Leo's Answers #39 – August 18, 2006

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


*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

Will my backup hard drive stored in my safe survive the heat of a fire?

Do you know what the maximum temperature is that an external hard drive can withstand? (not at which it operates, but an external temperature it can withstand.)

I bought an external hard drive with the intention of backing up my data once a week and storing the hard drive in a fire safe for the remainder of the time in case of fire. I was reading through the manual for my safe the other day, and it said it protects the contents by making sure the interior doesn't raise to above 350 degrees in case of fire. This got me thinking: the papers I have in there would be ok at that temperature, but would my credit cards and backup hard drive be ok? Wouldn't they melt? I read over the hard drive manual and even called the support number, but no one could give me the maximum temperature that the external hard drive could withstand. The only temperature numbers I could get were its operating temperatures.

I'll be honest - I don't know the answer to your specific question. I'll make an extremely uneducated guess, and maybe some readers will comment with better information.


I, personally, would never do what you're suggesting. But the good news is that you're 80% of the way to what I do, in fact, do.

Continue reading: "Will my backup hard drive stored in my safe survive the heat of a fire?"

* * *

Exploding Laptops?

The paranoids were right ... sort of.

Continue reading: "Exploding Laptops?" Article Includes Audio

* * *

Shovelware: What do I do with all this extra software on my new machine?

I know of several people who received new laptops that came loaded with extra software, which none of them ever use. I'm told that trying to uninstall it always leaves some residue behind, and that it might be better to just wipe the disk clean and install only the desired software from CDs. Seems like a huge amount of work to me. What do you think? What do you do?

There's a term for all that extra software: "shovelware" - as in computer manufacturers seem to just shovel in piles and piles of useless software for reasons unknown.

Well, the reasons aren't totally unknown, and in a perverse way you should probably even be thankful that it's there.

The question, of course if what to do with everything that's been shoveled on to your machine.

Continue reading: "Shovelware: What do I do with all this extra software on my new machine?"

* * *

Replacement hard drive: how can I copy files from a failing drive to its replacement?

My son's hard drive is having serious problems. I was wondering how hard it is to install a new hard drive and copy files from the old hard drive. My husband is an electrical engineer and has installed a hard drive on one of our computers before. The main thing I don't know about is if we will be able to copy his files from the old hard drive. He has a lot of music files that he has recorded and doesn't want to loose them.

Replacing a hard drive isn't terribly difficult, and I'll point you at a couple of articles I've found on line with step by step instructions.

But your question raises a couple of important issues that I want to touch on first, that I think everyone needs to be aware of.

Continue reading: "Replacement hard drive: how can I copy files from a failing drive to its replacement?"

* * *

Free Downloads: are they safer if I download directly to CD or DVD?

If i wanted a free download, say a risky file from bittorrent such as a game, would my computer be safe if I downloaded it directly to a CD or DVD?

In a word, no.

It's not where you put your free download that's risky - it's what you do with it next.

Here's what I recommend...

Continue reading: "Free Downloads: are they safer if I download directly to CD or DVD?"

* * *

Blurry images: why do images on some web pages start out blurry and then clear up?

My images are coming through 'blurred' when I first call them in; and only start to clear after maybe 1 or 2 seconds when they get progressively clearer until reaching the correct resolution. Do I need to download something from somewhere to enable my images to come straight in at maximum resolution?

It's not your problem, and there's nothing you can, or need, to do about it.

In fact, in classic software parlance: it's not a bug, it's a feature!

Let me explain why.

Continue reading: "Blurry images: why do images on some web pages start out blurry and then clear up?"

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

This week we continue the email theme of the last few articles from the archives.

I'm one of the moderators on a dog breed-specific mailing list with something like 2000 members. This is one of the extremely common questions we get:

Why am I not getting the email I signed up for?

Email mailing lists are a staple of the internet. From technical issues to social clubs to formal publications distributed by email, the email mailing list has become a critical component of how we conduct business, socialize and interact on the internet.

Unfortunately it's also the backbone for SPAM. And therein lies the problem.

Read more... Why am I not getting the email I signed up for?

*** Thoughts and Comments

Some weeks seem to have themes. Not only did a conversation with some colleagues turn to the topic of backing up, but I received several questions that were backup related in this weeks question flood.

The result: a couple of new backup related articles this week, and some general topics to be addressed in the future.

I'm actually continually shocked at how many people don't back up, or are happy putting all of their eggs into a single basket that they have no control over. Long time readers might guess that I'm thinking of how too many people and businesses rely solely on free email services for their mission critical information and communication. It's the very definition of asking for trouble.

But even more traditional backups aren't happening. I mean, really think about it ... if your computer died and died hard, right now, with no chance of recovery, what would you lose?

If the answer is more like "a lot" as opposed to "a little", then you really, really need to be thinking about backing up.

In one form or another, that disaster will happen. Anyone who's worked with computers for any length of time will tell you.

Start backing up. Please.

And on that cheery note :-) ...

'till next week...


* * *

The Latest:
Forwarded Funnies: "Reload" (R-Rated)
Taming Email: "Don't Ask for Spam"
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Get creative with Templates"

*** 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.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml?UD=nl. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

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

Posted: August 18, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2760
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2 comments on “Leo&apos;s Answers #39 – August 18, 2006”

  1. Hi Leo,

    I attempted installing cable modem to obtain internet connection using Motorola sb1500 modem. But it gave following message:

    “The procedure entry point HrIsIp state checking
    Enabled could not be located in the dynamic link
    library netshell.dll”

    What does the message mean?

    The process fails and we tried several times but to no avail. I used the same desk top prior to this for other broad band connection thru AirTel and dial up thru another vendor. It worked OK.


  2. “The procedure entry point HrIsIp state checking
    Enabled could not be located in the dynamic link
    library netshell.dll”

    What does the message mean?
    and how we can slove this problem when this msg came?????

Comments are closed.