hard drives

How Can I Get My External Hard Drive to Be Read?

SpinRite 6

Episode 1759

Brett from Lakewood, WA

Brett has an external hard drive that has his Plex Media Library on it. It has over 500 movies on it. But he's been having issues with it now. His PC can read only random movie files. Leo says the hard drive is starting to fail, and Brett needs to back it up asap and replace it. Leo thinks the hard drive is experiencing a soft failure, meaning that the drive has some corruption of the hard drive catalog, and it could be fixed. Leo recommends SpinRite, which can read bad sectors and move the data to a healthier drive sector.

How can I rip DVDs to my hard drive?

Handbrake

Episode 1754

Steve from Riverside, CA

Steve uses PLEX to stream his home media. He's got over 400 movies on his hard drive. But his DVDs have VOB files on them. How does he rip them so he can add them to his PLEX system? Leo says that what you want on your hard drive is the movie itself. Not necessarily the VOB file. But PLEX should be able to read it. A far easier thing to do is to use Handbrake to convert your DVD movies to MP4 files. You may also need VLC Media Client.

Is my hard drive dead?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1742

Mike from Rockport, New York

Mike's desktop has two drives in an IBM PC and when he went to defrag one, it disappeared from Windows 7. So he can't see it. What can he do? Leo says that try rebooting and see if he can see it on boot up. If not, try using a NewerTek Universal drive adapter to see if you can see it that way. If you can't, then the drive is dead. The good news is, drives are cheap. Leo recommends putting an SSD drive for your main drive and use the good hard drive for the backup. You'll get a huge boost in speed that way.

What Can I Do With a Box of Old Hard Drives?

GLAARG VEC

Episode 1739

Peter from San Diego, CA

Peter has a box of old hard drives and they have data on them. How can he get the data off and put it on a central server? Leo says that he can get a universal drive adapter from Newertech, that can plug into and power the drive without installing them. Then he can see what the data is on the drive and move it. He can then get a network-attached storage device (NAS) to put them on. Leo uses one from Synology for backing up his data and act as a media server for his videos and photos. Great for large archival storage because they have multiple drives that can be redundant.

How can I make my old computer faster?

Solid State Drive (SSD)

Episode 1738

Jessica from Torrance, CA

Jessica's desktop is about eight years old and she has nearly a TB in free space on her hard drive. But she's concerned about the age of her computer. Leo says older computers aren't as slow as newer computers like the old days. So an older computer really isn't that big a deal. The more worrisome thing is the age of your hard drive. They can crash as they get older. So replacing the hard drive will be faster and give new life to your computer. Especially with a solid-state drive or SSD. 

Why is my mac running so slow after an update?

Catalina Islands

Episode 1720

LaVerne from Bronx, NY

LaVerne updated her 2012 Mac to Catalina and now it's going slow and she's getting kernel panic reports. Leo says it's likely a driver that is failing. It could also be a flakey hard drive. But when she logs into the guest account, it runs just fine. Leo says that indicates a bad profile. You can wipe the drive and start over, or create a new profile and then remove the other one. 

Why won't my laptop boot up?

iFixit

Episode 1706

Tom from Dayton, OH

Tom has a Lenovo Yoga 910, but he's getting a boot-up failure message. After trying a few times, it will boot up. Leo suspects that the hard drive is starting to fail. It's a typical problem with spinning drives. It could be that the head is sticking, a power supply problem, or that when the hard drive heats up, it starts to work as usual. Leo advises backing up your data, just in case. Easy fi: replace the hard drive.

Is My New Hard Drive Dead?

My Book

Episode 1705

Dan from Upland, CA

Dan bought a new 4TB external hard drive but his mac won't read it. It can see it, but Dan needs a workaround to get it working. Leo isn't a fan of giant drives because the larger they get, the less reliable they can be. But in this case, it doesn't sound like a bad drive, but a bad USB card in the enclosure. Leo suspects that the enclosure failed. So the trick will be to get an identical enclosure and card and see if it will read it. Leo also says that 4TB drive may actually be 2 TB drives in a RAID array. So look out for that. Dan says it's one drive, which is good news.