SSD

How can I speed up my iMac?

Apple iMac

Episode 1497

Jody from Los Angeles, CA

Jody has an old iMac with a 2.66GHz dual core processor. Leo says that's still a useful computer, even with its age. Jody says Lightroom stalls on it. Leo says that's more the fault of Lightroom. But a new iMac would also give him a larger screen and far more accurate color depiction. A new iMac will still have its hands full with Lightroom because its just a pig with memory resources. It's poorly written for today's modern platforms. Here's what to try before Jody buys a new iMac: Install a Solid State Drive (SSD). That will speed up the performance dramatically.

Why doesn't my laptop boot up?

GRC SpinRite

Episode 1496

Greg from New Brunswick, Canada

Greg's laptop is caught in a reboot loop. What can he do? Leo suspects that Greg's hard drive is failing, causing the laptop to stall during boot up. Leo says he can use SpinRite by GRC to move the data off bad sectors and mark them to avoid in the future. But the software is expensive and hard drives are cheap. If he needs to get his data, though, it's worth trying. Leo recommends that Greg buy a new drive, and he should get an SSD while he's at it.

Should I reformat my hard drive to speed it up?

Apple iMacs

Episode 1493

Dana from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

Dana wants to know if he should reformat his iMac hard drive to make it run faster. Leo says often that's the best thing to do. Since Dave has a bootable image from Super Duper, he can do it and be back up in minutes. He should just boot from the image, then copy the image to his hard drive and he'll be back up. Sometimes it just takes a little spring cleaning. Better yet — he can get an SSD and use the hard drive as his data drive. His computer will be a lot faster with that.

Why is my computer so sluggish with Windows 10?

Windows 10

Episode 1492

Luis from Medford, MA

Luis wants to know if Windows 10's Spring update is worth accepting. Leo says that Windows 10 is pretty good, but the latest update, 1803, is breaking Windows 10 for a lot of users, and Microsoft is pushing it out. The best he can do is defer the update. Luis updated, but his hard drive is sluggish. Leo says that could just be a failing sector on the hard drive. Sometimes, reformatting a hard drive and starting over will fix it. Using an SSD will also solve that issue. So if he can replace the hard drive with an SSD, he'd be far better off.

Why can't I upgrade to macOS High Sierra?

macOS High Sierra on MacBook Pro

Episode 1477

Bob from Danville, CA

Bob has a 2011 MacBook Pro with an SSD. Now he's trying to upgrade to macOS High Sierra and he's having issues. Leo says that it's looking for the original drive, and since Bob installed it as a secondary drive, it keeps looking to install on the first drive. The simple solution is to swap his drives and put the SSD as the main drive, and the other drive as his second hard drive.

Securely Erasing SSDs

If you’re about to sell or give away a computer, it’s important to ensure that all of your personal data is erased first. This is a pretty simple task when it comes to traditional spinning hard drives, and there are plenty of tools to make sure the drive is completely and securely wiped. Solid State Drives, however, are a different story. SSDs use something called “wear leveling,” which ensures that no one cell gets written to too many times. This is to keep the drive from wearing out, but it also means that it isn’t possible to write over (or erase) every part of the drive.

How can I securely erase an SSD?

Hard drives

Episode 1476

David from Hollywood, CA

Dan's computer was damaged and Acer is going to replace it, but he's worried about the data on it. How can he wipe the data? Leo says that there's a program called DBAN - Darik's Boot and Nuke that can wipe the drive pretty thoroughly. But Dan should understand that an SSD doesn't format the way a spinning hard drive does, and there can and will be some data leak, where someone could grab the data if they're really motivated.

Why is my Mac running so slow?

Mac Pro

Episode 1470

Timothy from Fresno, CA

Timothy started a new job and he's using a 5-year-old Mac Pro. Leo says that's not that old, actually. Leo prefers them to the recent models. Tim says that there's not a lot of RAM — only 4GB. Leo says that 4GB is OK for most things he'll do online and for documents. But he recommends running the activity monitor to make sure all the RAM is functioning. Sometimes, though, a program doesn't release the RAM when it no longer needs it, and it may be that is what's happening here. The hard drive may be slowing things down as well.

How can I recover missing space on a hard drive?

Hard drives

Episode 1468

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry recently cloned his hard drive using EaseUS and then used that on his new hard drive. But the SSD he put it on was 250 GB and he can't use the remaining space on it. Can he recover it? Leo says that Acronis can create an image of the drive, keeping the partition. He can use the Windows partition manager to recover the rest of the partition, but if it doesn't work, Larry could try the EaseUS partition manager.