Eric's daughter dropped her laptop and now it won't read her external hard drive. Has she lost all her data? Leo says not necessarily. What he suspects is that the cable, or the connector in the enclosure is broken. The drive itself is probably just fine since they are engineered to disengage when dropped.
Kinan has a Gateway laptop with a broken screen and he's got it hooked up to an external monitor. It's getting slow and he wants to speed it up. If he's never reinstalled Windows on the machine, it's a good idea to backup his data, format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known source. The hard drive may be wearing out, too. Another option would be to try Ubuntu Linux.
Tom has a five year old Gateway laptop and he's running out of hard drive space. He would like to replace it with a 1TB hard drive and install Windows 10. Leo says that since Tom has Windows 7 on his laptop, he gets a free Windows 10 upgrade. So once he gets invited by Microsoft to install it, he can do that easily.
Gretchen's external hard drive has crashed, and she lost all of her data. What can she do? Leo says that she could use a service like DriveSavers to repair it, but it's not cheap. If anyone can do it, though, they can. But if they can't, it's lost. That's why Leo pushes backup. Three versions of the files, on two different formats, with one off site.
Martin wants to put a solid state drive in his 27" iMac. Leo says that adding an SSD is a great thing to do, but it's not easy with an iMac. Leo had his engineers do it, because he needed a special suction cup to lift the glass screen off to take out the hard drive and replace it. It's doable, but it's not for the faint of heart. Leo recommends going to iFixIt.com and he can find a special step by step, along with the parts and tools required.
Scott would like to clone or image his hard drive. Here are some programs that will do this:
Gary has several old drives with data on it and wants to know the best way of destroying them so that they won't be able to be read. Leo says if he can read the drive, he can use Derek's Boot and Nuke (DBAN), which will write over the drive seven times to make it impossible to recover the data. His other choice is to take the drive apart and literally shatter the platters, if they're glass. Patrick Norton does this with a hammer. He could also drill holes into the metal platters as well.
Scott does music recording on his MacBook Pro, but some of his recordings are getting a "disk too slow" error. Leo says that has to do with how many tracks he's recording, and an SSD would definitely fix that. Scott should check out the Blackmagic Speed Disk Tester in the Mac App Store. It'll test the speed of his hard drive and it will tell him if his hard drive is fast enough for the recording he's doing.
Steve has FiOS and the Wi-Fi seems to be slow. How can he speed it up? He'd like to bypass the Verizon router and use his own. Leo says that he'll have to use the Verizon device to connect to FiOS, but he can disable the router part and use his own router instead. He'll need to connect them with ethernet to make it work. The router is also built into the modem and is using network addressing. Steve should put the router part in "bridge mode" to just hand it off to the router.
Brennan has a 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion. He also has a 2010 Mac Pro. He uses both for audio engineering. He has everything set up, and he wants to know if he could clone the MacBook Pro and then put that onto his Mac Pro. Leo says he may be able to. He could try making a bootable drive from a USB key and then selecting that when booting up the Mac Pro to see if it works. OS X should be smart enough to install any missing drivers. Otherwise he can always run the OS X installer and reinstall the OS directly