Ask Mr. Modem: Flash Drive Longevity

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Q. When I deleted a file, I never received the request for confirmation. It wasn’t a big deal in this case, but I prefer having to confirm any deletions. Do you know why it would do this? I’m using Windows 7.

A. It sounds like your Recycle Bin settings may have changed, but it’s easy to get them back on track: Right-click your Recycle Bin and select Properties. Select the General tab, which will encompass all hard drives.

Click to place a check mark in the box next to Display Delete Confirmation dialog, followed by Apply > OK. The next time you delete a file, you will be prompted to confirm the deletion.

Q. I use a flash drive to back up my data and I leave it plugged in all the time. Does leaving it plugged in wear it out faster, or should I be plugging it in only when I need to copy something to it?

A. Leaving a flash drive plugged in will have no adverse effect on the drive. Wear and tear occurs during the read/write process, not from sitting idly in a USB port.

I recommend (and use) a rotational flash-drive backup protocol which results in one or more backup flash drives NOT residing in a computer at all times.

In other words, I use two or more flash drives and each time I back up data, I remove one drive and insert another. I also keep my most important data backed up within a free Gmail account I maintain for that specific purpose. To do this, I simply mail (as an attachment) any important files I want to keep safely off-site.

Q. Why do I keep getting a message that my Windows is not genuine, even though it came installed on my Dell computer?

A. Your Windows includes a Genuine Advantage checker that verifies that your copy of Windows is legally licensed. Sometimes, however, Windows may forget it is registered, though it is easy to jog its memory.

Look on the back or bottom of your computer for the Windows Authenticity Label which will display your Windows Product Key or serial number.

Next, click the Start button and in the Search box type Activate Windows. In the window that appears you will be able to enter your Product Key and proceed with activation. You may need to click the Change Product Key button and type the Product Key again.

Once activated, you will receive a confirmation message and will no longer be pestered by an impertinent message that dares to suggest your copy of Windows is not genuine. (Of all the nerve!)

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