How can I build a gaming computer in the $500 to $1,000 range?

Episode 936

Jonathan from Salem, OR

Leo says that building a computer is a great learning experience and project, but it won't exactly save him money. He also won't get any support if something does go wrong.

Leo suggests spending some time over at PC Perspective and look at their hardware leader board. It'll give him the specs and recommendations on what parts to get that fit in his budget. If he's building a computer, it's an excellent resource.

What's causing the long system beep on my computer whenever I play video?

Episode 923

Harold from California

Harold has a home-built computer and he's getting an annoying and long system beep when he runs video applications. Leo says a long beep is usually an indication of a temperature issue. The thermal paste on the processor could have been misapplied and it may not be dispersing the heat as efficiently as it could.

Why did iCloud mess up the address book in Outlook on my PC?

Episode 918

Dale from Florida

Dale has a new iMac, iPhone 4S and an iPad for photography and decided to sync it all together with iCloud. When he synced everything though, iCloud shredded the address book in Outlook on his Windows computer. Leo says that's not surprising. Syncing can cause issues like this the first time around, that's why it's vital to backup his address book before trying something new. Syncing multiple address books in different formats (PC and Mac) really can be problematic. iCloud is a mess anyway.

Why won't my computer turn on properly and let me enter my password without hassle?

Episode 916

Lynda from Laguna Hills, CA

Leo thinks it's most likely a hardware issue with the motherboard, RAM, or even power supply. Lynda will have to call Dell and get them to repair it, or take it to a local repair shop if there's one around.

It also could be that Lynda's hard drive is starting to die and it may be that it can't read the file it needs. Flakey hard drives are not all that unusual. Google has done a study and found that hard drives fail either right away or they work reliably and fail 4-5% every year.

What would be a good family computer for video editing, school projects, and watching movies?

Apple iMac

Episode 916

Joe from El Cerrito, CA

Joe is thinking of getting an iMac, but is wondering if an All-in-One PC would be better and more affordable. Also, if Apple's going to announce a new iMac in the near future, should he wait? Leo says there may be a new iMac, but there may not. They're certainly overdue, and a new SandyBridge processor is available from Intel, but the current model is definitely powerful enough for what he needs.

Why won't Windows start up without crashing?

Episode 908

Jewel from Los Angeles, CA

It could be a malware issue. She could try booting into safe mode by holding down the F8 key, or maybe even the escape key, to load the minimum configuration to run. If that doesn't work, the motherboard may be going bad, or the hard drive is crashing.

Next, she can try restoring Windows by booting to her Windows DVD. Select the repair option, or if she has a backup already, she can reformat and reinstall. or reformat and reinstall. Leo says it's probably a good idea to just get a new hard drive while she's at it. They're pretty cheap these days.