hardware

How can I stop my computer from shutting itself down?

Episode 990

Xavier from Inland Empire, CA

Xavier's son has a problem with his computer shutting down after gaming on it for 10 minutes. Then, when he turns it back on, it never shuts down after that. Leo says that a PC usually shuts down when it's overheating. It's a really big deal when a computer shuts off. It won't be a driver or a crashed program, those things can crash the computer, but not shut it down. A shut down is designed to prevent overheating from causing damage. Could there be something running in the background that's doing it?

How can I get my home theater PC to remember its settings?

Episode 973

David (DavidBix) from New York, NY

David built a home theater PC and when he boots up, his sound card doesn't remember the settings to be able to watch TV. Leo says that's been a common problem and can be very frustrating. There has to be a way to save settings somewhere, but Windows isn't offering to do that. Leo has a hunch it's the source that should be saving it, and that would be the sound card driver. The chatroom says that the user access control (UAC) will prevent remembering.

What does the future hold for Apple computers?

Episode 966

John from Simi Valley, CA

John wonders if Apple is going to stop making computers soon. Leo says that while Apple gets most of it's income from mobile devices and apps that power them, those apps still need to be made on Apple computers. As Steve Jobs once said "somebody still needs to drive the trucks." So Leo thinks that the Apple Mac computer will still exist down the road.

However, Leo is disappointed that Apple seems to be losing their way in the professional world and Hollywood feels abandoned by Final Cut Pro, and many are going back to Avid and Adobe Premiere.

How can I build a gaming computer in the $500 to $1,000 range?

Episode 936

Jonathan from Salem, OR

Leo says that building a computer is a great learning experience and project, but it won't exactly save him money. He also won't get any support if something does go wrong.

Leo suggests spending some time over at PC Perspective and look at their hardware leader board. It'll give him the specs and recommendations on what parts to get that fit in his budget. If he's building a computer, it's an excellent resource.

What computer would you recommend for using Quicken?

Lenovo Laptop

Episode 932

Jane from Santa Ana, California

Just about any computer will work for this. Leo likes Dell and Asus. Lenovo is fantastic, especially for business applications. She should get at least 4GB of RAM, and a display resolution of at least 1440x900 would be good for Quicken. Does a solid state drive make the computer last longer, like with Ultra Books? Leo says no, but they are faster. They are more expensive though, too, and would give her less storage space. If speed is important, a solid state drive is fantastic.

What's causing the long system beep on my computer whenever I play video?

Episode 923

Harold from California

Harold has a home-built computer and he's getting an annoying and long system beep when he runs video applications. Leo says a long beep is usually an indication of a temperature issue. The thermal paste on the processor could have been misapplied and it may not be dispersing the heat as efficiently as it could.