bad hard drives

How can I reset Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1609

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve has an old Toshiba Satellite Laptop that was running really slow and he's trying to reset Windows 10. He's getting a popup to run disk utility. Leo says it sounds like the hard drive is getting flakey and needs to be replaced. Fortunately, Rick has his data backed up and the hard drives are cheap. So replace the drive and you'll be back in business. $50 for a 2TB spinning drive. But Leo says that SSDs are almost as cheap. So why not go SSD and speed that old Toshiba up?

Have I Been Hacked or is My Hard Drive Dying?

Windows 7

Episode 1605

Chris from Long Beach CA

Chris is having trouble loading his Windows profile as he logs into his Windows 7 computer. He worries he's been hacked. Leo says that more likely, it's a flakey hard drive that's preventing the data from being read. Windows 7 is now over 10 years old and if he hasn't changed that hard drive in that amount of time, it's likely a bad hard drive. Boot into safe mode and see if the profile can load. If he can, then he may just have a corrupt profile. In all likelihood though, it's a bad hard drive that's about to die. But Chris has another problem.

Why Won't my Computer Wake Up?

Dell

Episode 1576

Vicky from Rialto, CA

Vicky put her computer to sleep and now it won't wake up. Leo says that's often called "the Big Sleep," and is a common Windows problem. It sounds like Vicky is experiencing "sudden death" of her hard drive. If she can put it into another computer through the external USB plug, and she can see the drive, that means it's not dead. If it can't see it, she will know it's dead. If it can see it, then she can try booting up from it. She'll probably have to change the boot order to do it, but there's a keyboard command for that after she sees the Dell Logo.

Why can't I recover Windows?

Windows 10

Episode 1464

Melita from California

Melita tried installing the Spectre Meltdown patches and now she's having issues with Windows. Leo says that the problem may be due to the antivirus companies not updating so that she can install it. Microsoft has to update Windows Defender with a patch to her registry that says it's ready. She tried doing a system recovery to reinstall Windows and now she can't do anything. Leo suspects that Melita may be having issues with her hard drive. Or her optical CD install discs have gone bad. It could also be a larger motherboard failure, like a dead motherboard battery.

Did a website crash my hard drive?

Episode 1124

Sue from Redondo Beach, CA

Sue went to a website to watch Bob Dylan live on stage and her computer got "fried." Leo says that there's no website that can short out a computer. And it's not in the interest of a hacker to be that destructive. They want vulnerable computers to exploit them. So it's important to keep the computer updated. She should also update Flash, her PDF reader, drivers, and just about everything can be exploited. Leo also recommends using Google Chrome, because it sandboxes Flash and updates it all the time. So she doesn't even have to install Flash on her system.

Why am I unable to update Windows? Do I have a virus?

Episode 1072

Mike from Lake Forest, CA

Mike says his daughter's computer has a virus, and now he can't run Windows update. She was downloading music. Leo wonders what the symptoms were that led Mike to believe he had a virus. It could be a bad sector on a hard drive. Leo advises scanning with an online antivirus checker. Leo also suggests running Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. Click on "Start," then select "Run,", type "MRT" and hit enter. He should choose to do a thorough scan. He can also try MalwareBytes.org.