hard drives

Can I connect a hard drive to an iPhone?

Episode 1335

Jay from Providence, NC
Apple iPhone 7

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?

Episode 1332

Daniel from Riverside, CA
BIOS

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?

Episode 1331

Mark from San Diego, CA
Laptop hard drive

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?

Mark from Vienna, VA

Episode 1323

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?

Episode 1309

Micheline from Studio City, CA
Apple MacBook Pros

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?

Luiz from El Monte, CA

Episode 1297

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?

Moe from California

Episode 1291

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?

Bob from Burbank, CA

Episode 1291

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.