Danny left his laptop on while flying and when he went to open the laptop, the drive disappeared and he doesn't know what happened. Leo says it sounds like the drive had been jostled to the point that the computer couldn't read it. It could still be connected, though. It's likely that the disk catalog was damaged or corrupted. He could run disk utility, but Leo isn't all that confident that it will work for him. Drive Rescue could perhaps fix the problem. Disk Warrior is another.
Michael wants to know how he can connect an old hard drive to his new computer to get the data off it. Leo says he can get a temporary hard drive connection kit to do it. Newertech is the company that makes them. It's called the Universal Drive Adapter Kit, and costs about $45. It may be cheaper on Amazon.
Lou wants to re-partition his hard drive so he doesn't have his data sharing the same drive as his OS and programs. Leo says that with modern operating systems, it's not really necessary anymore. But it is good drive "hygiene," and he won't run the risk of wiping out his data when updating or reinstalling Windows. It's also easier to back up his data that way.
Terry wants to backup his home movies with Carbonite. He did it manually the first time, but will Carbonite automatically do it after the first time? Leo says that he'll have to pay extra for that feature, and he'll have to be sure his photo and video file folder is selected. They do it this way because video takes a very long time to backup. It will hog his bandwidth for quite awhile, all the time. Terry will also want to be sure he has plenty of bandwidth.
When Jerry turns on his Windows PC, all that comes up is a folder that says "Windows." Leo says it sounds like the hard drive has become corrupt and has failed. It can happen at any time, and the older the hard drive gets, the more likely it will fail. Can he get his data back? Leo says he can use recovery software to do so.
Peter is having problems connecting his Echo to the internet, but his computer is still having problems and he thinks it has died out. Leo says it's probably coincidental that the computer went down, but it may be related since Peter said the connection interrupted and a power surge may have occurred. If Windows was indexing the hard drive, it could have spewed a word salad of 1s and 0s, making the hard drive unreadable.
Michelle has been using USB to back up the photos on her Mac, but the new Macs have Thunderbolt now. Will she be able to still back up her photos? Leo says those new Thunderbolt ports can take USB using an adapter. So this isn't an issue. Leo says that thumb drives are notoriously unreliable, though. She might want to invest in an external hard drive instead. It's good that Michelle has three copies of her photos, but it's important that she gets one off-site. Leo suggests she take one of the copies to work.
Leo says that all traditional spinning hard drives are basically the same. They're basically like record players, but instead of vinyl, they use spinning metal plates. Those plates are magnetic, so they can be magnetized. They also have read heads, at least one per platter, which are like the needle on the record player. Except instead of reading the grooves in vinyl, they're reading the magnetic signals coming off the spinning platter. Because it's a computer, everything is recorded as 1's or 0's, and it's very easy with magnetic material to have a charge or no charge.
Jim has an HP Pavilion laptop and he thinks his hard drive is about to fail. Should he put a solid state drive in it? Leo says that SSDs are much faster than spinning hard drives, and are more reliable. The question is, can the Pavilion support it? Ideally, he'll need a SATA 2 drive. SATA 3 would be even better if it supports it. Then there's the question of whether he can install it himself or would he have to pay for a tech to do so. It'll have to be in ideal shape and size than the existing hard drive. If all that works, then he should absolutely get one.
Kathy wants a new computer with a built-in CD drive. Leo says that they're getting fewer and farther between, and both Microsoft and Apple have stopped making them. Dell's Inspiron has one, and Acer and Asus both have it. Is Costco a good place to buy them? Leo says that the advantage of Costco is both their return policy and their extended warranty. But they may be discontinued models as well. So she'll want to be sure that isn't the case.