troubleshooting

Why did my webcam stop working after removing malware?

HP Webcam

Episode 1478

Melanie from Irvine, CA

Melanie finally managed to get her Gmail fixed. After the computer tech removed malware from her computer, her webcam doesn't work. Leo says that there's a lot of people out there that know a lot about computers and considering how bad tech support has gotten, they can be valuable help. But sometimes they can break more than they can fix, and this is one example of that. Leo suspects that while the tech was cleaning out the malware, the malware attached itself to a file and it was then removed. Or, he wiped out Melanie's browser plugins. It's hard to tell.

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.

Why is my laptop screen blank?

Keyboard

Episode 1477

Sam from South Williamsport, PA

Sam was printing up his son's graduating announcements and his cat walked across the keyboard and now the computer is blank. What happened? Leo says that there is a button on the keyboard that can turn off the screen. It's probably one of the function keys that was triggered to make the laptop look for an external screen. From the chatroom - here's an article on the subject. He can also program those buttons, so it may be a good idea to disable it.

How can I log into my Amazon Fire Stick?

Amazon Fire Stick

Episoide 1473

Brian from Indio, CA

Brian keeps trying to log into his Amazon account on his Fire Stick, but the remote keeps locking up. Leo says that it's possible there's a bad remote or Fire Stick that's causing the remote to crash. If the remote locks up, the Fire Stick can work with an external Bluetooth keyboard as well. So that's an option as a workaround. But Leo suspects that it's just a bad one, and Amazon will replace it pretty quickly.

The chatroom suggests using the Amazon Fire Stick app on the smartphone.

Why doesn't my wireless mouse work with Windows 10?

Computer mouse

Episoide 1473

Jerry from Pennsylvania

Jerry has a new laptop with Windows 10 and his mouse doesn't work. He tried it with a different computer and it works. Leo says the problem with wireless mice is that they fail without notice. The dongle may be the culprit, but it may also be the batteries. Since it works fine with another computer, that tends to point to a driver or the specialized software that came with the mouse. Jerry should just reinstall the software. He can also try a different USB port. One of his ports may be broken. That's why Leo prefers the good old-fashioned wired mouse. It's reliable.

Why does Windows Update cause problems on my machine?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1472

Jim from Simi Valley, CA

Jim says that every time he does a Windows update, something goes wrong. It always deletes the restore point after updating, too. Leo says that Windows is deleting the restore point because he doesn't have room for a second one. Freeing up space on the drive could help. Leo doesn't trust restore points though, anyway. They don't work very well.

Why doesn't my Echo work in the garage?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1470

Stan from Victorville, CA

Stan has a bunch of Amazon Echo devices all over his house, but he's having issues with the one in his garage. Leo says that the garage may be too far from his router. He should try bringing it into the house and using it. If it works there, then that means he just doesn't have a good signal in the garage. If it doesn't, then the software may be damaged, and he can just reset it back to defaults to reload the software.

Why can't I read my hard drive?

Western Digital 6TB USB Drive

Episode 1468

Jonathan from Long Beach, CA

Jonathan plugged in an external drive but he can't see it on his Mac. It wants it to re-initialize. Leo says it could be a host of things from the drive, to the cable, to the USB port, to even a software error. So he'll have to break it down. First, unplug the drive and plug it into a new port. If he's using a USB hub, try directly into the computer instead. Make sure if it's a powered drive that it's getting power. Jonathan can run Disk Utility on the Mac and see if it sees the drive. If he sees it there, then that means that the drive is starting to fail or the formatting is corrupted.

What can I do if my NAS has gone bad?

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000

Episode 1468

Bruce from Villa Park, CA

Bruce has a network attached storage (NAS) drive and he's getting an error message. He's worried he's lost the data. Leo says that if the network RAID was set to RAID 0 or "scary RAID" then there's a chance that's the case. But if it was set as "redundant" then if one drive has gone bad, replacing it will fix it. The error message Bruce is getting indicates the entire Western Digital NAS has been corrupted and the only thing he can do is reboot the NAS and see if it self-corrects. Bruce also said that the error occurred with all the drives taken out of the machine.