David has an external 2TB Seagate Baracuda hard drive and he hasn't been able to transfer the data from it, because it's damaged. Can he roll his own data recovery or does he have to pay for it to be recovered? Leo says that there are several levels of data recovery. Level 1 is a soft error -- a data error caused by a bad block. It's easily fixable with a good utility. Level 2, on the other hand, is a physical issue. This could be a scratched drive, a bent lever, etc. If he has a level 2 error, he's going to pay ten times the amount to repair it -- often in the thousands.
Ann is getting a warning that her hard drive is failing. How can she backup her data? Leo says to get an external USB drive and just drag and drop everthing over that. What about her favorites? Leo says she can export her favorites from the browser and email them to herself.
Leo says the computer should be still under warranty and if there's a warning, then it should be replaced. It could also be a false positive. Leo has never had a hard drive fail after a warning. They usually fail without warning. So she should back it up and then take it in to be looked at.
Denise has a Mac Mini with a 2TB hard drive and she's running out of space. Leo says that's a huge hard drive and it would be very hard to fill it up like that with regular use. First, she should empty the trash. Denise also had a power outage and Leo says that could have clobbered her hard drive and ruined it. At this point, it's probably best to replace the hard drive, which would be a challenge to do with the Mac Mini. Leo recommends taking it to the Apple Store.
Paul has an old Windows 7 computer and he's thinking of donating it. How can he wipe the drive effectively? Leo says most places that you donate to will promise to wipe the drive for you, but it's always a good idea to do it yourself to be safe. Paul should grab an external hard drive, plug it in and then drag and drop his data directly. Once he's done, he should download DBAN (Derick's Boot and Nuke). It will wipe the drive to the standards of the Department of Defense. It's very secure.
Taylor bought the cheapest XBox with just a few gigs of space. Can he attach an external hard drive to it? Leo says absolutely. Leo did the same thing and got the Seagate Backup Plus. It's about $59 for a 1TB USB 3 hard drive and it's ideal. But any external USB 3 drive will work. And they're cheap.
Eric's daughter dropped her laptop and now it won't read her external hard drive. Has she lost all her data? Leo says not necessarily. What he suspects is that the cable, or the connector in the enclosure is broken. The drive itself is probably just fine since they are engineered to disengage when dropped.
Kinan has a Gateway laptop with a broken screen and he's got it hooked up to an external monitor. It's getting slow and he wants to speed it up. If he's never reinstalled Windows on the machine, it's a good idea to backup his data, format the hard drive and reinstall Windows from a known source. The hard drive may be wearing out, too. Another option would be to try Ubuntu Linux.
Tom has a five year old Gateway laptop and he's running out of hard drive space. He would like to replace it with a 1TB hard drive and install Windows 10. Leo says that since Tom has Windows 7 on his laptop, he gets a free Windows 10 upgrade. So once he gets invited by Microsoft to install it, he can do that easily.
Gretchen's external hard drive has crashed, and she lost all of her data. What can she do? Leo says that she could use a service like DriveSavers to repair it, but it's not cheap. If anyone can do it, though, they can. But if they can't, it's lost. That's why Leo pushes backup. Three versions of the files, on two different formats, with one off site.
Martin wants to put a solid state drive in his 27" iMac. Leo says that adding an SSD is a great thing to do, but it's not easy with an iMac. Leo had his engineers do it, because he needed a special suction cup to lift the glass screen off to take out the hard drive and replace it. It's doable, but it's not for the faint of heart. Leo recommends going to iFixIt.com and he can find a special step by step, along with the parts and tools required.