Previous episode

Episode 1468 March 4, 2018

Next episode

Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Larry from Petaluma, CA Comments

Larry recently cloned his hard drive using EaseUS and then used that on his new hard drive. But the SSD he put it on was 250 GB and he can't use the remaining space on it. Can he recover it? Leo says that Acronis can create an image of the drive, keeping the partition. He can use the Windows partition manager to recover the rest of the partition, but if it doesn't work, Larry could try the EaseUS partition manager. The Windows 10 partitioner isn't very good and will decline to expand the partition where others will do it. What he'll want to do is restore the image to the free space on the drive.

Watch Tim from Temecula, CA Comments

Tim needs to print PDFs and add a common black space to custom print text in. Leo says that it's easy to do unless he wants it to automatically increment. If he's doing it manually, it's simple. Any PDF editor can do it. Leo likes PDF Forge. A good PDF tool will also have a rubber stamp signature that can be added. BlueBeam is used by the construction/design industry. Nitro Pro and FoxIt are also good solutions, but he shouldn't buy Adobe Acrobat. It's really expensive and doesn't do anything that the others do.

Watch Rene from British Columbia Comments

Rene ran Steve Gibson's Inspectre tool for her computer and it says it needs to be patched to avoid the latest Meltdown exploit. She's checked with her motherboard maker and they haven't put out a BIOS patch. So should she stop using her computer? Leo says no. There's no current danger for end users yet. She should just keep her computer updated as best she can and check with her motherboard maker every once in a while.

Watch Mike from Maine Comments

Mike's color printer is clogged up. Leo says that inkjets don't work well in a low use scenario. Mike was wondering about the Epson EcoTank printer, but Leo says it's really best for higher capacity printing. If he's occasionally doing color prints, then a color laser is a better option and they are less expensive than he might think.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Cheryl from Yorba Linda, CA Comments

Cheryl is trying to decide whether to take a free Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or get a newer Moto G5. Leo says that sad thing about older mobile phones is not that they aren't perfectly good. They are. They are just being left behind when it comes to security and other features. Leo recommends getting a Motorola Moto G5 Plus. It'll be faster, but more importantly, more secure. The camera is also better.

Watch Joe from Covina, CA Comments

Joe is using an old Windows 7 laptop but his trackpad is having issues. Leo says that trackpads do wear out over time and that laptop is nearly ten years old. But iFixit.com may be a good source on how to replace the trackpad. It's not that big of a deal. Joe should also check HP forums. If HP has stopped supporting his device, the forums may be a great place to get help from other users who have been going through similar problems.

Watch Bruce from Villa Park, CA Comments

Bruce has a network attached storage (NAS) drive and he's getting an error message. He's worried he's lost the data. Leo says that if the network RAID was set to RAID 0 or "scary RAID" then there's a chance that's the case. But if it was set as "redundant" then if one drive has gone bad, replacing it will fix it. The error message Bruce is getting indicates the entire Western Digital NAS has been corrupted and the only thing he can do is reboot the NAS and see if it self-corrects. Bruce also said that the error occurred with all the drives taken out of the machine. Leo says that could indicate a hardware error, or it could indicate that the NAS gives that error without drives.

Bruce could maybe get a duplicate enclosure and put the drives into them and see if they work. If so, he'll know the enclosure failed. That may cost him, but since it's an older model, he could get one on eBay affordably. He should figure out which drive went bad and replace it. See if it boots. This is why an off-site backup is so important. A NAS isn't a backup if he doesn't have the files anywhere else. Leo also recommends getting a Synology NAS.

The last-ditch effort would be to bring it to a recovery specialist, but that is REALLY expensive.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Fred from Columbia, Maryland Comments

Fred is vision impaired and wants to know what devices would be good for him to suggest to others who have the same condition. He uses Siri on the iPhone and iPad. Are there others he can recommend?

Leo says that Google Assistant and Amazon Echo voice services are also very good, especially if his home is automated. Google Home Assistant is tied to Google Search, so it's better with facts. The Google Pixel also enables the Assistant when squeezed. That makes it very helpful. Modern computer operating systems will also allow him to adjust the font on a page to make it really large.

Watch Jonathan from Long Beach, CA Comments

Jonathan plugged in an external drive but he can't see it on his Mac. It wants it to re-initialize. Leo says it could be a host of things from the drive, to the cable, to the USB port, to even a software error. So he'll have to break it down. First, unplug the drive and plug it into a new port. If he's using a USB hub, try directly into the computer instead. Make sure if it's a powered drive that it's getting power. Jonathan can run Disk Utility on the Mac and see if it sees the drive. If he sees it there, then that means that the drive is starting to fail or the formatting is corrupted. Or, the table of contents is corrupted and as such, it doesn't know where the data is. The fact is, the larger the drive, the more vulnerable it can be. Bottom line though, sometimes a hard drive just fails. A certain percentage do every year. Even if they're six months old.

Watch Dave from Lake Tahoe, CA Comments

Dave's Windows 10 upgrade failed and he had to revert back to Windows 7. It's ten years old and he can't sync his data from his tablet. Leo says it may not be modern enough to recognize the iPad. He'll need iTunes and it probably wants a more recent OS to run that. Windows 7 should be modern enough, though. Dave should back up his data, wipe the drive and reinstall Windows. Then update it, and try again. When he gets iTunes installed again, it should be able to sync. The benefit of reinstalling Windows is that it'll run faster. He'll clear out all the "kruft." It'll be almost like the day he bought it, only faster because he's using Windows 7. And because of its age, Dave may want to consider moving to Linux and Xubuntu. But then he couldn't use iTunes.

Watch Tom from Torrance, CA Comments

Tom can't open anything on his Chrome browser, especially in Gmail. Leo says that Chrome can do this from time to time. He should try resetting his browser. He'll find it in the settings menu. That will clear out the cache. This article at support.google.com will show him how.

If that doesn't work, Tom can try downloading a new version of Chrome. He should first uninstall the old version and then reinstall it. He can also try logging in with another account. If that works, then there's an issue with his Google account.

Watch Cameron from Menifee, CA Comments

Cameron has a 2010 MacBook Pro with OS X 10.5. Can he use High Sierra? Leo says that Cameron should be able to. Frankly, Leo's not impressed with the latest batch of Macs. So using his older MacBook Pro is a good idea. Apple won't let him install it if it doesn't support it. Leo would also recommend getting an SSD to speed up his computer. It's a very easy upgrade and it speeds it up a lot. He can find an SSD for it at MacSales.com.

Image: By David Jafra from Toulouse, France [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Cara from San Diego, CA Comments

Cara has a really old laptop that she'd like to keep running. But it keeps going into an auto-repair loop. Leo says that it's probably lost it's hard drive and replacing it with a Solid State Drive would give it a new lease on life. Check out iFixIt.com to see if there's a video on how to install one. It's not that hard.