laptops

Why doesn't my laptop boot up?

Episode 1496

Greg from New Brunswick, Canada
GRC SpinRite

Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.

Why don't my laptop speakers work?

Episode 1494

Mark from Escondido, CA
Headphone jack

Mark has an HP laptop for a backup when his other PC is busy. The internal speakers are not working now, but USB headphones work. What can he do? Leo says that if he can hear sound through the headphones, that means his sound card driver is working. And he can't really replace the hardware anyway because it's soldered to the motherboard. The miniJack, however, doesn't work. Leo says that points to the headphone jack being broken. If he's handy with a soldering iron, he could fix it. But that also doesn't solve the speaker problem.

Where can I get a good deal on a laptop?

Episode 1493

Janice from Van Nuys, CA
Lenovo T480

Janice is losing her job at age 60, and wants to get trained to make herself more marketable in finding a new job. She's looking at doing computer work from home. Leo says that most customer service reps work out of their home, so it's an emerging new field. What laptop should she buy? She has $1,000. Leo recommends a business grade laptop. It'll be far better built and she'll be able to use it for training and work. She should look at the Lenovo Thinkpad T480.

What budget laptop should I buy?

Episode 1492

Dan from San Francisco, CA
Acer Chromebook

Dan has to buy a new laptop. He likes Apple, and is getting an iMac. So what low budget laptop with a good screen should he buy? Leo says to look at an Acer Chromebook. It's only a few hundred dollars, and it's ideal for being on the move. 99% of what he does can be done with a Chromebook. If he does need a full OS laptop, then Dan should wait until after Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference. Apple will be announcing new laptops, including an $800 MacBook. Good Windows PCs include Acer, HP, and Lenovo.

How can I securely wipe a computer hard drive?

Episode 1490

Julie from Valencia, CA
Hard drive

Julie recently lost her job after 25 years, and now she has to return the laptop she used. She needs to wipe it first, though. Leo says that laptop is company property and everything on it belongs to them, even if she has personal things saved on it. There is no way they can prevent her from doing it, but Leo advises talking to an attorney before she does.

What laptop should I buy for college?

Episode 1489

Jeremy from Hisperia, CA
Lenovo T480

Jeremy is going to college and wants to buy a new MacBook laptop. Leo says he should wait until after June 4th, because Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is happening and they're rumored to be announcing new MacBooks. Leo adds that he would have a broader range of choices going with Windows, and it may be a good idea to contact his college and see what they support, especially if he's in a field of study that is focused. If price is an object, he should get a better computer with a smaller hard drive, but it should be at least 256GB SSD.

What new tech toy should I buy?

Episode 1486

Scott from Orange County, CA
LG OLED B7A

Scott wants to buy a new toy with his tax refund. What's coming that he should buy? Leo says that the Worldwide Developer's Conference is one event coming next month, where Apple could announce something new, and we're expecting new laptops. Especially MacBooks, which weren't all that great the last time. There's also some great Windows computers coming that may be worth it. Facebook didn't really have anything new, just new ways to mine user information. Augmented reality is still a way's off. This may be the time to get a new 4K HDR TV, though. Prices are really dropping.

What should I do with a lemon Microsoft Surface tablet?

Episode 1484

Erin from Santa Clarita, CA
Microsoft Surface Tablet

Erin is on her fourth Microsoft Surface tablet and it keeps failing on her. Microsoft keeps replacing it, but she's nearing the end of her warranty and is worried that once it passes, she'll out of luck. Rich says he's had a similar issue and he's read that this is a more widespread problem. Depending on how she paid for it, some credit cards have an extended warranty. But she'll also have lemon law protection.