data

Don't Pull the Power From a Computer While it is On

Pulling out the power cord from an awake computer can put the machine at risk for hard drive failure. Interrupting a hard drive writing process could result in a mess of data all over the digital space. The ideal way to shut off a computer should always be the "Shut Down" option in the OS. If the computer is locked up, find a reset button or hold the power button for a few seconds before attempting to touch the power cord.

Is Pulling the Power Cord on an Active Computer Risky?

 power cord

Episode 1628

Richard from Bell, CA

Richard is wondering if pulling the power cord on a computer (while it is on) hurts the machine. Leo says it is risky because if the computer/hard drive is in the middle of a writing process, pulling the plug could spew data all over the hard drive. Not to mention, physical damage could occur during the interruption as well. It is only okay to pull the cord when the computer is frozen solid and locked up. Unplugging is only a last resort, so always try to hold the power button first before attempting to cut off the power.  

How does a walkie talkie app like Zello work?

Zello

Episode 1610

Bill from Wilmington, CA

Bill wants to know about the Zello walkie talkie app. How does it really work? Does it transmit over the air like a real walkie talkie? Leo says it doesn't broadcast, it uses your mobile phone data network to communicate. So you use data every time you use Zello. It's similar to VoIP in that regard. It's fun and handy, but it does eat through your data.

How can I get data off an old hard drive?

Episode 1561

Don from Doylestown, OH

Don's dad left him an old Windows 98 computer and he has to get data off it. But the laptop won't boot up due to a hard drive issue. What can he do? Leo says a hard drive can wear out and it may be that the drive is dead. But it could also be that it simply won't boot up. It's just getting flakey with critical sectors, meaning that the data is still there. So Leo says to stop trying to boot it up. That'll only make it worse. Take the drive out and get an external drive case or a universal drive adapter and use it as a data drive. NewerTek makes a great one.

Get Data Off of an Old Android Phone

If you need to transfer your data from an old phone to a new one, there are a few ways to do it. First of all, check to see if your data is already being synced to the cloud. Data such as email, contacts, and calendars are likely already stored with Google or Apple's iCloud. You can verify this by logging into your Google or Apple account from a web browser and checking to see if the data is there.

How can I get data off a really old hard drive?

VGA

Episode 1538

Tyler from Oklahoma City, OK

Tyler has a 20-year-old computer and he needs to get some data off the hard drive. He's having trouble finding a port to connect his video monitor to. He doesn't have VGA. Leo says he'll have to have a VGA port because that was the standard back then. If there's no VGA, then it could be a server. But he may be able to find an old video card to plug into it.

Leo recommends just getting a hard drive enclosure for it. He'll need an IDE model. Then he can connect it via USB to his current computer. That's far easier than trying to connect everything to it to see what's on it.

Why aren't my text messages sending right away on my iPhone?

Episode 1535

Peter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Peter upgraded his iPhone to the latest version of iOS 12, and ever since then, his text messages haven't been sending right away. Leo says the first thing to do is call his carrier. There are two ways messages get sent on an iPhone, however. It's either being sent with iMessage which uses his data, or as an SMS. He's only having this problem with the built-in Messages app, and it's with everyone. Leo thinks it has to do with his wireless carrier.

What tablet should I buy for international travel?

Apple iPad Pro

Episode 1496

Mike from Los Angeles, CA

Mike wants to know what he needs to use his iPad on Wi-Fi. Leo says that any iPad will work on Wi-Fi. If he has LTE, however, he could use it anywhere. But for Wi-Fi, a regular iPad will work just fine. Since Mike is traveling internationally, Leo recommends also getting a MiFi card, which he can put a local SIM in for Wi-Fi. But since Mike is in the US Virgin Islands, international data roaming won't be an issue. Leo recommends getting an AT&T carrier version of the iPad. Leo likes the iPad Mini for traveling.