hard drives

How Can I Get Data Off My Computer With a Password?

Windows 10

Episode 1805

John from Moorpark, CA

John's friend has a Windows computer from her deceased husband that she can't log into. It's used though. Leo says the best thing to do is start over if she doesn't want the data off it. Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, save it to a thumb drive, and then plug it into the computer. Then boot to it, and reinstall Windows. It'll wipe the drive and give her a pristine version of Windows.

How Can I Best Back Up Terabytes of Stills & Video?

Glacier

Episode 1802

Chris from San Diego, CA

Chris has several terabytes of video and photos backed up on spinning hard drives. How long will they last? Leo says they can last a long time, but he will want to be sure that they are powered down properly, removed from the enclosure, and wrapped in bubble wrap. Is that the safest way to back up? Leo says it could be safer than discs. But another good idea is the Amazon Glacier. They will back up on drives (they'll even send you one) and then back it up for a very low price. Just don't expect to get it back quickly. 

Why Is My Computer so Slow?

Sysinternals Process Explorer

Episode 1799

Resa from West LA, CA

Resa is having issues with his computer dragging. Something is running that is making the computer slow down to a crawl. Leo says it could be an update or some sort of malware. Maybe something recently installed. Check out the task manager. There's an app called Sysinternals Process Explorer that can help. Or, it could be a failing hard drive that's causing problems being read.

How Can I Run an Image of My Hard Drive Virtually?

VirtualBox

Episode 1796

Paul from Louisville, Kentucky

Paul is trying to create a version of his hard drive image that can run in VirtualBox. The image uses VHD and he's having issues with VirtualBox reading it. It does do it with Windows 7. But he gets a "no bootable medium" message. Leo says that there are more standard formats other than VHD. Most virtual platforms look for ISOs with a native format of VDI. He also wants to be sure that the BIOS is using the UEFI format.

From Sophie in the chatroom - there is an “enable UEFI boot” in VirtualBox. That could maybe be the solution.

Can I Put My Old Synology Drives Into My New Nas?

Synology NAS

Episode 1795

Steve from Charlotte, North Carolina

Roger just got a new Synology NAS and wants to know if he can put his old Synology hard drives into it. Leo says it may not be able to due to the age of the older NAS. There is a good app that comes with your Synology called Hyper Backup that will automatically sync two Synology's so that you have the same data on both. So instead of getting rid of it, use it as a backup to the backup, or at least migrate from one to another.

Why Is My Browser so Slow?

Microsoft Edge

Episode 1795

Nick from San Diego, CA

Nick's computer has been really slow when he's online. Leo says that almost always, you can point to a failing spinning hard drive as the culprit. Generally, the best recommendation is to take the spinning drive out and replace it with a solid-state drive (SSD). It's usually a simple thing to do, but it depends on your computer or laptop. It's also pretty cheap to do at around $100. Another thing to try is to backup your data and reinstall everything, formatting the hard drive. That will certainly eliminate what Leo calls "Kruft," that causes the computer to slow down.

Can My SSD Wear Out?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1783

Carman from Akron, OH

Carman is worried that his new SSD will wear out over time as flash memory does. Leo says that modern SSDs use "wear leveling" to keep the SSD even and extend the SSD's life. It's gotten so good that they can last as long or longer than a spinning hard drive. So there's nothing to worry about.

How Do I Move Photos off an Old Windows 98 Computer?

Windows 98

Episode 1781

Jan from Yucaipa, CA

Jan has an old HP desktop running Windows 98 and has a working floppy drive. She can't connect it to the internet because a browser doesn't support it. So she'd like to donate it. Before that though, she wants to get her images off it. How can she do that and put it back on her newer Windows 7 computer? Leo says Jan should be able to plug a USB Thumbdrive so you can. But really, old versions of Windows 98 didn't, so that could be Jan's main problem. You can download a third-party USB driver that will handle it.

Did My Hard Drive Die?

Solid State Drive

Episode 1775

Tom from Carson City, NV

Tom's old Acer computer hard drive died recently. Would it make a good media server if he replaced the hard drive? Leo says that sure, but try booting from a USB key first just to see if everything is working. You'll have to go into the BIOS/Setup and change the boot order. Then burn a copy of Linux to a thumb drive and boot it up. You could also do it with a Windows Media Creation Tool. Once you've verified that the computer is intact and OK, then you can replace the hard drive and turn it into a media server.