repair

Why am I getting a black screen on Windows?

Episode 1512

Daryl from Orange, CA

Daryl is running Windows 8.1, but after a so-called critical update, he gets a black screen. Leo says that sometimes an update can break something, and it sounds like it may be an incompatible video driver. First thing to do is to boot into Safe Mode. Then, if his screen comes up, that indicates a driver issue. Daryl should go to the video card manufacturer's website and download the latest video driver.

Can I repair my TV screen?

TV

Episode 1414

Heidi from Escondido, CA

Heidi got an old TV set for free, but she can't see the screen very well. Leo says that's probably because the LED backlight has died, and it would probably cost as much to fix as to just buy a new one. She could go into the settings and play with the monitor settings, as it could be just an adjustment. TVs are largely disposable now, though.

Bill calls in to say that if she needs to repair the TV, he recommends ARC TV in Burbank. They repair TVs of all ages.

How can I securely erase a file from my Mac?

Episode 1080

Mike from Glendale, CA

Mike has written a novel, but he has to send in his computer for repair and is worried that even if he deletes it, it'll be recoverable. How can he be sure? Leo says to first make sure he's made at least three copies of it so it's backed up. Then he can erase the computer by using Apple's built-in "secure erase" feature. He'll have to reboot the Mac and hold down Command and R keys, and then launch Disc Utility. There's a secure erase feature in there that will write over the drive several times and remove all the data. Nobody will be able to recover that.

How do I reattach a heat sync on a computer processor?

Episode 955

Barbara from New Jersey

Barbara was upgrading the RAM on her computer and she discovered her heat sync has loosened on the processor. She knows she needs to reattach it with that heat sync glue that has to be in between it. Leo says to be sure she only uses a drop of that stuff. As for the clip, if it's lose or comes apart, it may need to be soldered back into place. She should be careful to not get solder anywhere else but where she wants it soldered. Solder isn't really strong enough to hold down a clip, though. Since her PC is 8 years old, it may be time to just upgrade.

How can I fix my broken iPhone 5?

Apple iPhone 5

Episode 924

Matt from California

Matt dropped his phone, shattering the screen, and he just got it. Leo says that there's a slight chance if he goes to Apple, they may replace it if he's really nice. If they want to charge him $230 for a replacement, then he recommends waiting until parts are available and fixing it himself. Leo recommends going to iFixit.com. They sell the repair kits and they'll have it before anyone else.

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.

I fixed ripped speakers with super glue and Armor All.

Polk Audio

Episode 916

J.R. from Detroit, MI

JR has a pair of 20 year old Polk speakers. Leo says that Polk are fantastic speakers. Unfortunately part of the speaker ripped. So he managed to fix it with superglue and then Armor All'd everything and now it looks like new again. Leo says that's a great tip for maintenance to improve the life of your speaker! But what is Amour All anyway?!