Leo's Answers #35 – July 21, 2006

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom


*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

When I use Start-Run and type in a command, why does a window just flash and disappear?

When I try to use "Start" and then "Run" to run a command the DOS screen flashes momentarily then vanishes. Am I overlooking something obvious?

Not really. It's only obvious if you've been using PCs since before there was Windows, and before there was a GUI.

Start-Run is incredibly useful, but it's not appropriate for everything. The good news is that there's a simple trick that covers all.

Continue reading: "When I use Start-Run and type in a command, why does a window just flash and disappear?"

* * *

Winternals is Assimilated

Winternals and SysInternals have been purchased by Microsoft; Windows developers world-wide shudder.

Continue reading: "Winternals is Assimilated" Article Includes Audio

* * *

I'm only getting speeds of 28.8kbs, why won't it go faster?

How can I get my PC to run faster than 28.8kbps? I use to run at 40.0kbps but lately I've been stuck at 28.8. What should I do?

First let's be clear about something, it's not your computer that's slower than you expect, it's your modem.

And while your modem may be rated at up to 56kbps, it's rare to ever see that speed. And yes, speeds of 28.8 are not uncommon. But since you were getting 40, obviously something changed.

Continue reading: "I'm only getting speeds of 28.8kbs, why won't it go faster?"

* * *

How do I run an anti-virus scan if I can't boot?

Most of the self-help books that have been written about XP say the same thing - if you can't start XP in safe mode you might have a virus so run an anti-virus program. Well, all of my anti-virus packages were downloaded, so I have no install disks. But even if I had an install disk, if I can't boot Windows, or I can't connect to the internet, a disk won't do me any good. So how do I run an anti-virus scan under these conditions? And if I reformat and reinstall XP, isn't there a possibility that a virus could attach itself to the new install if I haven't eliminated it beforehand?

You're experiencing a definite chicken-and-egg situation. You need to run an anti-virus program to possibly fix Windows, but you need to be able to run Windows in order to run the anti-virus program.

Seems like a no-win situation.

There are approaches, but they all revolve around booting something else.

Continue reading: "How do I run an anti-virus scan if I can't boot?"

* * *

Why might my network icon show constant activity?

My network icon is lit up all the time even when no net-accessing application such such as IE, Yahoo Instant Messenger, MSN Instant Messenger and the like are running. Does the light being on all the time like that mean I've been infected with something?

That's a definite maybe.

There are a lot of things that cause network activity when you're not using your machine. Depending on how your machine is configured, and how it's connected to the internet, some of that network activity could definitely be bad and lead to an infection, if you're not already infected.

On the other hand, it could also be a sign of things working properly.

Continue reading: "Why might my network icon show constant activity?"

* * *

Would you please recover my password? My account has been hacked or I've forgotten it.

  • Someone hacked my Hotmail account and changed my password and my secret question. I have emailed customer service for help but I haven't gotten an answer. Can you get it back for me?

  • Someone has hacked my email address and has changed my password, my personal information and my secret question. I can't log into my own email account! Please help me recover my password. The id that has been hacked is *****. Please rescue me.

  • I am not able to log into my Yahoo account that I've been using for the past 10 years. I clicked on the "forgot password" link and filled in all the details. It's asking me for answer to my secret question - "who's my friend?" How would I remember who would it be 10 years ago? Please reply and save a soul. I have very important information in my mails.

  • I've forgotten my password and the answer to my secret question. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE can you send my password to *****@*****.com?


There is nothing I can do. I have no way to help you.

Here is what you can do...

Continue reading: "Would you please recover my password? My account has been hacked or I've forgotten it."

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

I get a surprising number of questions about BCC in email. People wanting to use it, which is the article from the archives this week, and people wanting to get around it, which I'll save for next week.

How do I hide the email addresses I'm sending to on a message?

Have you ever gotten a piece of email where you weren't listed as a recipient? Your email address wasn't present on either the "To:" line or the "Cc:" (Carbon Copy) line, but somehow you got it anyway. What you didn't see was what's called the "Blind Carbon Copy" line, or "Bcc:", which allows the sender to specify a list of people to get the message, without their name appearing on it.

Why "carbon", and what's this about it being "blind"?

Read more... How do I hide the email addresses I'm sending to on a message?

*** Thoughts and Comments

There are currently over 900 articles on Ask Leo!. And, with the exception of one guest article, I've written them all. So you would think I'd have a good handle on them all, right? Apparently not.

My typical process is to write an article in response to someone's question (or a trend I see in incoming questions), and then do a quick scan of my site to see what other articles might be appropriate to include as "Related Links". This week after finishing a new article (the article on modem speeds, above), I went to search for related links and found an article that I'd written two years ago that answers fundamentally the same question.


Usually I remember that I've addressed certain questions before, and move on to other issues. I've published the new article anyway, realizing that the same answer in completely different words still has value.

But I need to start following my own advice. In several places on the site I ask people to use the Google search box to look for answers that are already here.

Apparently I need to do the same before I start writing. :-)

'till next week...


* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Classic Lawyer Jokes"
Taming Email: "The Most Under-Used Key on Your Keyboard"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Get creative with HTML"

*** Newsletter Administration

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I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I just can't answer everyone. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, I read every email I get.

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Newsletter contents Copyright © 2006, Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.

Posted: July 21, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2730
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