Previous episode

Episode 1459 February 3, 2018

Next episode

Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brian from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Brian tried to rename a file and ended up renaming hundreds of them. How can he undo that? Leo says it's a common issue, and if he accidentally hit an asterisk while typing (which is on the 8 key), it could rename everything pretty easily. The good news is that it assigned a number to each duplicate name, so it doesn't overwrite the file. Brian just needs to figure out which file is which. There's an easy fix. Fortunately, Brian uses Carbonite, so he can just restore his backup.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor.)

Watch John from Bucks County, PA Comments

John has an old PC that runs XP and he's going to install Debian Linux on it. He wants to keep XP on it to run dual boot, though. Can he still get Service Pack 3 to get it up to date? Leo says that Microsoft has killed XP development, so he can't really get ahold of it except through a third party archival service. He'll have to decide if that's legit. If he installs Linux first, it may prevent installing Windows XP in the process.

Another option would be to install VirtualBox and run XP virtually. He can even avoid XP and just install WINE and run whatever XP apps he needs. But if he installs Windows XP, he should remember that he's going to be using a computer that has a security issue. So whenever he's running XP, he should keep these protective steps in mind:

1. Stop using XP as an administrator — use it as a limited user instead. Add an account as an administrator and then demote the existing account to limited user. This will stop over 90% of all the exploits out there.
2. Stop using Internet Explorer. Go with Google Chrome. It's free and far more secure.
3. Don't click on links in email.
4. Only get your software from original vendors.
5. Keep your antivirus software up to date.
6. Stop using Java.
7. Use a password vault like LastPass.
8. Turn on second-factor authentication.

Photo: "IE7 in Windows XP" by Poakpong via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Manny from Vero Beach, FL Comments

Manny has an LG G5 smartphone and the timer pops up telling him how long he's been on a call. It annoys him. Leo says it has to be an LG feature because that's not a normal Android function. There has to be a setting in the menu settings to disable that, so he should check there.

Watch Tony from La Jolla, CA Comments

Tony's wife has a laptop that's dying. Should he buy her a new laptop or a desktop? Leo says that as time goes on, more people are doing their computing on mobile, so if she needs a new computer, going back to a desktop for those times she has a few hours to sit and surf may be a better option. It's certainly more affordable. All-in-Ones like the HP EliteOne is a good option, and it's very attractive on the desk. Dell makes some nice All-in-Ones as well.

Watch Steve from Denver, CO Comments

Steve was given a Barnes and Noble Nook reader. Can he watch movies on it? Leo says that the Nook had very limited space and used a proprietary format, but he may be able to hack it to give it more options, including watching the movies he wants. He should head over to XDA-Developers to see how to "root" the Nook. His real problem, though, is copy protection. The Nook only supports movies with Cinema Now DRM. But that's part of the fun of hacking old technology like a Nook. It's an adventure.

Watch Gary from Castaic, CA Comments

Gary can't boot up his computer, not even in Safe Mode. What can he do to fix it? Leo says it's probably the hard drive that's preventing the bootup, and that's why Gary is getting the blue screen of death. It can be one tiny bit or sector that can cause it. Gary could use his Windows Install Disk, and during the install process, it will give him the option of repairing the OS. It's worth a try.

Gary could also use Steve Gibson's Spin Rite to check the health of his hard drive and move files off of bad sectors. But for the price of that, he could just get a new hard drive. Gary wants to save the apps because he doesn't have the install disks anymore. Leo says it's easier now to just download the app and input his registration key.

Watch Steve from Missouri Comments

Steve has an LG Stylo 2 and he's starting to lose his GPS lock. His Bluetooth also comes and goes. Leo says the Stylo has a weak antenna. That could mean a failing antenna or faulty GPS chip. This could be caused by heat too. That's the likely culprit because when the phone overheats, it's going to protect everything by shutting it off. Leo also thinks that the phone has just worn out and it's time to get a new one.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Rick from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Rick's wife has a Samsung Galaxy S5 and wants to know if he can get a waterproof speaker and play music in the shower. Leo says he has one called BassPal, and it's protected to IP67. He can pair it with his phone and then leave the phone out of the moist area. He can just bring the speaker into the shower and he's good to go.

Rick also wants to be able to sync speakers from his TV all over the house. Leo says that's called "party mode." He may be able to do that if his AV receiver supports wireless speakers.

Watch Eric from Colombus, OH Comments

Eric wants to know if there's a check list to make sure he's safe while online. Leo says that there is. its called the U.P.D.A.T.E. protocol, and it was invented by an agent of the FBI:

Update Frequently
Passwords - make them complicated. A password vault can help.
Download - watch what you download. Don't go to unknown third party sites, and don't install anything you don't really need.
Administrator - Don't run as an administrator account. Nowadays you don't have to worry about this with a modern OS, but on older machines like Windows 7 or XP, use a standard user account.
Turn-off - Turn off your machine when you don't need it. If it's not on, it can't be hacked.
Encrypt - Encrypt your data using the built-in file encryption utility. That way even if they get your data, they can't see what it is. Leo also says to encrypt traffic with a VPN. What's the best? Leo likes TunnelBear and the Hotspot VPN hardware device. There's also Krebbs on Security VPN recommendations here.

The NSA also has their own guide towards locking down your OS, hardware, and more.

Watch Steve from Oceanside, CA Comments

Steve has an old Gateway computer and wants to know if he can update to the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators update. It won't install, failing at 84%. It can restore the previous version, but he doesn't know why he can't update. Leo says that it should since Microsoft has opened it up to all computers now. But if he hasn't applied all the previous hotfixes, it may fail.

There may be a hardware issue as well. He shouldn't force it, though. It could make things worse. He should just try to install it every few weeks until it works. Eventually, Microsoft will have whatever his computer needs to install it, but it's not required — only the Security hotfixes are. Steve should keep doing those regularly.