hard drives

How can I get Dell to replace my hard drive?

Episode 1346

Vicki from Rialto, CA

Vickie's daughter had a computer and the hard drive died a month after the warranty expired. What can she do? Leo says to write Michael Dell and ask for him to address it. Leo says that the hard drive for it is under $100 and it could be replaced depending on its design. She should find out what it would cost to have them install it.

The chatroom says that the Geek Squad at Best Buy will charge $50 to install it. She doesn't have the Windows 10 disc, though. Leo says she can download it from Microsoft since that computer has already been authorized to use Windows 10.

How can I see what's taking up room on my hard drive?

WinDirStat

Episode 1342

Joanne from Temecula, CA

Joanne has a Windows machine and she's getting a message that her hard drive is getting full. Leo says that in Windows, she could see what's taking up space on her computer with the disk clean up utility. She can run disk clean up in Windows and it will wipe out temporary and downloaded files, clear caches, etc. There's also WinDirStat. Leo likes that because it sorts it with color so he can see it at a glance. Then he can choose what to remove.

Can I connect a hard drive to an iPhone?

Apple iPhone 7

Episode 1335

Jay from Providence, NC

Jay wants to use his iPhone as a camera and connect it to a hard drive to record for over a half hour. Leo says that some Android phones could do this with USB to Go, but not with the iPhone. Apple doesn't want users to do that. There's also the case that some processors get too hot over time and as such, will stop recording after awhile. That may also be an arbitrary limitation due to taxation as DSLRs are taxed differently from camcorders.

Why can't my computer see my hard drive?

BIOS

Episode 1332

Daniel from Riverside, CA

Daniel's PC says "boot device not found" when he turns it on. He checked all the cables and pulled the battery. That only worked once, though. Leo says that the battery is likely starting to fail and if that happens, it won't save the settings in the computer. Daniel should check the BIOS for the Enhanced System Configuration Data (ESCD) and reset it to default. Once that's done, reboot. After that, he may need to reinstall Windows.

My hard drive failed right out of the box, what do I do?

Laptop hard drive

Episode 1331

Mark from San Diego, CA

Mark just bought a Dell Inspiron laptop and the hard drive failed almost immediately. Leo says to take it back. Dell will replace it. There's always a certain percentage of hard drives that will simply fail, some right away. As time goes on, they will fail at about 4% a year. So the test isn't whether the hard drive will work out of the box, it's whether Dell will replace it right away, and they will.

What about Mark's data? If it's dead, he can't access the data, and odds are, they'll just destroy it anyway.

Are there any laptops with removable hard drives?

Episode 1323

Mark from Vienna, VA

Mark says that iTunes' user interface is horrible, and with iTunes 11, he can't get rid of a podcast. When he deletes it, iTunes reloads it! Leo says that other people report that it's deleting their music! So it's very manic. Mark says that iTunes won't load the playlists onto an iPad Nano because it deletes the media in the playlist. Leo says that is a known bug and it baffles Leo as to why Apple hasn't fixed that bug.

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.