hard drives

Why is My Computer Sluggish?

Windows

Episode 1614

Mark from Los Angeles, CA

Mark has two Windows 10 computers, and they're both starting to lag, especially when opening apps. Leo says that usually indicates a hard drive issue. The drive is starting to fail, and the computer keeps trying until it gives up. It could also be the app itself causing lag. But generally, it's usually a hard drive issue. Leo suspects if he replaces the hard drive, it'll speed up. Especially if he gets an SSD. Look in the task manager and see what's hogging the processor. It could be Windows is indexing, or it could be malware. 

Why Can't I Encrypt My New Hard Drive Like My Old One?

 T1

Episode 1614

Nancy from Largo, FL

Nancy has T1 drive encryption on her Samsung 1TB hard drive, but she can't see it on her laptop. Leo says she has to install special drivers that will modify the OS to encrypt the hard drive. But Leo doesn't like a third party having that kind of control. Since she had it on her old hard drive, she is aware and still has the password. So she'll have to re-download the software from Samsung. She can get it here

Should I Replace My Hard Drive?

SSD

Episode 1612

Terry from Greeneville, TN

Terry wants to know how to replace his hard drive to speed up his boot time. Leo says he can get a new hard drive, but Leo recommends going with an SSD drive instead. Then, he can use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create a USB installer from a 16GB USB key and then install Windows onto the SSD. Then restore from backup. Reinstall all the applications, since that'll make the computer run a lot faster too. Remember, it's always best to install the least amount of software possible for security. It'll also keep the computer lean and mean.

Why is my hardrive almost full?

Dell

Episode 1610

Bob from Woodland Hills, CA

Bob wants to know why Dell tech support has gotten so bad? Leo says that's because computers have gotten so cheap, that any tech support isn't profitable to offer unless it's shipped overeas. You can purchase Gold level support, and that's going to be better, but the sad fact is, that because we want cheaper computers, there ins't going to b e any decent suport. 

How Can I Prepare Old Hard Drives for eWaste?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1607

Roger from Pasadena, CA

Roger has a bunch of old hard drives and wants to know how to wipe them so his data doesn't get compromised. Leo says that you can take the hard drives apart and hit them with a hammer, that pretty much solves the problem, but it can be a bit dangerous and platters are sometimes made of glass and can shatter. You can use a secure eraser like Derik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). It will write over and erase the data up to 7 times. That usually makes sure the data is unrecoverable. A giant magnet will also work, like SUPER STRONG. A good eWaste recycler should have one.

Why Can't Time Machine Complete My Backup?

Time Machine

Episode 1604

Kevin from Bellflower, CA

Kevin just returned from an Alaska Cruise and downloaded all the photos and videos, but his Time Machine backup will not complete it due to insufficient free space. Leo says it sounds like his hard drive has run out of room. Even with 20GB of free space, Time Machine may be taking a snapshot of the drive locally, before backing it up. Choices: Free up space on the internal drive or buy a larger one. 

The chatroom says that if the external drive can't be seen, Time Machine will make the backup locally. So make sure it can see the external drive. 

Has my hard drive crashed?

Gateway Laptop

Episode 1599

Greg from Apple Valley, CA

Greg has an old Gateway laptop running Windows 7 where it automatically upgraded to Windows 10. Leo says that's a great thing as Windows 7 will go end of life in January, so you're in good shape. But Greg says his screen went blank and is spinning "diagnosing your PC." Leo says it's clearly crashed. The hard drive probably failed, so the choice is to buy a new computer or spend the money to put in a new hard drive. But that computer is pretty old. A new computer will let you do more than that 10-year-old laptop.

Why is My Hard Drive Waking Up When the PC is Asleep?

Sysinternals

Episode 1598

Ralph from Altoona, PA

Ralph has a Dell computer that spins up the hard drive when it's asleep. What gives? Leo says it's probably running a program like mail in the background and it will still retrieve the email from time to time. Windows 10 also phones home from time to time to check for updates, indexing files, etc. He can always run the Microsoft Process Explorer, as part of Sysinternals, to see what's doing on. 

How can I get data off a broken hard drive?

Western Digital Blue 1TB Hard Drive

Episode 1591

Kathy from Upland, CA

Kathy dropped her external hard drive on the floor and now it's not working. It wasn't even that far. Leo says that's just bad luck: it's likely a broken arm or scratched sector. DriveSavers could fix it, but it's very expensive. And if they can't, then nobody can. This is why you back up. Leo recommends a 3-2-1 backup strategy: three backups, on two different formats, one off-site.