Leo’s Answers #96 – September 21, 2007

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

Hello!

*** Contents

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

MUST I upgrade MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger?

I'm trying to launch MSN Messenger and it's telling me I must upgrade to the latest version of Windows Live Messenger. I don't like Windows Live Messenger, can't I just keep my old MSN Messenger? There must be a way.

There isn't.

And you don't really want there to be, for reasons I'll explain in a moment.

The bottom line is that if you're running MSN Messenger or even an older version of Windows Live Messenger itself, you must upgrade. There's no avoiding that.

Now, as to what you upgrade to, well, there's a little wiggle room.

Continue reading: "MUST I upgrade MSN Messenger to Windows Live Messenger?"
http://ask-leo.com/must_i_upgrade_msn_messenger_to_windows_live_messenger.html

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How do I get rid of this infection that keeps coming back on my machine?

I have a virus on my computer that's blasting out spam emails. This has been going on for the past two months and I've tried every kind of tool out there and have not been able to get rid of it. I have spoken with Microsoft senior tech's at length trying to get the infection off the computer. After lengthy discussions they recommended I re-install Windows. With over a quarter of a million files and folders on the computer I was reluctant but I did it.

The problem is still there. The computer is back down to a crawl even after this a clean install.

What can I do?

Reinstalling the operating system is the safest, and frequently the only course of action after a serious malware infestation.

But as you've seen here, what if the malware comes back right away?

Continue reading: "How do I get rid of this infection that keeps coming back on my machine?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_get_rid_of_this_infection_that_keeps_coming_back_on_my_machine.html

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How should I keep my hard drive clean and working at its best?

How does one go about cleaning the hard drive? Does using scandisk and cleanup clean it?

There are several schools of thought on this, and really there's no right or wrong answer.

So, rather than try and stake out what everyone should be doing, I'll list the steps I take and things I do to keep my hard disks working well.

Continue reading: "How should I keep my hard drive clean and working at its best?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_should_i_keep_my_hard_drive_clean_and_working_at_its_best.html

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Why am I getting instant messages from people I don't know?

Today when I turned on my computer, there was a IM from someone I didn't recognize. I closed it as I figured it was just someone up to no good. I always thought you had to get the permission before someone would accept instant messages from you. My son has seen this also. Do you think this was someone that knew us both? Or do you think it's trouble brewing? I've never heard of this before.

Is it someone who knows you? Probably not. Trouble brewing? Perhaps.

But it's trouble that's easily avoided.

Continue reading: "Why am I getting instant messages from people I don't know?"
http://ask-leo.com/why_am_i_getting_instant_messages_from_people_i_dont_know.html

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Did Microsoft go too far this time?

Windows Update Automatic will update itself, even if you've turned automatic updates off. How bad a thing is that?

Continue reading: "Did Microsoft go too far this time?" Article Includes Audio
http://ask-leo.com/did_microsoft_go_too_far_this_time.html

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*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Ever wonder?

Where do you get your answers?

Unlike search engines such as Google or "natural language query" engines like Ask Jeeves, Ask Leo! is a real person: me, Leo Notenboom. That means when I get a question (and I get lots of questions), there are various steps I take to come up with the answers before I post them here.

Did I mention I get lots of questions? Unfortunately that means I can't answer every single one. However, I can outline some of the resources I use when I need them.

Read more... Where do you get your answers?
http://ask-leo.com/where_do_you_get_your_answers.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

Forced upgrades seem to be the theme of the last couple of weeks. Last week it was Windows Live Hotmail, then the "stealth" updates to Windows Automatic Updates, and this week it's Windows Live Messenger that's forcing an upgrade. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, it's been an interesting couple of weeks.

I've often stated that it's competition that's required to really get Microsoft to either innovate or "play catch-up" in response to user feedback. Case in point: for years, literally, people have been asking how they can automatically forward their Hotmail to another email address. You know, like you can do with your GMail account?

Well, guess what? My Hotmail account (excuse me, my Windows Live Hotmail account) is now automatically forwarded to one of my "real" addresses. Yep, a reader alerted me this morning to this apparently new feature of Windows Live Hotmail. I configured it, and it works.

You don't hear me say "That's just too cool!" very often, but that's what came out of my mouth. Knowing how often I get asked the question, being able to say "you can!" now really is pretty cool.

I'll cover the feature in a little more detail in the coming weeks, but for now if you're curious, login to your Windows Live Hotmail account, hit Options, More Options... and then click on Forward mail to another e-mail account.

With GMail and Yahoo mail well in the lead in features, it's good to see Hotmail playing a little catch up for all of its existing users.

'till next time...

Leo

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