hard drives

How can I replace the hard drive in my iMac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1227

Martin from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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.

How can I make an old hard drive unreadable?

Episode 1201

Gary from Pawtucket, RI

Gary has several old drives with data on it and wants to know the best way of destroying them so that they won't be able to be read. Leo says if he can read the drive, he can use Derek's Boot and Nuke (DBAN), which will write over the drive seven times to make it impossible to recover the data. His other choice is to take the drive apart and literally shatter the platters, if they're glass. Patrick Norton does this with a hammer. He could also drill holes into the metal platters as well.

Why am I getting error messages when recording music?

Episode 1192

Scott from Westminster, CA

Scott does music recording on his MacBook Pro, but some of his recordings are getting a "disk too slow" error. Leo says that has to do with how many tracks he's recording, and an SSD would definitely fix that. Scott should check out the Blackmagic Speed Disk Tester in the Mac App Store. It'll test the speed of his hard drive and it will tell him if his hard drive is fast enough for the recording he's doing.

How can I use my own router with FIOS?

Episode 1190

Steve from Hermosa Beach, CA

Steve has FiOS and the Wi-Fi seems to be slow. How can he speed it up? He'd like to bypass the Verizon router and use his own. Leo says that he'll have to use the Verizon device to connect to FiOS, but he can disable the router part and use his own router instead. He'll need to connect them with ethernet to make it work. The router is also built into the modem and is using network addressing. Steve should put the router part in "bridge mode" to just hand it off to the router.

Can I clone my MacBook Pro drive and install it on my Mac Pro?

Episode 1185

Brennan from Orange County, CA

Brennan has a 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion. He also has a 2010 Mac Pro. He uses both for audio engineering. He has everything set up, and he wants to know if he could clone the MacBook Pro and then put that onto his Mac Pro. Leo says he may be able to. He could try making a bootable drive from a USB key and then selecting that when booting up the Mac Pro to see if it works. OS X should be smart enough to install any missing drivers. Otherwise he can always run the OS X installer and reinstall the OS directly

Do I need a hard drive backup if I'm backing up to the cloud?

Episode 1184

Jim from Sacramento, CA

Jim has heard that physical media is dead and everything is going to the cloud. How does that affect a 3-2-1 backup strategy? Leo says that while it's right that data is moving to the cloud, it can be slow to get back. Having local backups in addition to a cloud backup is a good idea. So he should have an online hard drive, a near line hard drive backup, and then his off site cloud backup. Leo still recommends having a hard drive backup that he can get to.

How can I recover my dead hard drive?

Episode 1182

Chris from Camarillo, CA

Chris hard drive is dead and he needs to get the data off it. Leo says that you can go to Drive Savers, they take apart the drive in a clean room and can then rebuild it so you can get the data off, but it's VERY expensive. Leo says that's why you need to backup all the time. Because hard drives can, and will crash. But a good computer geek may be able to coax that hard drive back to life long enough to get the data off if there's a soft failure. But it's a hardware issue, like a bad circuit board, DriveSavers is your only hope.

Why am I running out of hard drive space?

Hard Drive

Episode 1178

Kevin from Spokane, WA

Kevin has an HP laptop with a 500GB hard drive and he's getting warnings that he's running out of space. How can he see what is taking up all that room and what can he get rid of? Leo says he can delete temporary file, because they aren't needed. By implication, that's just a repository to place files temporarily. He'll want to be sure to only delete files when other programs aren't running. He doesn't want to crash out an application that may be using a file in that temp folder.