Rob has set up a new computer, and he wants to clone his hard drive before he does anything else, so he'll have a backup. Leo says that's a great idea. Windows 10 has its own imaging utility under backup. But there are other solutions:
Tyler has a 20-year-old computer and he needs to get some data off the hard drive. He's having trouble finding a port to connect his video monitor to. He doesn't have VGA. Leo says he'll have to have a VGA port because that was the standard back then. If there's no VGA, then it could be a server. But he may be able to find an old video card to plug into it.
Leo recommends just getting a hard drive enclosure for it. He'll need an IDE model. Then he can connect it via USB to his current computer. That's far easier than trying to connect everything to it to see what's on it.
Ron bought a Western Digital Passport USB hard drive and he's having issues with it. Ron can see it in the device manager, but he can't access it on the computer. Leo says that a USB connected drive only means the computer can see the device. Doesn't mean it can read it. Drives do die, and sometimes they die sooner rather than later. That's why Leo recommend SSD drives for the main drive and a spinning drive for data. It sounds like his drive has simply died.
Steven's sister has a 2011 MacBook Pro with a failing hard drive. She hasn't backed it up either, and there's a lot of pictures that they want to save before the hard drive goes belly up. Leo says it's good news that the computer can still see the drive and it can be mounted. The drive may be a little "messed up" and it can't read or record the data reliably. Unfortunately, in the Mac world, there aren't many good disc utilities.
Debbie had a power outage and now she can't open anything, especially her pictures. Leo says to try and reboot the computer first. Shut the computer down. Count to 10. Turn it back on. If that doesn't fix it, there's a chance that the hard drive has become corrupt if the computer was writing to the drive at the moment the power went out. This is why Leo recommends a surge protector that has a battery backup.
Ben has a Fire TV and wants to know if he can watch videos from his computer. Rich says that he can grab an external hard drive, then add it to Fire TV on the network and use VLC Media Client play the movies from that. Otherwise, he'll have to consider a network attached storage and a media client.
Jonathan wants to know how he can catalog multiple hard drives on a Mac. He uses Super Duper to backup a lot of hard drives and he doesn't want to confuse them. Leo says NeoFinder is a good one, because it can read both NTFS and FAT32 on the Mac.
He also came across a crowd sourced photo editing service called Mendr, which gives you the ability to upload a photo and then Mendr will find a talented photo editor to fix your photo as you need. iOS/Android. Free app, but you pay for the service per photo. Leo says thats a great tip!
G Scott bought the Microsoft Surface Studio computer when it came out and got it with an i7. But it's sluggish when running Excel and other apps. Leo has a hunch that the hybrid hard drive is causing the slow down. Intel created the Fusion drive and it's never really paid off in performance. Leo had the drive replaced with an M.2 MVE connected SSD drive. Know How has a video on how to do it here.
Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.
Bonnie bought a new computer and plugged in her external hard drive. She can see the data on her old computer, but she can't read it on her new computer. Leo has a hunch that her WD Passport runs a proprietary utility that encrypts her data to protect it. She probably will need to install that same software on the new computer in order to see the data.