Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

What wireless security camera should I buy?

WyzeCam

Episode 1563

Carol from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Sara is moving to Victorville, and she's concerned about how spotty the internet will be. Leo recommends Broadbandreports.com to get reviews and find out what the best internet service provider is for that area. She's also going to be getting wireless security cameras to access them from her mobile device. But she's concerned it'll eat up all her data and kill her upload speed. Leo says that can happen if the cameras are recording all the time. Leo recommends the WyzeCam v2.

Should I get a Chromebook?

Chromebook

Episode 1563

Tom from Riverside, CA

Tom is looking at the Google PixelBook Chromebook. Leo says the Google PixelBook is fantastic. But he's not sure if there's an LTE version. But Leo says that the Samsung ChromeBook Plus does have an LTE for $599. He bought them for his kids in college. Acer makes great Chromebook as well. Can he print wirelessly? Leo says that he can through Google Cloud Print, but you can also print via USB, which is what Tom wants. HP printers would be the only real option.

The Giz Wiz ... fallen, and can't get up

gizwiz.biz

Episode 1562

This is a new gadget by Walabot, a product from Vayyar Imaging. The company says that "All Walabot devices are created to help you uncover hidden things in the world around you. The technology is based on 3D imaging sensors that use radio frequency, rather than a camera, to see through solid surfaces and create a visual image of what’s inside." The company already makes a 3D DIY device to let see people see through walls to find wiring, pipes, etc. Walabot Home, their newest gadgets, is a 3D sensor that can “see” through walls and detect motion.

Why does it take so long to boot up my computer?

Windows

Episode 1562

Tom from Costa Mesa, California

Tom has a NUC computer and after updating to Windows 10, it takes several hours for Windows to come alive on the screen. Leo says that wiping the drive and reinstalling could fix it. It's probably a bad hard drive sector that the computer is trying to read. Do a full reset and wipe the entire thing. But make sure to back up data first. Another option would be to have a USB key with Linux on it and boot to it (F10). If it comes up right away, then you know there's something wrong with the software. If it's the same problem, it is a hardware issue.

Why can't my PC read my new hard drive?

Episode 1561

Roger from Pasadena, CA

Roger has a 3TB drive in his tower and it's getting full. He bought a 4 TB drive to replace it. Copied everything over. Now the drive isn't being read by Windows after he installed it into his Tower. Leo says it could be the size of the drive. But Windows 10 should be able to read it. Leo recommends trying to recopy it while it's installed in the machine. Reformat the drive and try again. Or, just keep the 4TB drive as an external drive. The speed isn't all that important. So if your PC can read it externally, and your internal drive is fine, just keep it that way.

Why can't my laptop read USB 2?

Episode 1561

Carlo from Ontario, BC CAN

Carlo has a small laptop with a USB 3.0 port. But suddenly, it won't read USB 2. What gives? Leo says that USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible as long as the plug is Type A. It could be a faulty connector, or the connector pins are dirty. The connector could have also shorted out. Shine a light in and look for some cruft, or even damage on the surface of the contacts. ScooterX in the chatroom suggests that it may be a driver issue. Go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look to see if there's a red X. Or delete the drivers and then restart to reinstall.

How can I recover a stolen laptop?

Episode 1561

Josh from Austin, TX

Josh has ordered a theft detection system that puts UV dots all over your computer. It's like an asset sticker from your company or school. This kit uses microdots though, that leave behind residue that can still be read. Leo says that could be good. But it could also be hype. Police are also prioritizing crimes and they may not really care about property theft unless violence is involved. An interesting idea, but more likely just security theater.

How can I get data off an old hard drive?

Episode 1561

Don from Doylestown, OH

Don's dad left him an old Windows 98 computer and he has to get data off it. But the laptop won't boot up due to a hard drive issue. What can he do? Leo says a hard drive can wear out and it may be that the drive is dead. But it could also be that it simply won't boot up. It's just getting flakey with critical sectors, meaning that the data is still there. So Leo says to stop trying to boot it up. That'll only make it worse. Take the drive out and get an external drive case or a universal drive adapter and use it as a data drive. NewerTek makes a great one.