SSD

What are the first things I should do after buying a MacBook Pro to protect my data?

Episode 1115

Jeff from Raleigh, NC

Leo says since most MacBook Pros come with SSDs now, it's important to turn on drive encryption right away. If he doesn't encrypt the drive from day one, some data could end up unencrypted on that drive. Turn on encryption before putting private data on it. The Mac comes with something called File Vault for encryption, which he can access right from the Mac's System Preferences. He just has to turn it on, and he won't even know it's running. The only reason to do this is in the event that his computer was stolen.

Are hybrid drives a good choice for a gaming system?

Sony Playstation 4

Episode 1115

Sam from San Bernardino, CA

Hybrid drives combine both Solid State Drives and Hard Disk Drives. Since SSDs cost more per gigabyte, it's expensive to buy an SSD big enough to hold everything. So the idea behind hybrid drives is that it would combine the speed benefit of SSD with the capacity benefits of the traditional, spinning drive. It puts both drives in one enclosure and uses smart software to determine what data should go on the SSD and what should go on the hard drive.

What to Look for When Buying a Hard Drive

Since hard drives have become a mature technology, the differences between them are more trivial. However, there are several models that are best for certain tasks. Depending on what the drive will be used for, rotation speed, reliability, storage capacity, and power consumption, may be important factors. But the most dramatic differences are between Hard Disk Drives and the newer Solid State Drives.

Did I buy the right MacBook Pro?

MacBook Pro

Episode 1071

Mike from Glendale, CA

Mike bought a MacBook Pro recently, updating it through Apple's build to order interface. He needs a CD player, though. Leo says that the base model is the only one that still has a CD player, but the down side is, it also has a spinning hard drive and no retina display. The problem is, for $100 more, Mike could've gotten a retina display and much faster performance with an SSD drive. If he doesn't need all that, it's fine. But he won't save much doing it.

Can I put an SSD in a Vista PC?

Episode 1059

Mike from Realto, CA

Mike has an older HP computer running Windows Vista. Can he put an SSD in it to speed it up? Leo says probably not. Older machines aren't fast enough to handle the speed of an SSD, which is rated for SATA 2. So unless the PC has a SATA 2 connector, Mike won't see any benefit at all. With the cost of an SSD, he would be better off getting a new computer. Of Course, he could also just upgrade to Windows 8 and get a boost that way.

What laptop should I get?

Episode 1049

TJ from California

TJ is looking to buy a new laptop and she wants to know the minimum requirements she should be looking for. Can she update her old Windows ME computer? Leo says that TJ could put Linux on it, but that's about as best as she can get with that. Leo says that for what TJ wants, she could look at the Microsoft Surface 2, which comes with Windows RT and a free Microsoft Office suite. Since it comes with a keyboard, it's a nice hybrid. It's a tad small at 10", but it's a great mobile option. TJ wants a 15" screen, though.

How can I secure data on my SSD?

Episode 1032

Kyen from San Jose, CA

Kyen has been hearing that an SSD cannot be securely erased. Leo says that is correct. No matter what you do to wipe the drive, it's always best to use the built in encryption technology of Mac or Windows, or even the utility that comes with the drive. Even when overwriting the SSD 13 times, someone will be able to pull the data from it, in theory. In reality, nobody really has the technology to get all the data back, though. But some fragments will always remain. This also applies to smartphones and tablets. This makes encryption even more important.

Why is my data being written to my SSD and not the hard drive?

Episode 1031

Lisa from Downey, CA

Lisa get a new Dell computer with a 256GB SSD and a 2TB hard drive. Lately, it's been slowing down and she discovered that all the data has been written to the SSD and not the hard drive. Leo says that Lisa should make her spinning drive the "D" drive and then direct Windows to put all her data onto that D drive. She can move all her data over to it and then remove it from her C drive.

She'll need to right-click on my documents, click on "properties," then "location," then tell Windows where she wants the data to go. In this case, that will be the "D" drive.