 6, 2011

A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom

Change is coming! Be sure to read my comments at the bottom for news about some changes to the newsletter beginning next year! I'm pretty excited about it, and I hope you are too.

*** New Articles

How do I remove the black Google toolbar and blue 'Click here to start sharing' bar?

XP Home Service Pack 3 Firefox 8. I somehow acquired "GOOGLE+" and I want to remove it completely. There is toolbar showing "+you Web Images Videos .....", and there is a blue box beneath this toolbar displaying "Click here to start sharing Google+". This is both annoying and unsolicited. I have searched the web but no one seems to have a solution which works. I really like Google and do not really want to use another search engine.


First, I want to be clear: You didn't acquire anything.

This isn't a toolbar in the normal sense, as it's not an add-on to your browser.

In fact, it's not on your machine at all.

It's all about Google's web pages, which is the only place where you'll see them.

Continue reading: How do I remove the black Google toolbar and blue 'Click here to start sharing' bar?

* * *

A drive with all my data is showing as unformatted - what do I do?

I recently replaced my system hard drive and have taken my old internal hard drive out and installed it into a external enclosure. When I plug it in, it shows up on my computer, but without a file system label, only a letter designation (G). Disk management says it is unformatted. It was NTFS as an internal drive. I'm concerned that if I format it, I will lose all of my data now stored on the drive. What steps do I take to format this external drive without losing my files? Or am I missing a step in accessing the information on the drive?


First, don't format the drive.

Formatting will erase whatever's on there or, at a minimum, make it more difficult to recover your data.

I do have some suggestions of next steps to take instead.

Continue reading: A drive with all my data is showing as unformatted - what do I do?

* * *

How do I get my login ID and password to stop showing on sites that I log into?

How do I eliminate my email/password from automatically showing up on our computer for Facebook? I have searched their help answers. Could it have something to do with our Firefox settings?


Yep. It's all about Firefox.

Actually, this applies to not only Firefox, but most other browsers as well, and not just to Facebook, but many other sites, too.

You've configured your browser to be helpful. Smile

If that's not the kind of help that you want, we can change that.

Continue reading: How do I get my login ID and password to stop showing on sites that I log into?

* * *

A brief overview of Faststone Image Viewer

There are several image viewing utilities out there. I've settled on the free FastStone Image Viewer as my viewer of choice. More than just a viewer, FastStone also includes basic image manipulation tools, so it can fill in for many image editing needs as well.

In this video for an Ask Leo! webinar, I'll show off a few of its features.

Continue reading: A brief overview of Faststone Image Viewer

* * *

How do I get rid of these questionable entries in my Hotmail auto-complete?

When I create a new message and start typing in the To line, Hotmail suggests some email addresses that I know, but several that I don't know and - to be honest - are very embarrassing as they're often adult in nature - sometimes VERY much so. It kind of implies that I've contacted these people before, but there's no way!

Why are they showing, where did they come from, and most importantly, how do I get rid of them?


I've heard this one a lot in recent months and I was never able to figure out what was going on.

All of the credit for this goes to Elizabeth, one of my readers, who first asked the question; when I didn't know the answer, she came back to me a few days later with the explanation.

We now know where they came from, and even better, how to get rid of them and make sure that they don't come back.

Continue reading: How do I get rid of these questionable entries in my Hotmail auto-complete?

* * *

How do I get a notification when anyone I send an email to forwards that email?

How do I get a notification when anyone I send an email to forwards that email?


You cannot.

It is not possible to tell if an email has been forward in any reliable way.

Those emails telling you that you might win money by forwarding them on?

Bogus. Each and every one of them.

Let me explain a little why this is so.

Continue reading: How do I get a notification when anyone I send an email to forwards that email?

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*** Last Week's Articles

*** Comments

How do I protect my email address book?

Gabe Lawrence writes:

I'm thinking like a hacker here....why wouldn't I get your email/password and go to all major websites and say "I forgot my password". Most use their email address as the username and probably the same password. If you have an account there, it will email a "reset password" link to your email account that I have access to! I can now get into your OTHER accounts. Not to mention, if I search your email archives (gmail especially as they promote NOT deleting anything) then I can get a feel for where you do your banking and other online activities.



What's the difference between SATA, PATA and IDE?

AG Wright writes:

It might be good to mention here that there are IDE and SATA controller cards if one or the other is needed in a computer that has a PCI slot that is empty.


What's the difference between SATA, PATA and IDE?

Nick writes:

Just to muddy the issue a bit, there are converters you can buy that attach to the back of an IDE drive to convert it to SATA. I've had mixed success with them but when they work they work great.

Less commonly nowadays, you can also get an expansion card that plugs into a PCI slot on the motherboard that adds IDE ports if your system doesn't come with them by default.


