Larry has an old 2015 MacBook Pro with a 256GB SSD. It's not enough for his Raw Photo storage. Should he get an external hard drive or replace the internal one? Or maybe get a RAID? Leo says it's not that hard to replace the SSD in that 2015 MacBook pro. It's just a few screws, and MacSales.com has videos showing you how to do it. Getting an external may be OK, but it's not Thunderbolt 3, so it won't be as fast as internal. Leo also recommends learning about 3-2-1 backup from DPBestFlow.org. Leo also recommends backing up the photos online. Google Photos is a great place to do that.
Larry is looking for a bitlocker type program for his Mac. Leo says that Mac has its own encryption built-in called FileOS. But if you want to encrypt a USB key, then a third-party app may be a better option. Samsung sells large portable SSDs in 1 and 2TB that come with the encryption included for both Windows and Mac. It's built-in. VeraCrypt is another. And it's free.
Mark's Mac Air is slowing down and he wants to know if there's an app like SpinRite that can run them. Leo says that sold state drives (SSDs) use TRIM, or wear leveling to keep your SSD in good shape. It doesn't need to be defragged directly. But it will trigger the controller to run the TRIM utility. Search for TRIM in macOS. But it should happen automatically. If your OS is older though, you may need a third-party app to do it.
TRIMFORCE Enable is the command you can use in the terminal. That could speed it up.
G. Scott installed an SSD into his computer and it's booting up faster by a factor of ten. Leo says that's because of faster drives and that's what SSDs buy you. But he's been restoring up the older drive using OneDrive and it's taking a long time. Leo says that's because it's working in the background. But it's also duplicating files. Leo says that's annoying. G. Scott may want to try using the OneDrive app. It may eliminate the duplication since OneDrive identifies files using a hash. If it sees a different hash, it knows it's been changed.
Nancy has T1 drive encryption on her Samsung 1TB hard drive, but she can't see it on her laptop. Leo says she has to install special drivers that will modify the OS to encrypt the hard drive. But Leo doesn't like a third party having that kind of control. Since she had it on her old hard drive, she is aware and still has the password. So she'll have to re-download the software from Samsung. She can get it here.
Terry wants to know how to replace his hard drive to speed up his boot time. Leo says he can get a new hard drive, but Leo recommends going with an SSD drive instead. Then, he can use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create a USB installer from a 16GB USB key and then install Windows onto the SSD. Then restore from backup. Reinstall all the applications, since that'll make the computer run a lot faster too. Remember, it's always best to install the least amount of software possible for security. It'll also keep the computer lean and mean.
Steve has an old Toshiba Satellite Laptop that was running really slow and he's trying to reset Windows 10. He's getting a popup to run disk utility. Leo says it sounds like the hard drive is getting flakey and needs to be replaced. Fortunately, Rick has his data backed up and the hard drives are cheap. So replace the drive and you'll be back in business. $50 for a 2TB spinning drive. But Leo says that SSDs are almost as cheap. So why not go SSD and speed that old Toshiba up?
John bought a used 2012 MacBook Pro for $280. He upgraded to an SSD drive, but the internet recovery tool for OSX put his laptop back to Mountain Lion. Leo says that's how network recovery works, and John later upgraded back up to Mojave. Leo says John did it right: Get rid of the old drive and replacing it with a new one.
Andrew misses FDisk in MSDOS. He liked typing from the command line. Leo says that FDisk still exists in Windows, and when he deletes a partition with it, the data isn't lost, it just loses the structure of partition information. If he wants to erase all the data, Leo recommends Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). It erases the data, overwrites the hard drive, erases it and overwrites it again. Seven times. So there's no way the data can be recovered.
Mark wants to know if all-in-one computers are a good deal. Leo says that Apple changed the game with the iMac and now other PC makers offer them to. They're elegant looking, but some are difficult to expand and upgrade. All-in-ones have thermal constraints as well, and some all-in-ones have a throttled processor because of the heat issue. But if he gets one, he should spring for the SSD and at least 8GB of RAM. It'll help his performance dramatically. That's really where performance is needed anyway. Then he should keep his data on a spinning external drive.