Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does the Wi-Fi turn off on my laptop?

Episode 1466

Todd from Riverside, CA
Man using laptop connecting with wifi

Todd's pro-level support with Dell expired right as his Wi-Fi stopped working. When he turns it on, it just keeps turning back off. Is it broken or is the software doing something? Leo says there is a function key on the keyboard that can turn off the Wi-Fi, and if it's sticking, that could be causing the problem. If it's a business laptop, it may also have a switch on the side that can turn it off. Driver issues may also be causing it, so he should go to Dell and download all the latest motherboard drivers.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1465

At Toy Fair 2018, Dick saw Backyard Brains' Human-Human Interface. With just a bit of wiring and by applying a few sticky pads to his arm he was about to learn that someone else's brain could make his arm move! Here's how the company puts it: "With our electrophysiology setup, you will learn exciting neuroscience concepts first-hand as your brain sends an electrical impulse to your arm's muscles, telling them to move. When your muscles move, this generates an even larger electrical signal.

Can I connect an external drive to a Chromebook?

Episode 1465

Nam from Lake Forest, CA
Acer Chromebook 15

Nam is debating whether to get a Chromebook or a laptop. Leo says that you can pretty much do anything on a Chromebook that he could do on a laptop, within reason. There are some higher-end professional uses, like video editing and gaming, that are better on a Windows computer. But most other activities can be done in ChromeOS through a browser.

Why is the audio from my Echo cutting in and out?

Episode 1465

Kevin from Malibu
Amazon Echo

Kevin is having trouble with his two Alexa devices. They are intermittently going in and out. Leo says that if it comes back where it left off, that's just buffering of the internet and is a sign that his bandwidth isn't keeping up. If it's dropping out and coming back at a different time, then he's losing packets. Either way, it's an internet issue. It could also be iHeartRadio. It could also be congestion with wireless traffic. Kevin could use a Wi-Fi analyzer to see if someone's Wi-Fi hotspot is getting in the way.

How can I get my PC to wake up?

Episode 1465

Don from Montana
Windows 10

Don has an HP machine running Windows 10 and it's having problems when it goes to sleep. Leo says that he should make sure "Hibernate" is disabled. That causes a lot of problems. It can also not wake up from regular sleep, and it's been a long-running problem in Windows that doesn't really have a fix. He could just set up the display to turn off but disable sleep. Most of the power being used is by the display anyway.

Why doesn't Alexa work on my Sonos One?

Episode 1465

Peter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sonos One

Peter bought a Sonos One speaker with Alexa built in. Alexa doesn't work, though. Leo says that's probably due to Amazon Canada. The Sonos One also has a limited version of Alexa, so Leo has a hunch it's an issue with Sonos. It may also be a region code issue. Peter should try using an American credit card, which could solve the issue. But Leo says it's only a matter of time before that clears up because Echo is going everywhere.

Why doesn't my computer boot to my hard drive?

Episode 1465

Doug from St. Louis, MO
Hard drives

Doug recently replaced a power supply, and now the computer won't boot up to his main hard drive. Leo says that the SATA cables may have been swapped and that can confuse the BIOS. He should disconnect the data drive and see if it boots to the boot drive. If it doesn't, he can swap out the cables. He should also clear the configuration data in the BIOS so that it can reset. There's also a possibility that his boot drive is damaged, so he should check that. Getting rid of the master boot record on his data drive will prevent confusion as well.

What tablet should I get for sketching?

Episode 1464

Greg from Mobile, AL
Apple iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Greg's granddaughter likes to draw. What can he get her that will work? Leo says that an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is fantastic and she could do real artwork with it. There are great apps that she can use on it. There are two sizes, 10.5" and 12.9". It's the closest thing to actually drawing on paper she'll find, especially in that price range. ProCreate is the ideal app for art and drawing.