Mike has a Western Digital hard drive. But it keeps disconnecting and he has to run check disk to get it to appear again. Leo says that's a clear sign that the drive is beginning to fail. You could run SpinRite to recover the drive, sure, but it's cheaper to buy a new one. But if the data is critical, SpinRite can definitely help.
Ivan has a 2 drive NAS that has files he needs, but the RAID 1 hard drive are reading as corrupted. He believes it is the corruption of one, synced to the other. Leo says that the hardware is probably fine, there's just corruption in the files themselves. But it could be a physical issue making it worth using SpinRite to repair it. However, if the corruption has spread, that points to a software error in the files, not the hardware itself.
Skyler's laptop drive crashed during the saving of a large file. Now the drive can't be seen by the computer. He tried seeing it in SpinRite and it doesn't see it either. Leo says that laptop had a so-called "fusion drive" which was half hard drive, half SSD drive. The technology was designed in a time when SSD drives were too expensive, and it really wasn't that great performance wise. It could be the spinning drive died, or the SSD drive died. Try rebooting into your BIOS and see if the BIOS sees it. If it does, then it could be a software issue.
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.
Steve has FiOS and the Wi-Fi seems to be slow. How can he speed it up? He'd like to bypass the Verizon router and use his own. Leo says that he'll have to use the Verizon device to connect to FiOS, but he can disable the router part and use his own router instead. He'll need to connect them with ethernet to make it work. The router is also built into the modem and is using network addressing. Steve should put the router part in "bridge mode" to just hand it off to the router.
Martin's hard drive died. He moved his images from his hard drive to the backup and a week later both of them have failed! What can he do? Leo says this is why he advises a "3-2-1" backup strategy: 3 copies on 2 different formats, 1 off site. That's why Carbonite is important, for the off site part of it.
Jay has a Mac Mini and wants to know if he can run an app that can "break" his hard drive. Leo says that's an interesting thought. There isn't really a way to do this other than just by exercising the hard drive more. There's MacDrive Testing software that can do it. MicroMat makes an app called Tech Tool Pro.
Kevin has a hard drive that hasn't been working right, so he used SpinRite and now he's getting an error called "overflow error." Leo suggests getting a NewerTek USB universal drive interface and connecting the drive to another computer. This will allow him to get all the data off it without having to deal with booting it up through the computer. It'll just be treated as a data drive. It will also tell him whether the drive can be read or not. If so, then it's likely a bad file.
Jim's computer drive can't be read by Windows, but it can be seen by a Mac as read only. He can see it on a friend's windows machine, too. If he plugs it in, it asks if he wants to format the drive. Leo says there's a software error that is preventing the computer to read it. The good news is that it can be fixed, but it's often too expensive to go to a specialist. GRC's SpinRite is a good utility but it's also not cheap. It does work if he absolutely needs the data.
Juan is getting a strange data CRC error. Leo says that's likely a soft error, but it may also indicate a physical error on the hard drive itself. Soft errors are easy because he can always just format the hard drive and reinstall.
Leo recommends SpinRite, which can scan the hard drive, move the data, and mark bad sectors as unusable. Then, at least he'll buy some time for that hard drive. But Leo says that hard drives are so cheap, that once he gets the data off, he should just get a new one.