Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I get my old programs off my DVR?

Episode 1514

Eric from Orange County, CA

Eric cut the cable and wants to know if he can get programs off his old TiVo. Leo says in the first generation TiVos, he would be able to. But copy protection has locked down and encrypted that data. TIVO to Go was an option, but it was a very poor solution. There is one way to do it still, and that's the analog hole. Eric can connect his TIVO using the analog component jacks (red, white and yellow), but it will be standard definition.

Are 3D printed guns a threat?

Episode 1514

Louis from Hollywood, CA
3D Printed Gun

Louis is concerned about the so-called threat of 3D printed guns. Leo says that the worry about 3D printed guns is overblown. First, the plastic guns have to have one metal part by law. Second, it's always been legal to make your own gun, and enthusiasts have been milling guns for years. It's very expensive to do it, it's cheaper to just buy one. Hobbyists will find it interesting, but they aren't going to start the apocalypse. So it's much ado about nothing, really. It won't change the fundamental issues of gun ownership.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1513

Dick DeBartolo

The Swiffer Continuous Clean Air Cleaning System continuously circulates and filters out airborne dust and dirt, and it prevents them from settling on your furniture, so you can go longer between cleanings. And the device is quiet. A bit from the company: Patented Swiffer technology uses Triple Layer Filtration to Trap and Lock away dirt, dust and allergens*. Great for pets! AND KEEP COSTS LOW with replacement filters that sell for a fraction of the cost of more expensive HEPA filters - $5. Average filter life is 30 days of use.

Why doesn't my new laptop battery work?

Episode 1513

Chris from Burbank, CA
Lithium Ion Battery

Chris is having issues with his old Dell laptop. The battery has died. Leo says that Lithium ion batteries have a limit of about 500 charges and then they simply die. If he can pop out the battery, he can plug it into his AC adapter and run it. But he can get get a new battery for it as well. Chris did that and it still doesn't work. Leo suspects it's a third party battery that won't work on that Dell. It's likely a knock off.

Can I update to macOS High Sierra?

Barbara from Redbluff, CA

Episode 1512

Barbara would like to update to macOS High Sierra, but she thinks that she can't update it because she hasn't updated in a long time. Leo says you can. The way you can do it is to go to the last version your computer can handle directly. If that's macOS High Sierra, then just go to the app store download it and install. If you're getting notifications, then you're golden. It'll take awhile though.


What does my printer's error code mean?

Episode 1512

Bob from Pleasantville, NY
Epson WorkForce WF-2630 All-in-One Printer

Bob bought a new Epson EcoTank printer. His old WorkForce printer got an error code 0X97 and he can't clear it. Leo says error codes are really the domain of Epson and they have good solid tech support. Could it be a corrupted file? Leo says it's unlikely to be the computer. It's more likely an internal printer issue. The chatroom says it's an internal hardware error.

Why am I getting a black screen on Windows?

Daryl from Orange, CA

Episode 1512

Daryl is running Windows 8.1, but after a so-called critical update, he gets a black screen. Leo says that sometimes an update can break something, and it sounds like it may be an incompatible video driver. First thing to do is to boot into Safe Mode. Then, if his screen comes up, that indicates a driver issue. Daryl should go to the video card manufacturer's website and download the latest video driver.

Why can't I connect to the internet with my old Mac?

Episode 1512

Joy from Thousand Oaks, CA
Apple iMac

Joy is trying to reset the password on her old Mac and she's having issues. She googled putting code into the Terminal and it messed things up. She found the original disk, but because it's so old, it automatically goes to the dial up modem when attempting to connect to the internet. Leo recommends going into recovery mode by holding down CMD + R while booting up. In the Utilities menu of the installer, there is a reset password tool. She keeps running into problems connecting to the internet, though. Leo suggests plugging the Mac directly into the router via ethernet and rebooting.

How can I make my Surface Studio run faster?

Episode 1512

G. Scott from Finland, MN
Microsoft Surface Studio

G Scott bought the Microsoft Surface Studio computer when it came out and got it with an i7. But it's sluggish when running Excel and other apps. Leo has a hunch that the hybrid hard drive is causing the slow down. Intel created the Fusion drive and it's never really paid off in performance. Leo had the drive replaced with an M.2 MVE connected SSD drive. Know How has a video on how to do it here.