hard drives

How big of a hard drive should I get on my MacBook?

Apple MacBook Pros

Episode 1309

Micheline from Studio City, CA

Micheline is moving from a Windows 7 laptop to a MacBook. Leo says that she'll love it if she does. Leo says that Macs have a high hardware standard and are well made. They also have better support. She wants the 15", but should she get the 256GB or 512GB SSD? Leo says to look on her Windows laptop and see how much space she's using now. That will give her a good idea of what she will need. Leo says that 256GB will be plenty, though. How about a refurbished model? Leo says only buy it from Apple.

Why can't Windows read my external hard drive?

Episode 1297

Luiz from El Monte, CA

Luiz has a hard drive that Windows can't read and it wants to reformat it. Leo says chances are that it was formatted with Apple's file system, rather than Windows file system. Leo recommends copying the files off of it using a Mac and then reformat the hard drive to FAT. Then copy it back. The Windows machine will be able to read it then.

Another option is to just buy a second hard drive that is already preformatted in FAT and then just copy them over from the other hard drive with the Mac. Then he'll have two copies, one being a backup. It'll then be a simple drag and drop.

Why is my computer just shutting down?

Episode 1291

Moe from California

Moe's computer running Windows 7 keeps shutting down on him. Leo says that with the age of Moe's computer, the hard drive is getting unreliable. It's time to backup his hard drive and then swap it out for a new one and reinstall Windows. It may be enough just to reinstall Windows, though. Leo does this every year as "spring cleaning." It keeps it more reliable. So he should try that first. He should backup his Documents and Settings folder to get his data. Then he can format that old hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Why does my computer freeze up?

Episode 1291

Bob from Burbank, CA

Bob is having problems with his computer becoming unresponsive. It suddenly freezes up until he reboots it. Leo says that it may not be crashing for freezing at all. It may be an unresponsive mouse or keyboard. If the clock continues ticking, then it hasn't crashed. But if the clock is stuck, then the processor has halted. Even then, the processor may just be busy and he may just have to wait. He'll want to be sure it's really halted, though. If he reboots the computer in the middle of reindexing the hard drive, it could corrupt his drive.

Why does my computer keep losing access to my hard drives?

Episode 1285

Bill from Glendora, CA

Bill's hard drives keep disappearing from his computer. After he reboots, it'll say "fixing disk," and will be there for about 10 minutes before it disappears again. His SSD boot drive works fine, though. Leo says there are a lot of things it could be including hardware and cabling. He should go and look to see how its setup in BIOS. It should be something wrong with AHCI or a driver issue. Since he built the computer himself, there's no one he can call for help. Then again, the support from the major companies isn't helpful anyway.

Can I move my old hard drive to my new computer?

Episode 1286

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA

Sam says it's time to get a new computer, and wants to know if he can bring along his old hard drive and put it in. His hard drive is pretty new, so can he swap one hard drive out and plug another in and start it up and get working? Leo says that would be nice, but it doesn't work that way. The Windows OS will look for the motherboards and chipsets and if it doesn't find that, it will have issues.

What happened to the images and music on my hard drive?

Episode 1281

AJ from Los Angeles, CA

AJ opened up a laptop he hadn't used in awhile and all of his music and pictures were corrupted. A popup actually said the disk couldn't be read, and must be formatted. He tried to recover it. Why did it become corrupt? Leo says that hard drives die, and that's why you need a 3-2-1 backup strategy. 3 copies, on two different formats, with one off site.

Why are my games taking up so much storage?

Episode 1276

Walter from West Viginia

Walter is noticing half his hard drive is filled up with games and game storage. He doesn't play all that much, what is going on? Leo says that may be a false positive. He recommends looking into your hard drive details with a program called WinDerStat. It will give you a color coded break down of what your hard drive has on it. Then you can decide if there's anything taking up room that you can get rid of.