Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I replace my laptop's trackpad?

Joe from Covina, CA

Episode 1468

Joe is using an old Windows 7 laptop but his trackpad is having issues. Leo says that trackpads do wear out over time and that laptop is nearly ten years old. But iFixit.com may be a good source on how to replace the trackpad. It's not that big of a deal. Joe should also check HP forums. If HP has stopped supporting his device, the forums may be a great place to get help from other users who have been going through similar problems.

Why is does my inkjet clog up when I try to print?

Episode 1468

Mike from Maine
Brother Color Laser Printer

Mike's color printer is clogged up. Leo says that inkjets don't work well in a low use scenario. Mike was wondering about the Epson EcoTank printer, but Leo says it's really best for higher capacity printing. If he's occasionally doing color prints, then a color laser is a better option and they are less expensive than he might think.

(Disclaimer: Epson is a sponsor)

Should I stop using my computer if it isn't patched for Spectre Meltdown?

Episode 1468

Rene from British Columbia
Inspectre

Rene ran Steve Gibson's Inspectre tool for her computer and it says it needs to be patched to avoid the latest Meltdown exploit. She's checked with her motherboard maker and they haven't put out a BIOS patch. So should she stop using her computer? Leo says no. There's no current danger for end users yet. She should just keep her computer updated as best she can and check with her motherboard maker every once in a while.

How can I recover missing space on a hard drive?

Episode 1468

Larry from Petaluma, CA
Hard drives

Larry recently cloned his hard drive using EaseUS and then used that on his new hard drive. But the SSD he put it on was 250 GB and he can't use the remaining space on it. Can he recover it? Leo says that Acronis can create an image of the drive, keeping the partition. He can use the Windows partition manager to recover the rest of the partition, but if it doesn't work, Larry could try the EaseUS partition manager.

The Owl Cam Is a Sophisticated, New Take on the Dash Cam

Episode 1468

Owl Cam

Leo has been testing the Owl Car Cam, and he likes it so much, that he's tucked all the cables inside his car, meaning he's keeping it. It isn't cheap, however, at $350, but it's packed with features. It has dual cameras, front facing and rear facing, GPS, and its own LTE internet access, so it can upload any footage after it happens. It will also notify you via text if the car has been hit while you're not in the car, using motion sensors. It also plugs into the diagnostics port of the car and gets powered by it.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1467

Dick DeBartolo

Chemistry Magic Invisible Test Tube Kit. (All the components are in the kit, in a smaller size than the video demo.) You take a test tube filled with liquid, and a measuring cup also full of a liquid. (It was premixed, so not sure exactly what the liquid was.) When the test tube is lowered into the liquid, all of the test tubes below the liquid line instantly disappeared! (You'll see it in the video below.)

Why doesn't my Echo work in Canada?

Episode 1467

Ken from Vancouver, Canada
Amazon Echo

Ken is in Canada and bought a US Amazon Echo through his sister, but most of the functions won't work with Canada's Amazon website. Leo says that features like Audible have different rights according to each country and it may be that they don't support those features due to copyright restrictions. Ken tried using a US Amazon account and everything worked. But even then, he may not be able to stream music or videos depending on the rights. Using the US site is a good workaround, though.

How can I protect my car's keyless entry system from being hacked?

Episode 1466

Edward from Los Angeles, CA
Enokay RFID signal blocking bag

Edward has a car with keyless entry and has heard that they can be opened if someone has a digital amplifier. Leo says that's true and it's extremely cheap to do. That's why Leo recommends an RF Shield pouch that will block out any radio signal that comes from his fob. There are dozens on Amazon, like this one here. The key is to make sure he keeps it sealed.