Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why am I getting a black screen on Windows?

Episode 1512

Daryl from Orange, CA

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?

Apple iMac

Episode 1512

Joy from Thousand Oaks, CA

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?

Microsoft Surface Studio

Episode 1512

G. Scott from Finland, MN

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.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1511

Cauldryn, the company behind the first travel mug to boil water from a rechargeable battery, announces their latest innovation, the Cauldryn Coffee, which could be called ‘the Swiss army knife of travel mugs’. It's a 16 oz. vacuum sealed modular travel mug that allows coffee drinkers to actually grind and percolate coffee right in the Cauldyn Coffee, and it also allows coffee and tea drinkers the ability to maintain liquid temperatures for up to 10 hours. An LCD screen adjusts temperatures within two degrees from room temperature to boiling (78°-212°F).

Why does my mouse keep crashing?

AmazonBasics 3-Button USB Wired Mouse

Episode 1511

Greg from Newport Beach, CA

Greg's mouse cursor is freezing and it's making a loud audible noise. Leo says he suspects the mouse is experiencing a hard crash of the mouse. Unplugging the mouse and plugging it back in will fix it. It's also a sign of a worn out mouse cable, causing connectivity issues. It could also be a problem with his USB plug, or even the USB controller chip on the motherboard. He should check the drivers. And then, try to get a cheap PCI USB card and see if he can make it work. If it does, then he'll know it's the motherboard USB controller. But Leo suspects it's the mouse drivers.

What MacBook should I buy for college?

Apple MacBook Pro 13 and 15 inch

Episode 1511

Jack from Huntington Beach, CA

Jack has a daughter at UC Santa Cruz studying Bio Engineering. He wants to get her a new laptop. Leo says to call the university and talk to the office about recommendations. They should also call the Bio Engineering department. The student store will also have a student discount.

The MacBook Pro is a good choice. An i5 will be OK, but the i7 will be better for what she does and will future proof it for the next four years. It has 16GB of RAM. A 13" would be ideal for a student, though, too. It has 512GB storage, and they can always get an external drive if she needs more.

How can I unclog my printer?

Epson Expression ET-2550 EcoTank

Episode 1511

Steven from San Diego,CA

Steven bought an Epson Eco Tank 2550 and it's starting to lose colors. Leo says that it sounds like the printer head is clogged. Epson Eco Tanks have specially coated heads to prevent clogging, but if he doesn't use his printer all the time, it will eventually clog up. That's why a laser printer is better for infrequent use. In the meantime, he can use the ink cleaning procedure several times, and then it will ask if he wants to do the thorough cleaning. It'll use a lot of ink, however, but that should solve it.

Can I upgrade my iMac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1511

Carlin from Redondo Beach, CA

Carlin has an iMac that's about 6 years old and it's getting slower and slower. She brought it into a technician, who said it was too old to get parts for it. Leo says that's not really accurate. It's always best to take the iMac into the Apple Store when it needs repair or upgrading, and it can be upgraded.