Why Outlook Express Must Die

Ron Hoffman writes:

Sorry Leo but when it comes to OE, I have not found anything better. I happen to be one who likes to add some stationery once in a while and none of the others seem to be able to do it.

I don't like the folder list filling up the left side of the screen. OE lets you bring it up when you need to change folders. I don't think you have used OE or else you would know how nice it is. I do agree with you on incredimail. I don't like it too much as well. It is a little better than Live mail but anything is better that Live Mail. Thunderbird is almost as bad. Very plain. I like to get fancy once in a while. When I see an OE for Win7 then I might change to Win7. Right now there is not too much I can not do with WinXP that can be done with Win7. At least what I want to do with a computer.

For the record I have used Outlook Express extensively, and my wife ran it for many years. I much prefer Thunderbird, and she's moved on to Microsoft Office Outlook. While many people like Outlook Express there's no getting around that a) it's no longer supported, b) it will not be made available for Windows Vista, 7 or 8 and c) I still see more lost email due to Outlook Express problems than any other email program.


*** Leo Recommends

Dropbox - Share files across machines, with friends and publicly for free

I've been using Dropbox for a quite some time now and recently came across perhaps the most compelling reason to finally recommend it to you.

One of the common questions I get is "how do I share [files, photos, documents, whatever] with my [friends, business associates, contacts] without using email, and without having them show up on the public internet?

Dropbox solves that, and a lot more.

Continue reading: Dropbox - Share files across machines, with friends and publicly for free


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

Confused about certificate errors? You're not alone!

What does "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" mean, and what should I do?

I have a laptop that consistently has a problem when it accesses a site online each and every time I get the same message from the site I am visiting. The message is strange and I have no knowledge of how to correct the implied problem.

The message is: "There is a problem with this website's security certificate. The security certificate presented by this website has expired or is not yet valid."

This message appears when I try to access my email account.

The problem is most likely not yours to correct. In the case you're asking about, more often than not, it's a problem with the web site itself.

Though you still need to be careful.

Let's look at security certificates on https connections, what they mean and what you should do when faced with messages such as this.

Continue reading...
What does "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" mean, and what should I do?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Upcoming Webinar

A quick reminder that this Sunday December 11th at 1PM US PST is the next webinar. Webinar #7 - Your Questions. As the name implies, there's no formal agenda, just bring questions - lots of questions - and I'll do my best to answer them.

Attendance is limited, and pre-registration is required. Click here for more details.

Upcoming Changes to the Newsletter

(Since today's comments are a tad long, this section is also archived at 2012 Newsletter Changes.)

I want to thank everyone who provided feedback for the survey I ran last month regarding newsletter frequency. The overwhelming winner was "do whatever you want", which I truly appreciate.

Taking your feedback, and factoring in my own goals for the new year (more answers for you, less work for me :-) I've decided to tweak a couple of things about the weekly newsletter.

Starting in January 2012 it'll come out twice a week. You don't need to do a thing - you'll now get two newsletters each week: one on Tuesday morning, as before, and one on Friday morning. (The newsletters will still be archived on the site as well.)

Tuesday's newsletter will have at least three articles, a new "word of the week" featuring entries from the Ask Leo! glossary, and a product or device recommendation.

Friday's newsletter will also have at least three articles, a sampling of reader comments as well as my own "thoughts and comments" section.

Tally that all up and it's actually more information each week spread out over two shorter newsletters.

In addition there'll be a new email subscription that I'll announce in a couple of weeks. I'm pretty excited about it; It'll address something you're getting in today's newsletter that's missing from the list above, only better since it will also address one of the most common requests I get from newsletter subscribers.

Important Administrivia: I'm taking advantage of this time of change to also change something else: the name. "Leo's Answers" never really felt right - I guess it just seems too pretentious, to be honest. I'll simply call it The Ask Leo! Newsletter. As a result those of you that have set up filters based on the subject line of the email might need to adjust your filters:

Until 12/31/2011:

From: Leo Notenboom - Ask Leo! <leo@ask-leo.com>
Sender: leosanswers@aweber.com
Subject: Leo's Answers #000 - date

Beginning 1/1/2012:

From: The Ask Leo! Newsletter <leo@ask-leo.com>
Sender: leosanswers@aweber.com
Subject: Ask Leo! #000 - topics in the newsletter

You'll note that the email addresses that are being used are not changing, so any filters you have set up based on those will continue to work. I'm hopeful that the new subject line format will be more useful to you as well by presenting a highlight of the topics that are contained in the newsletter.

Thanks again for your valuable feedback and your ongoing support of Ask Leo!. I'm truly grateful and honored that you're here.

'till next week...

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

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Posted: December 6, 2011 in: 2011
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/5004
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