Eric's HP laptop is now suddenly freezing up after booting up. Leo suspects it isn't a hardware issue, but something is choking the boot up after the BIOS gets loaded. It's choking late in the process of loading Windows 7. Try rebooting into Safe Mode. Tap the f8 key repeatedly until safe mode loads up. This will load up the minimum configuration. Try Safe Mode with Networking and see if it works. If it does, that could point to a bad driver that's causing the issue. And that's an easy thing to fix.
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.
Terry is having problems booting up his Mac unless it's in safe mode. Leo says that it sounds like there's a corrupted kernel that is clobbering everything. He recommends backing up his data, wiping the drive and then reinstalling the OS and programs. The Mac makes it easy to do, too. If he bought his programs in the Mac App Store, he can just install all the apps he owns. Terry shouldn't install anything he doesn't need. It's better to just install as he goes. It's also an indication that his hard drive may be going bad, so it may be time to get a new drive.
Laurel's HTC phone is full, so she started deleting stuff, and now it won't work. Leo says Laurel probably deleted a critical system file, but she can restore the phone back to the factory settings. That would require wiping the phone completely. Before she does that though, she can connect it to a computer via USB and Windows will read it as a hard drive or a camera. Then she can copy the photos off. She can also install an Android File Transfer program if she has a Mac and do the same thing. Then, she can do a factory recovery.
Mike's home built computer crashes when he closes a program. The screen turns black and hangs up. It doesn't work again unless he reboots it. Leo says that's the hassle with building his own -- he has to eliminate each issue. Leo says the first thing to do is update his video card driver. He thinks it may be a bad driver. Leo says he can try booting to a USB key with Ubuntu on it and try to repeat the issue. If it repeats, he'll know it's a hardware issue. If it doesn't, he'll know it's a software issue.
Mike's browser, Internet Explorer, has stopped working. He can't get it to run. He tried to reset it, but that didn't work. Leo says it could be a plugin that's gone bad, or there's a bad file in the cache, so resetting the browser is always a good first step. After that, he may have to reinstall Internet Explorer. While he can't uninstall the program, he can uninstall the updates.
Andrea is having trouble using Google Chrome. She even tried to remove and reinstall it. Leo says one possibility is to try and run Chrome in safe mode. If this works, then there may be an extension that's corrupted or broken and therefore breaking her browser. There could also be a malicious extension. Andrea should also clear her cache.
Stan is having trouble with Windows 8.1 on his Asus computer because it's locking up when he boots. Geek Squad can't fix it, either. He reinstalled Windows 8.0 and it works just fine. Leo says that there's probably something incompatible in the video card drivers for version 8.1.
Jim can't get Windows to start on his used laptop that he just bought. Leo suggests trying safe mode with networking to see if it'll start. He should hold down shift as he powers down and turns it on. Then choose "Safe Mode with Networking." If it starts up, then it's a bad video driver. If not, then he has a damaged windows install from the hard drive and he'll need to format the drive and reinstall Windows.
John's computer is booting up in Safe Mode. Leo says it's likely a driver issue which is causing Windows to boot up in the most basic configuration possible. It's probably either a corrupted or wrong driver for the monitor. Leo advises going into device manager and deleting the monitor and video card (making a note of what kind of card he has) and then rebooting so Windows can acquire the right drivers. Do *not* delete the VGA driver!