hard drives

How can I make my Surface Studio run faster?

Episode 1512

G. Scott from Finland, MN
Microsoft Surface Studio

G Scott bought the Microsoft Surface Studio computer when it came out and got it with an i7. But it's sluggish when running Excel and other apps. Leo has a hunch that the hybrid hard drive is causing the slow down. Intel created the Fusion drive and it's never really paid off in performance. Leo had the drive replaced with an M.2 MVE connected SSD drive. Know How has a video on how to do it here.

Why doesn't my laptop boot up?

Episode 1496

Greg from New Brunswick, Canada
GRC SpinRite

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.

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 is my computer so sluggish with Windows 10?

Episode 1492

Luis from Medford, MA
Windows 10

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.

How can I get data off a bad hard drive?

Episode 1483

Daryl from Silverado Canyon, CA
Hard drives

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.

Why is my iMac getting so slow?

Episode 1480

LeBaron from Mobile, AL
https://www.macsales.com/

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.

Can I mix hard drives in my NAS?

Episode 1476

Josh from Sutter, CA
QNAP NAS

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.