hard drives

Why is my computer so slow?

SSD

Episode 1365

Roger from Pasadena, CA

Roger is having issues with his SSD. It's slowing down and takes a long time to access his data. Leo says the drive is only a year old and the computer a few years old, but there can be a drive failure, even in new SSDs. It's time to replace it. He could try running an OS from a USB key and see what happens. If he doesn't have a similar issue, that clearly shows the hard drive has a problem.

How can I access my hard drive?

Hard Drive

Episode 1364

Terri from Temecula, CA

Terri's computer is crashing multiple times and trying to reboot. Leo says it could be a myriad of issues including a flakey hard drive. That's the most likely culprit. It could also be a bad memory chip that is corrupted and causing it to load and stall. Maybe the stick has worked its way lose.

The problem is, if she brings it in, it'll get wiped and sometimes they can make it worse. She can try and run a recovery with Windows. She can also download Windows 10, put it on a USB key, and then select "Repair" when she runs the recovery. Then backup her data immediately.

Can I install an old hard drive into a new computer?

Laptop Hard Drive Exposed

Episode 1360

Scott from Santa Monica Fwy, CA

Scott wants to know if he can take the hard drive out of an old computer and then put it into a new one. Leo says yes, but he should only use it as a data drive. He could probably put it in an external USB enclosure so he can plug it in when he needs to. He could install it as a secondary hard drive as well. If he wants to use software from that hard drive, that's a lot more problematic due to registry issues. He may be able to dual boot from the older driver, but the device drivers won't work. So he'll have to work around that and use a boot manager.

What happened to my computer hard drive?

Hard Drive

Episode 1352

Jennifer from Realto, CA

Jennifer gets a boot error when she turns on her computer. Leo says that it's likely that her hard drive has died. Leo says the good news is that hard drives are cheap to replace and really easy to install. Also, since Jennifer had upgraded to Windows 10, all she needs to do is download and install Windows 10 with the media creation tool and a thumb drive. A solid state drive would speed things up too. She should make sure to get one with the same kind of connector. It could be SATA or IDE, so she should bring the bad hard drive with her. This is why backing up is such a blessing.

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.