Leo’s Answers #92 – August 24, 2007

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

Hello!

*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?

I meant to hit "Empty Recycle Bin" but clicked on "Delete" instead. Now my Recycle Bin has disappeared from my desktop. How do I get it back? I'm running Windows Vista.

To me this seems like a step backwards for Vista. On Windows XP, there is no "Delete" item when you right click on your desktop Recycle Bin. On Vista there is.

Not only is that potentially confusing, even when you do understand the difference, you know what's going to happen.

Continue reading: "I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back?"
http://ask-leo.com/i_accidentally_deleted_my_recycle_bin_in_vista_how_do_i_get_it_back.html

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How do I find out who's at a particular IP address?

... from emails can I find their IP address, and then maybe their actual address so then I can find their phone number?

I've been getting abused over the internet and was wondering if I could find out where they live through their IP address...

I was wondering whether a person could be tracked after posting on a forum. After all, most sites record the visitors IP address.

I need someone to track down this IP address...

As you can see, this is a question I get a lot. It's a very serious issue for some people.

Unfortunately, though I've answered this question a few times in a few ways, I keep getting various versions of the same question almost daily: "Can I find out who's at a particular IP address?"

No, you cannot.

Here's why and what it really takes ...

Continue reading: "How do I find out who's at a particular IP address?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_find_out_whos_at_a_particular_ip_address.html

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How do I remove the Documents item on my Start Menu?

When I click on the start menu there's a tab which reads "Documents". This tab keeps track of all the files I open, and I want to know how I can turn it off, or get rid of it all together.

It turns out that it's not all that hard to clear the list and if so desired, hide it as well.

Continue reading: "How do I remove the Documents item on my Start Menu?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_remove_the_documents_item_on_my_start_menu.html

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Why does Windows have a registry?

Why does Windows have a registry? What's the benefit? What was so bad about older programs that could work all alone in their own directory?

I'm sure that any of us who've faced registry corruption have asked this question. As has anyone looking to twiddle by hand some obscure setting in a program.

In "the old days" settings were often kept in plain text files which in turn were kept with the program. Easy to find, easy to edit.

The Windows Registry changed all that.

If it helps any, the intentions were good.

Continue reading: "Why does Windows have a registry?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_does_windows_have_a_registry.html

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Why does the space used by files on my hard drive show different numbers depending on how I look?

In explorer, under the properties of the "C" drive, the space USED is 70 gb. All folders are shown, and by selecting all the files and folders on the drive contents and properties, I get 31gb used. I can not find the other files anyway.

It's worse than you think. Just with a little poking around I was able to generate several different numbers for the "spaced used" on my hard drive.

I'll admit, it's frustrating. Fortunately it's not something we need look at very often, but you'd think the line between what's used and what's not used would be clear. Actually it is, but there are different ways of looking at "what's used" that don't tell the whole story.

Continue reading: "Why does the space used by files on my hard drive show different numbers depending on how I look?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_does_the_space_used_by_files_on_my_hard_drive_show_different_numbers_depending_on_how_i_look.html

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Can I convert an external USB hard drive into an internal one?

Is it possible to use my external hard drive as an internal hard drive? I have an XTRA DISK external hard drive with a Western Digital WD300 enhanced IDE hard drive. I would like to make it an internal hard drive.

In most cases the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, I've done exactly this myself.

However, there are a few caveats to be aware of.

Continue reading: "Can I convert an external USB hard drive into an internal one?"
http://ask-leo.com/can_i_convert_an_external_usb_hard_drive_into_an_internal_one.html

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Tracking Bookmarks

How do you keep track of your bookmarks? I'm trying del.icio.us.

Continue reading: "Tracking Bookmarks" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/tracking_bookmarks.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Here's one that I think confuses a lot of Microsoft Word users from time to time:

Why does Word tell me a document has changed when it hasn't?

Hey Leo, what can I do, when I close out of an existing saved Word document, to stop the "Do you want to save changes to your document?" window from coming up every time, even when I haven't made changes or touched a thing?

Microsoft Word asks if you want to save changes if you try to close or exit with a document open that Word thinks has changed.

Chances Word is correct, and it has changed. Even if all you did was look.

Read more... Why does Word tell me a document has changed when it hasn't?
http://ask-leo.com/why_does_word_tell_me_a_document_has_changed_when_it_hasnt.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

I try not to get too annoyed, or if I do, not to let it show here. I'm guessing that this week's article How do I find out who's at a particular IP address? may have tipped my hand just a little. Smile

Despite several articles that address the topic, I still get asked about looking up people by IP addresses almost every day.

In fairness, if people can't find the answer they're looking for on my site, that's in large part my problem, not theirs. Looking at my IP tracing articles I decided that they weren't as clear as they could be, and perhaps that's why people continued to ask the same questions over and over - even in the comments to the very article that answered their question.

Hence in the new article I tried to be as clear as I could be, perhaps bordering on the brutally blunt.

On a semi-related note, my assistant Jenn will soon be answering some questions as well.

As you probably know, I get many more questions than I can actually answer. As we've seen many questions I get are already answered on the site. In other cases, an article on the site might actually relate in a way that might not be readily obvious. Jenn'll be responding to some of those kinds of questions with the "try this article over here" response. Yes, in a way she'll be another level of Ask Leo! search engine. I certainly encourage everyone to use the Google search on the site, but I know sometimes it still takes a real human to make the connections between question and answer.

And I'm sure by now you know which article Jenn'll be referring all those IP tracing questions to.

Finally, for those of you who might notice such things, this weekends podcast will be late. My wife and I are taking a much needed weekend away from it all.Smile

'till next time...

Leo

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The Latest:
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Taming Email: "Count to 10, to 100, to 1000 if you have to."
Leo's MovableType Tips: "Tolerate Broken URLs"

*** 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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