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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeff's MacBook Pro has died, and he's shopping for a budget 15" laptop under $800. He wants to use it to broadcast live on the internet with it. Leo would suggest Dell. Jeff should get one with an i5 processor and 8GB of RAM.
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.
Sam was printing up his son's graduating announcements and his cat walked across the keyboard and now the computer is blank. What happened? Leo says that there is a button on the keyboard that can turn off the screen. It's probably one of the function keys that was triggered to make the laptop look for an external screen. From the chatroom - here's an article on the subject. He can also program those buttons, so it may be a good idea to disable it.