Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.
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.
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.
Luis wants to know if Windows 10's Spring update is worth accepting. Leo says that Windows 10 is pretty good, but the latest update, 1803, is breaking Windows 10 for a lot of users, and Microsoft is pushing it out. The best he can do is defer the update. Luis updated, but his hard drive is sluggish. Leo says that could just be a failing sector on the hard drive. Sometimes, reformatting a hard drive and starting over will fix it. Using an SSD will also solve that issue. So if he can replace the hard drive with an SSD, he'd be far better off.
Andrew has a USB external drive that he can't read. How can he get the data off it? Leo says that he can use the external case. If he takes the drive out of it and puts it in another, he may be able to read it.
Daryl has a hard drive that has bad bearings, and he needs to get the data off it. He's tried to have the board on the drive replaced, but now it says it needs the original board or ROM. How can he get the data off this bad drive? Rich says that at this point, only a data recovery service like DriveSavers will be able to get the data off it, and it's not cheap. Rich says that it's odd that the data company would require him to get the proper materials. He recommends going to another company.
LeBaron has a 2010 iMac computer that is getting very slow, and Leo suspects that the culprit is a failing hard drive. The upgrade is non-trivial, but it can be done. Leo recommends going with a solid state drive to make it a heck of a lot faster. Then connect an external drive for the data. What Leo recommends is going to Otherworld Computing and look up the model. You can see what parts are needed, along with tools. Then decide whether to try to DIY or to have it done by a technician.
Josh wants to know if he should buy all one brand of hard drives for his QNAP NAS or if he could mix them. Leo says that there's no problem with mixing drives, but he should make sure that the drive size is consistent, as most RAIDs will manage according to the smallest size. If he's buying it all at once, then it makes sense to buy the same drive, but if he's getting a great deal on different hard drives, then by all means, he should save the money.
Bonnie bought a new computer and when she plugged in her external hard drive, it said it was empty. Leo says that if she still has the old system, she should plug the hard drive back in and see if the files are there. If not, then something went wrong and she didn't back up her data as she thought. That's why it's always a good idea to keep the old system around for awhile until she's moved everything over. Windows 10 should be able to see the files from that XP drive no problem.