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Episode 1462 February 11, 2018

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Matthew from Austria Comments

Matthew gave his mother in law a Dell computer Inspiron 17R 571 running Windows 10, but it's taking 5 minutes to boot up. Leo suspects that the spinning hard drive may be starting to fail, with difficult to read sectors. It could also be software that's hanging up the bootup process. Matthew should try using the boot log to see what may be causing the issue. He can get to this by holding the Shift key while its booting, and he can choose to create a boot log on the root level of the drive named bootlog.txt. Leo recommends getting a new hard drive, and while he's at it, he should go with a solid state drive.

The Chatroom says that turning off fast startup in Windows 10 could speed up the boot process in that Dell. There's also a suggestion that a graphics driver could be causing it. Matthew should check out this article by Expert Reviews on the problem. Sometimes a clean install of Windows 10 will work. If he's doing that, Leo says he should get the SSD first.

Watch Michael from Arkansas Comments

Michael has an old unlocked phone that he's trying to port to a new carrier, but it's not working. The company says it won't port an inactive number. Leo says the law requires porting numbers to his new service, but they could have found a loophole with an inactive phone. Leo also suggests doing a factory reset. That should clear out the carrier data. There's also something called APN settings which need to be cleared out so that the carrier can't reject it.

Watch Melanie from Irvine, CA Comments

Melanie's email account was hacked so she changed her password and set up 2-factor authentication. Now when she logs in, it tells her there's been "too many attempts" and it logs her out. Leo says that there is a Google help chat where she could get it reset. There's also a phone number that she can call. She should check under Google Help.

The problem, though, is that Google doesn't have technical support so it may be an exercise in futility. It's possible that Melanie isn't logging into the right account and that's why she's having that issue. Another thing to try is to start the process all over again in a private or incognito browsing session. She can also reset her browser to get rid of any cookies or login information. Starting from a clean slate could give her a better chance.

Watch Don from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Don recently got a used PC, but it's locked with a password. Since the password prompt comes up after the PC has loaded Windows, Leo says it's easy to wipe it and reinstall the operating system. All he needs to do is download the Windows 10 installation tool from Microsoft called the "Media Creator's Tool", and put that on a thumb drive. Then he can boot to that drive, format, and reinstall it from there.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Lionel from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Lionel is looking for a used laptop, but all the ones he finds are using Windows 10. He wants to go back to Windows 7. Leo says that buying someone's used laptop is buying someone's problems. There's a reason someone is selling it. Leo recommends a refurbished computer from the original manufacturer like a Dell refurbished laptop. If he does that, there's a good chance he'll get a Windows 7 machine.

Will he find one with a CD drive? Leo says that will be a challenge. HP also sells end of lease laptops will a full warranty. That's a good way to save money too.

Watch Dan from New Jersey Comments

Dan wants to rip some old DVDs so he can stream them on the Apple TV using Plex, but he's having trouble with Handbrake. Leo says that he can rip it and then keep it on his computer, or use a network attached storage device running the Plex server. Leo says that Handbrake should have an Apple TV profile. He also needs to be sure he's using VLC to break the DRM.

Watch Mark from Albequerque, NM Comments

Mark's son is about to be stationed in Japan and wants to know if he can bring his phone along. Leo says that he can, but he'll need to get the phone unlocked so he can use a local carrier. There may be issues with radio frequencies, though. He should check out the website to learn about what carriers and phones are best. He should also ask his US carrier if he can suspend his account while he's overseas so he won't have to pay for two services while overseas. The chatroom says that Verizon has a military plan and that may be a good option.

Watch Stan from Victorville, CA Comments

Stan is trying to update his computer, but he can't download the files (there's an exclamation point). So he turned it off and turned it back on and it updated anyway. Leo says that it's likely his computer was made compatible by Microsoft and when he turned it back on, it did the update because it was ready to. Windows also has a troubleshooter that could help.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Ted from Louisiana Comments

Ted put Linux on an old Vista Machine, but when he went to use the app Turbo Tax online, it said that it wouldn't support Linux. Leo says to try the Chromium browser in Linux. It's more open source. But being a standard web app, it should work regardless. Is it secure? Leo says it is, but it's not 100% flawless. It does have the benefit of being obscure, though. Hackers want to go after the most people, and open source is such a small segment that it's relatively off their radar. Certainly more secure than Windows Vista.

Watch Rick from Irvine, CA Comments

Rick's wife is trying to get around her job's internet restrictions with a VPN. Is there any way to do that? Leo says probably not. They will likely have it locked down to the point where she can't get around it. Leo recommends using her mobile phone in hotspot mode. She should turn off Wi-Fi though because she'll still be under their policies even when she's on her phone using the Wi-Fi. The company has the right to not only prevent her from using her own devices on their network, but also to spy on her. So she should be careful.

Watch John from Long Beach, CA Comments

John wants to know how he can add a polarizing filter to his point and shoot camera. Leo says some of the point and shoots have screws on the front that would allow him to add a filter, which is the easiest way to do it. There's a variety of polarizing filter he could get, and generally, he'd want a circular one. If he doesn't have threads on the point and shoot, he'll need some way to mount it on there. John also looked at a magnetic filter, but his camera doesn't have that either. Leo says most of the companies that make point and shoot filters have a ring mount that can be added to the camera with an adapter of some kind. There's just not a lot of demand for filters for the Casio point and shoot camera he has.

Image By Robert Emperley from Strasbourg, Alsace, France (silver falls 21Uploaded by NotFromUtrecht) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Watch Richard from West LA, CA Comments

Richard wants to get an SSD for his laptop. Leo says that some laptops are upgradable and some aren't. Leo recommends going to They have tips and tutorials on how to work on laptops, mobile phones, and a wide variety of computers. If anyone knows, it's iFixit. YouTube is also a great place to find out how to do that.

Watch Mike from St. Louis, MO Comments

Mike is interested in the Anker Roav Viva. Leo says it's a great option for putting Amazon Echo into the car. Does it connect to his phone? Leo says yes. It will pair to Mike's phone through the Roav software and then play the music through his car stereo. It's quite clever. He'll want to check to see if it supports his car. Another option is called the Muse Auto.

Watch Eric from Riverside, CA Comments

Eric wants to know if he can play an old Windows game on his new Mac. Leo says he might able to. He can try using WINE. The other way is to run Windows virtually through VirtualBox (free), or VMware. Then he can run Windows virtually, and install the game in the Windows environment.

Another option is called CrossOver Mac, but it's not free. Leo thinks it's probably easier just to go to and play there.