troubleshooting

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.

Why does my computer slow down so much?

Episode 1488

John from Las Vegas, NV
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Windows_10_Logo.svg

John built a Windows 10 machine, upgrading from Windows 7. But now it's slowing down while playing videos and he has to do a hard reboot to restart it. Leo says there's a setting in the video driver that is for "hardware acceleration." If it's on, he should turn it off. If it's off, he should turn it on. That may fix it. He can right click on the desktop, then click through the following: personalize, display, change display settings, advanced settings, graphics property box, troubleshooting, change settings, display adapter troubleshooter for hardware acceleration.

Why can't I visit a certain website?

Episode 1483

Alan from Murrieta, CA
Website

Alan has been having issues visiting a website on his computer, but his wife can do it on hers. Rich says that it could be that if Dave had installed a program recently, it could be interfering with his web browser. Another possibility is that Dave's Java isn't updated. He should try updating that. Also, Dave should turn off all of his browser extensions. If he can access the site after that, then he'll know that an extension is the culprit. To find out which extension is causing it, he can just go in and turn each extension on one by one until the site doesn't work again.

Is my Roku busted?

Episode 1479

Alan from Lynn, MA
roku.com

Alan has a Roku Ultra, and after a month, it's starting to get out of sync, and it doesn't matter what app he's using. The video speeds up, but the audio stays the same. Alan has called Roku and they said to remove the apps and reinstall them. Unfortunately, it didn't fix the problem. Leo has a hunch it's a defective Roku device. Leo would demand they replace it. It may be a bandwidth issue, but Leo isn't convinced.

Why did my webcam stop working after removing malware?

Episode 1478

Melanie from Irvine, CA
HP Webcam

Melanie finally managed to get her Gmail fixed. After the computer tech removed malware from her computer, her webcam doesn't work. Leo says that there's a lot of people out there that know a lot about computers and considering how bad tech support has gotten, they can be valuable help. But sometimes they can break more than they can fix, and this is one example of that. Leo suspects that while the tech was cleaning out the malware, the malware attached itself to a file and it was then removed. Or, he wiped out Melanie's browser plugins. It's hard to tell.

Why can't I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

Episode 1477

Bob from Danville, CA
macOS High Sierra on MacBook Pro

Bob has a 2011 MacBook Pro with an SSD. Now he's trying to upgrade to macOS High Sierra and he's having issues. Leo says that it's looking for the original drive, and since Bob installed it as a secondary drive, it keeps looking to install on the first drive. The simple solution is to swap his drives and put the SSD as the main drive, and the other drive as his second hard drive.

Why is my laptop screen blank?

Episode 1477

Sam from South Williamsport, PA
Keyboard

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.

How can I log into my Amazon Fire Stick?

Episoide 1473

Brian from Indio, CA
Amazon Fire Stick

Brian keeps trying to log into his Amazon account on his Fire Stick, but the remote keeps locking up. Leo says that it's possible there's a bad remote or Fire Stick that's causing the remote to crash. If the remote locks up, the Fire Stick can work with an external Bluetooth keyboard as well. So that's an option as a workaround. But Leo suspects that it's just a bad one, and Amazon will replace it pretty quickly.

The chatroom suggests using the Amazon Fire Stick app on the smartphone.

Why doesn't my wireless mouse work with Windows 10?

Episoide 1473

Jerry from Pennsylvania
Computer mouse

Jerry has a new laptop with Windows 10 and his mouse doesn't work. He tried it with a different computer and it works. Leo says the problem with wireless mice is that they fail without notice. The dongle may be the culprit, but it may also be the batteries. Since it works fine with another computer, that tends to point to a driver or the specialized software that came with the mouse. Jerry should just reinstall the software. He can also try a different USB port. One of his ports may be broken. That's why Leo prefers the good old-fashioned wired mouse. It's reliable.

Why does Windows Update cause problems on my machine?

Episode 1472

Jim from Simi Valley, CA
Windows 10 Start Menu

Jim says that every time he does a Windows update, something goes wrong. It always deletes the restore point after updating, too. Leo says that Windows is deleting the restore point because he doesn't have room for a second one. Freeing up space on the drive could help. Leo doesn't trust restore points though, anyway. They don't work very well.