troubleshooting

Why Can't Our Phones Receive Calls When Traveling to DC?

S8

Episode 1626

Lex from Richmond, VA

Lex and his wife have identical Samsung international phones. But when they travel to Richmond, VA, his wife's phone stops taking and receiving calls. What gives? Leo says it's because he bought an international phone. Each carrier supports different radios. So he can travel to somewhere in the US and those phones won't be supported. Leo recommends going to GSMArena, enter the model number, and it will tell what radios it supports. But his works while her phone doesn't. Leo says it's possible he doesn't have the exact same model, but very close. It could also be a configuration issue.

Why Can't I Update Windows?

Microsoft

Episode 1622

Bruce from San Diego, California

Bruce can't get the latest Windows Update 1903 on his HP laptop. Microsoft says that this BIOS is too out of date and as such, it'll fail and roll back. Is there a way to block it so it won't keep doing it? The problem is, that Microsoft has stopped supporting 1803, which is where Bruce is stuck, and as such, he won't get security updates starting at the end of the year. That's a real concern. He tried putting it on a metered connection and that does stop it, but he's worried about security. He still wants the security updates.

Can a motherboard cause an "amber light of death?"

"Amber Light"

Episode 1621

PJ from Butler, PA

PJ replaced his Windows XP machine with Windows 8.1. But lately, he's gotten the "amber light of death" and it won't boot up. His tech guy says he needs a new computer. But could he replace the motherboard? Leo says it could be a power supply, so swap that out first. If that doesn't work, then check the RAM. It may be that the RAM has become unseated and the computer can't load into it. You also want to be sure that the cables are all connected. PJ replaced the motherboard and it's worked ever since. 

Why is my Universal Power Supply Beeping When I Plug in a New Printer?

Ricoh

Episode 1616

Rob from Tarzana, CA

Rob recently replaced his laser printer. But since he connected it, he gets a beep on his backup power supply. Didn't happen until he plugged in the printer, and when he turns it off, it stops beeping. Leo suspects that the battery may be wearing out and it's pulling too much of a load. As UPS wear, the capacity may go down, and a little extra in wattage can make the UPS choke. Plus, Rob may need to plug it into a different circuit, not a different plug. He might need the next model up. 

Why Do I Have to Reboot My Airport?

DD-WRT

Episode 1604

Andy from North Hollywood, CA

Andy is having issues with his AirPort router.  Every day he has to reboot both the router and the modem.  What gives? Leo says the airport eventually will wear out and it's probably time to get a new router. Apple doesn't even update them anymore, nor do they make new ones. Leo recommends ASUS routers that run DD-WRT. New routers will also better handle how internet traffic is running these days. 

Why Does YouTubeTV Have Much Better Image Quality Than Other Digital Broadcast Signals?

YouTubeTV

Episode 1602

Tom from Leland, NC

Tom is watching TV and he gets pixelation while streaming. When he switches to an antenna, he gets the same problem. What gives? Leo says that's due to the digital broadcast. Digital signals don't degrade gracefully. It just gets bad. And it could be a host of things from the antenna, to bandwidth, to the streaming box. Leo has a hunch it's the service that's streaming the programming to him.

How is YouTube getting such a clean signal? Leo says they may be using fiber directly from a network.

Why is my Chromebook screen flickering?

Chromebook

Episode 1601

Barb from Rancho Mirage, CA

Barb recently bought a Chromebook and wants to know if they have screensavers? Leo says no. Screensavers are an anachronism from the old CRT days when images would burn into the screen. That doesn't happen anymore with LCD screens. The Chromebook just goes into power saving mode and shuts off the screen. That's how it saves the screen. The screen also flickers a little. Leo says that the image may be too bright and that causes it to flicker. That's an easy fix, you just turn down the brightness a bit.