external hard drives

Why can't my new computer see the data on my old hard drive?

Episode 1495

Bonnie from Costa Mesa, CA
Western Digital MyPassport

Bonnie bought a new computer and plugged in her external hard drive. She can see the data on her old computer, but she can't read it on her new computer. Leo has a hunch that her WD Passport runs a proprietary utility that encrypts her data to protect it. She probably will need to install that same software on the new computer in order to see the data.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

Episode 1494

Ted from El Paso, TX
Hard drive

Ted has an external hard drive that his laptop cannot read, even though the computer can see the drive. Leo says that since the computer can see the drive, the USB connection is working. So it's likely the drive is corrupted. He can crack open the external case, and Leo recommends going to iFixIt.com and input his drive model to find out how to fix it. Then he can connect it directly and run something like SpinRite to see if he can repair it.

Why can't I read my hard drive?

Episode 1468

Jonathan from Long Beach, CA
Western Digital 6TB USB Drive

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.

Can Carbonite backup movies?

Terry from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1416

Terry wants to backup his home movies with Carbonite. He did it manually the first time, but will Carbonite automatically do it after the first time? Leo says that he'll have to pay extra for that feature, and he'll have to be sure his photo and video file folder is selected. They do it this way because video takes a very long time to backup. It will hog his bandwidth for quite awhile, all the time. Terry will also want to be sure he has plenty of bandwidth.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

Episode 1381

Dennis from Santa Monica, CA
NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

Dennis' computer has a Western Digital Passport external hard drive that mounts, but it can't be read it or ejected. Then it crashes the computer. Leo says that it's a USB device that isn't fully mounting. It's probably an issue with either the USB controller on his computer, or the cable itself. Dennis should try using a different USB cable first. Then he should try plugging it into another USB port and see if he can replicate the issue. The USB driver may also be corrupted.

Will my old computer die eventually?

Episode 1377

Sak from East Point, FL
Acer Aspire One

Sak is using an old Acer computer as a backup drive for his data. Will there be a point where it will die? Leo says yes. It always will sooner or later with age. The older the computer is, the more likely it will fail. He really won't want to rely on a single backup source. He needs two, preferably three. He should grab an external hard drive and copy all that data onto it. Then bring that off site.

Can I install an old hard drive into a new computer?

Episode 1360

Scott from Santa Monica Fwy, CA
Laptop Hard Drive Exposed

Scott wants to know if he can take the hard drive out of an old computer and then put it into a new one. Leo says yes, but he should only use it as a data drive. He could probably put it in an external USB enclosure so he can plug it in when he needs to. He could install it as a secondary hard drive as well. If he wants to use software from that hard drive, that's a lot more problematic due to registry issues. He may be able to dual boot from the older driver, but the device drivers won't work. So he'll have to work around that and use a boot manager.

Are there any laptops with removable hard drives?

Mark from Vienna, VA

Episode 1323

Mark says that iTunes' user interface is horrible, and with iTunes 11, he can't get rid of a podcast. When he deletes it, iTunes reloads it! Leo says that other people report that it's deleting their music! So it's very manic. Mark says that iTunes won't load the playlists onto an iPad Nano because it deletes the media in the playlist. Leo says that is a known bug and it baffles Leo as to why Apple hasn't fixed that bug.

Why can't my PC read my Mac's external hard drive?

Carl from Burbank, CA

Episode 1264

Carl does video editing in Final Cut Pro and can't seem to find his files on Windows. Leo says that it's likely a file formatting issue. Windows PCs can't read Mac drives. Macs can read Windows drives, if its formatted in FAT. Leo suggests reformatting the drive on Windows to EXT-FAT. That way both platforms will be able to read it. Carl should copy the data off, format the external drive and then put the data back on. That way he won't need special translation software to read it.