external hard drives

How can I find out what's taking up space on my hard drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1639

George from Fontana, California

George went to back up his iPhone and he got a message that he's run out of room on his laptop. What can he do? Leo recommends installing WinDerStat. It's color-coded and can show you at a glance what is taking up all that room on your laptop. Then move stuff off of it into an external hard drive. Leo also recommends buying extra space on iCloud. For $2.99 a month you can backup 50GB of space. Great deal. Backing up to it is also the easiest thing to do.

Can I get my data off a bad hard drive?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1589

Nolan from Los Angeles, CA

Nolan has a portable hard drive that can't be seen with his Mac anymore. How can he get the data off it? Leo says this is a perfect example of why you need more than one backup of your data. You can't back up your data onto a hard drive and then delete it from your computer and think you have a backup. You don't.  The best backup strategy is a 3-2-1 backup strategy. Three backups, on two different media, one off-site. That's the only way to be safe.

Why can't my PC read my new hard drive?

Episode 1561

Roger from Pasadena, CA

Roger has a 3TB drive in his tower and it's getting full. He bought a 4 TB drive to replace it. Copied everything over. Now the drive isn't being read by Windows after he installed it into his Tower. Leo says it could be the size of the drive. But Windows 10 should be able to read it. Leo recommends trying to recopy it while it's installed in the machine. Reformat the drive and try again. Or, just keep the 4TB drive as an external drive. The speed isn't all that important. So if your PC can read it externally, and your internal drive is fine, just keep it that way.

How can I get data off an old hard drive?

Newertek Universal Drive Adapter

Episode 1551

Duke from Redondo Beach, CA

Duke wants to get data off an old external hard drive that's stopped working. Leo says the drive is probably fine, but the enclosure has most likely died. Leo suggests using the NewerTech Universal Drive adapter. He can connect the drive to his computer with the adapter, and then he'll be able to access it like a regular hard drive. Then it's a simple drag and drop. He may have to break open the plastic tabs to get into the enclosure, though.

Why can't my new computer see the data on my old hard drive?

Western Digital MyPassport

Episode 1495

Bonnie from Costa Mesa, CA

Bonnie bought a new computer and plugged in her external hard drive. She can see the data on her old computer, but she can't read it on her new computer. Leo has a hunch that her WD Passport runs a proprietary utility that encrypts her data to protect it. She probably will need to install that same software on the new computer in order to see the data.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

Hard drive

Episode 1494

Ted from El Paso, TX

Ted has an external hard drive that his laptop cannot read, even though the computer can see the drive. Leo says that since the computer can see the drive, the USB connection is working. So it's likely the drive is corrupted. He can crack open the external case, and Leo recommends going to iFixIt.com and input his drive model to find out how to fix it. Then he can connect it directly and run something like SpinRite to see if he can repair it.

Why can't I read my hard drive?

Western Digital 6TB USB Drive

Episode 1468

Jonathan from Long Beach, CA

Jonathan plugged in an external drive but he can't see it on his Mac. It wants it to re-initialize. Leo says it could be a host of things from the drive, to the cable, to the USB port, to even a software error. So he'll have to break it down. First, unplug the drive and plug it into a new port. If he's using a USB hub, try directly into the computer instead. Make sure if it's a powered drive that it's getting power. Jonathan can run Disk Utility on the Mac and see if it sees the drive. If he sees it there, then that means that the drive is starting to fail or the formatting is corrupted.

Can Carbonite backup movies?

Episode 1416

Terry from Long Beach, CA

Terry wants to backup his home movies with Carbonite. He did it manually the first time, but will Carbonite automatically do it after the first time? Leo says that he'll have to pay extra for that feature, and he'll have to be sure his photo and video file folder is selected. They do it this way because video takes a very long time to backup. It will hog his bandwidth for quite awhile, all the time. Terry will also want to be sure he has plenty of bandwidth.