hard drives

What do I do with a hard drive fail warning?

Episode 1248

Ann from Oceanside, CA

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.

Can I replace the hard drive in my Mac Mini?

Apple Mac Mini

Episode 1245

Denise from Santa Clarita, CA

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.

How can I wipe my hard drive before I donate my old computer?

Episode 1243

Paul from Lake Forest, CA

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.

How can I speed up my computer?

Ubuntu

Episode 1232

Kinan from California

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.

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.