computers

Can I transfer files from a dead computer?

Newertech USB Universal Drive Adapter

Episode 1558

Larry from Long Beach, CA

Larry's computer died and he has to buy a new computer. How can he move data from his old computer to his new computer when the old computer is dead? Leo says to go to Newertech.com and pick up their Universal Drive Adapter. This will allow Larry to take the old drive out of the computer and connect it to his new computer. He can open it as a drive on his new computer and just copy the missing data over. But if the drive isn't functioning any longer, he could be out of luck.

Why am I having issues powering up my computer?

Linux

Episode 1554

Larry from Cerro Gordo , CA

Larry built his first computer in high school, running Linux, and it's 15 years old. Lately he's been having power issues and he has replaced the power supply, but still has the problem. Leo says that indicates a deeper problem on the motherboard. It could also be a failing video card, and the CMOS settings may be corrupted. Removing the battery and putting it back in will reset everything, but he may want to make sure all the cables are seated, and that the RAM is properly installed.

Is there such a thing as a hard drive-less computer?

Hard drives

Episode 1552

Dennis from Marina Del Rey, CA

Dennis is looking to get a new computer and wants to know if he can get one without a hard drive. He's got two 8TB SATA drives ready to go, plus an SSD. Leo says that any tower case will have room for multiple drives. He'll need one fast enough to do video editing.

Leo recommends going to Dell. Dennis should return his SSD and get it with the SSD built-in to save himself the time installing it. He could go cheaper, but since Dennis does this for a living, it's worth paying a little extra for a top of the line model.

How can I use one monitor with two computers?

KVM Switch

Episode 1544

Charisse from Lancaster, CA

Charisse wants to know if she can connect a new Mac Mini to her Samsung TV. Leo says it will if she has the same connectors on that TV, but it won't really be that crisp.

Can she use one keyboard and mouse for both the Mac Mini and her Surface? Leo says she can, if she gets a KVM switch. She'll plug them both into the output plug, then plug everything else into it. Then she can use a button to move back and forth between the two computers.

How can a disabled user work with a computer?

Computer with keyboard and mouse

Episode 1537

Bill from Anaheim, CA

Bill is disabled and needs help getting his technology to work. Leo says that there are foundations that are dedicated to helping disabled people configure their tech for accessibility. They will also help him get a better price or even have it underwritten. Most computers and mobile devices do have limited voice control. Check out the NationMSSociety.org. There is an article there on living well with MS and it contains a section on accessibility in technology.

What computer do I need for video editing?

Dell Precision Workstation

Episode 1537

Gary from Walla Walla, WA

Gary wants to buy a PC for video editing. How much should he spend? Leo says that just about any PC can do video editing. The money comes from how much performance he'll want. Leo uses a Dell Precision Workstation with Xeon processors that scream. So they are very powerful and expensive. An iMac would be more than adequate, though, to capture and edit home movies. A MacBook Pro would also work.

Why can't I access my files after a power outage?

Power outlet

Episode 1531

Debbie from Fort Mojave, AZ

Debbie had a power outage and now she can't open anything, especially her pictures. Leo says to try and reboot the computer first. Shut the computer down. Count to 10. Turn it back on. If that doesn't fix it, there's a chance that the hard drive has become corrupt if the computer was writing to the drive at the moment the power went out. This is why Leo recommends a surge protector that has a battery backup.

How can the blind use a computer?

Episode 1519

Leonard from Compton, CA

Leonard wants to get a new computer and he's got failing vision and would like to have one that can help him. Leo says Leonard will also need a screen reader to help read the screen. Leo recommends contacting the Lighthouse for the Blind. Or a Local Disability Resource Center. They can help you not only getting a computer and setting it up, but also getting you the tools you need to work with it. Call the Foundation for the Blind at 214-340-6328 and they'll help you find someone in your area that can help you.

Why won't my computer wake up?

Episode 1518

Vicki from Realto, CA

Vicki put her computer to sleep and now it won't wake up again. Leo says the usual culprit is the power supply. She should try turning her monitor off and back on. She can press and hold the on/off switch of her computer for ten seconds. That will turn her computer fully off. She should unplug it for a few minutes, then plug it back in and turn it on, to see if the monitor will wake up. If it does, sometimes it can fall asleep and not get the signal to turn back on. Then shine a light on the power supply fan and see if it's spinning. If it is, then it isn't the power supply.

How can I securely wipe a computer hard drive?

Hard drive

Episode 1490

Julie from Valencia, CA

Julie recently lost her job after 25 years, and now she has to return the laptop she used. She needs to wipe it first, though. Leo says that laptop is company property and everything on it belongs to them, even if she has personal things saved on it. There is no way they can prevent her from doing it, but Leo advises talking to an attorney before she does.