SSD

Should I replace my hard drive with an SSD?

SSD

Episode 1406

Jim from Las Vegas, NV

Jim has an HP Pavilion laptop and he thinks his hard drive is about to fail. Should he put a solid state drive in it? Leo says that SSDs are much faster than spinning hard drives, and are more reliable. The question is, can the Pavilion support it? Ideally, he'll need a SATA 2 drive. SATA 3 would be even better if it supports it. Then there's the question of whether he can install it himself or would he have to pay for a tech to do so. It'll have to be in ideal shape and size than the existing hard drive. If all that works, then he should absolutely get one.

What's a good laptop for college?

Dell XPS 15

Episode 1402

Paul from Los Angeles, CA

Paul is going to college to study mechanical engineering and he needs a good laptop that can handle the work load. Leo says ideally, he'll get more bang for his buck with a PC. He'll also get more choices. Also, it's always best to check with the college or university for what they prefer. They may require more powerful hardware and specific software. He'll also want an SSD because it'll boot up faster.

How can I clone my old hard drive?

SSD

Episode 1398

Bill from Winnetka, CA

Bill's company has a third party server running Windows 8 Pro and SQL server. He wants to update the hard drive to an SSD, but there's latency issues. Leo says that since he's running proprietary point of sale software, the logjam could be there since they are concerned with piracy. It may mean that he can't just clone the drive and then restore it to the new one without having to reinstall that POS software. But ideally, each drive will come with a drive cloning utility that will make a direct copy that he can run. Once he does, then he can swap them out.

Can I defragment an SSD?

SanDisk SSD

Episode 1393

Sean from Pennsylvania

Sean has a nine year old desktop loaded with software. Will he be able to get updates to Windows XP to end of life? Leo says there's a good chance of that. He just won't get anything through SP2.

He also wants to know if he'll have to defrag his SSD. Leo says no, he won't need to, but he can do it to force TRIM to speed up the SSD.

What should I do about my data if I'm selling my computer?

HDD

Episode 1376

Jeff from Valley Village, CA

Jeff wants to do some spring cleaning by getting rid of some old computers, but is concerned about privacy and the data on the hard drives. Leo says that the easiest thing to do is to simply remove the hard drives. He could also use something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) to completely wipe the drive. It erases everything by writing zeros across the drive, and then erases it again. If he does that several times, he'll be safe from everyone save the NSA. Solid State Drives, however, can be easier to get data off of.

Why is my computer so slow?

SSD

Episode 1365

Roger from Pasadena, CA

Roger is having issues with his SSD. It's slowing down and takes a long time to access his data. Leo says the drive is only a year old and the computer a few years old, but there can be a drive failure, even in new SSDs. It's time to replace it. He could try running an OS from a USB key and see what happens. If he doesn't have a similar issue, that clearly shows the hard drive has a problem.

What happened to my computer hard drive?

Hard Drive

Episode 1352

Jennifer from Realto, CA

Jennifer gets a boot error when she turns on her computer. Leo says that it's likely that her hard drive has died. Leo says the good news is that hard drives are cheap to replace and really easy to install. Also, since Jennifer had upgraded to Windows 10, all she needs to do is download and install Windows 10 with the media creation tool and a thumb drive. A solid state drive would speed things up too. She should make sure to get one with the same kind of connector. It could be SATA or IDE, so she should bring the bad hard drive with her. This is why backing up is such a blessing.