Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does Windows want me to reactivate?

Episode 1548

Steven from San Antonio, TX

Steven keeps getting a message that he needs to reactivate Windows. He keeps putting the product number in, and he keeps getting told to reactivate. Leo says you shouldn't need to at all, since it's Windows 10. Once the computer is authorized, it never needs to be authorized again. But it sounds like Microsoft keeps track of location information, and since Steven moved, maybe it's confused and is deactivating it. You need to contact Microsoft to solve this one.

Should I buy a new router?

Episode 1548

Gordon from Long Island, NY

Gordon hears that after about 3 years, routers become less secure and outdated. SO does he have to replace his Acer 3200 router. Leo says often, news agencies read copy from an electronic press kit. Routers are getting hacked, but if you buy a good router from a company that updates the firmware regularly, then you're OK. Acer uses DDWRT, which is updated regularly. So all you have to do is keep them updated. Should he buy a NetGear Orbi Mesh router so he can use his WiFi outdoors?

Where is my external hard drive in Windows?

Episode 1548

Jim from Ordway, CO

Jim is having problems with Windows recognizing his external usb drive. It keeps losing it. But his image catalog says his images are there. Leo says that many photo gallery apps keep a thumbnail for fast referral. So it could have the thumbnail, but not see the original image, if the drive is disconnected or lost. Leo also says that your external drive could be getting flakey. Get a backup drive and make a copy of your photos. Save them online too. Three copies, on two formats, one off site. The good news is, that hard drives are cheap now. You can get a 1 TB drive for under $100.

Can you use multiple monitors with a MacBook Pro?

Episode 1548

Bruce from Long Island, NY

Bruce recently bought a 15" MacBook Pro, running Windows 10 dual boot with MacOS and BootCamp. Can he run multiple monitors with it? Leo says yes you can, but with a dock makes it really easy. MacSales.com makes it really easy. Leo runs up to three in extended mode and it's the best way to work. But Leo says what may be a better option is to get a MacMini, and then an ultra wide 34" curved monitor. Leo thinks that's the future, and for $400 by LG, it's an incredible bargain too.

Will trucks become self driving like Teslas?

Episode 1548

Roy from Orange County, CA

Roy is a trucker who's looking forward to 5G. Leo says he won't see robust 5G for a few years at least. It'll be spotty at first, and companies like Apple won't support it at the very beginning. Roy is also an expert on self-driving semi trucks. Leo says everyone is terrified of a massive 18 wheeler driving itself down the highway. Roy says that the US Department of Transportation is going to require extensive testing before certification. And it will require a safety driver. But ultimately, the trucks will be completely unmanned. And that's going to put a lot of drivers out of a job.

Giving the GizWiz the Business

Episode 1547

If you collect a lot of business cards you need a central place to keep them. But there's a miniature business card file cabinet. It provides storage for 800 business cards. It's made of sturdy plastic and available in silver or brown color. A-Z card index dividers are included. Dimensions: 6.5" x 4.5" x 6.5". It's a bit pricey considering it's just made of plastic, but it should help you save time finding business cards you need - assuming you take the time to file them as you get them. Under $16.
https://amzn.to/2L6Pl3J

Why is my printer printing out ads?

Episode 1547

Steve from Nashville, TN

Steve's printer is suddenly printing out ads. What the heck? Leo says there's a good chance he got nailed by either a browser hijack, or malware that has replaced his printer driver. He recommends using Malware Bytes, by only get it from the original creator. The chatroom says that there is a printer exploitation tool kit out there on the web. It could be that there's malware in the HP firmware as well.

What are the new features for the Amazon Echo?

Episode 1547

Doctor Mom from San Diego, CA

Doctor Mom calls in to talk about new features with Amazon Alexa/Echo. You can now not only link your Echo to your cellphone to make calls, but you can also make Skype calls. And while they have Bluetooth built in, you can't add a headset. It's all speakerphone. Apple is going to be showing up on Amazon for the holidays, which Doctor Mom says will kill the HomePod. A great, but overpriced speaker system.