troubleshooting

Why am I getting a hum in my recordings with Audacity?

Audacity

Episode 1393

Micah from Maine

Micah uses Audacity and he gets an intermittent hum on his microphone. Leo says that the mic Micah uses is USB and so a hum can't really find its way into the chain because the power is coming from the laptop, not an analog phantom power source. It could mean that the Digital to Audio converter is going bad, but if there's no analog loop, then there can't be a hum. So it must be software.

Why can't I buy apps in the Google Play Store with my Nvidia Shield tablet?

Nvidia Shield Tablet

Episode 1385

Shane from Indianapolis, IN

Shane has an Nvidia Shield gaming device and every time he tries to buy something from the Google Play Store, he gets an error. Leo recommends clearing the cache, restarting and then resetting his Play account. The problem is that the Nvidia Shield has Android 7 and it doesn't give him access to his Google Play settings. That may leave Shane with only one option — to reset the Shield itself.

Why can't I log into my email?

Episode 1382

Howard from Murrieta, CA

Howard got a used computer from work and he's getting a popup when he checks into his email asking for his user name and password on Gmail. If he replies, it doesn't take it and he gets a note from Google someone has his password.

Leo says that two factor authentication could solve this, but he should clear out all his settings. There may be an Exchange server still attached for the email settings in Outlook. Leo also says to check his date and time. It's possible that the time and date is not accurate since it's an older computer and that's causing an issue.

What happened to my sound in Windows 10?

Windows 10 Start Menu

Episode 1381

Marcello from California

Marcello got the Windows 10 Creators Update and now his sound won't work. Leo says there's a bug in the update related to the Sound Blaster sound card which changes the bit depth of the audio. Leo recommends going into the settings and changing it back to 16-bit. It may also be that X-Fi isn't supported, so he'll need to disable that feature. It's a known bug that Leo thought was fixed, but apparently it wasn't.

Why can't I use my Bluetooth headset with my game console?

Episode 1375

Bob from San Antonio, TX

Bob is trying to pair a bluetooth headset with his tablet, gaming console, and Apple TV. It isn't pairing correctly with his gaming device, though. Leo says he should see if the operating system is playing the sound properly. Games also sometimes have their own audio settings, so he may have to pair it through the game as well. If it works in the computer, but not in the game, then he'll know it's the game itself.

How can I get my laptop to turn back on?

Sony Vaio laptop

Episode 1370

Anna from California

Anna has an old Sony Vaio laptop that won't turn on anymore. Leo says that the battery may have finally died. Her laptop is pretty old and the battery may not be able to keep a charge. She should try taking the battery out and see if the laptop will turn on with the AC adapter. If it can't, she may need to get a new battery for it. They're about $90. That's a lot to spend on an old machine, though.

Why does my computer think I'm in China?

Episode 1369

Howard from Los Angeles, CA

Howard's Windows computer thinks he's in China when he uses Skype. Leo says to go into your Windows region settings and check the location setting. By default Skype will self populate the location for you. There could be a problem with his IP address. There's probably a batch of IP addresses that used to belong to an ISP in China and it's associating with it. Your ISP should be able to fix that if you request a new IP address. You can also just unplug your router and then plug it back in and it will get reassigned. Check out MaxMind.com. They provide IP Address Geo Location.

Why does my Mac Pro take so long to boot up?

Episode 1369

Dale from Santa Monica, CA

Dale is having issues with his old Mac Pro tower. He got a new Ben Q monitor and he has an intermittent problem where the boot up takes a long time before getting to the login page. Leo says that when you power up a computer, it has what's called a Power On Self Test (POST). Leo says it could be a monitor thing. A faulty cable or loose connection could cause it. Sometimes a USB device can hold you up. So try unplugging all your USB devices and see if it makes it faster. If so, then you have a flakey USB cable or device.

Why does my network drop when uploading?

Google Photos uploader

Episode 1367

Brad from Bethlehem, PA

Brad says every time he tries to upload his photos to Google Photos, his Wi-Fi fails. Leo says that turning his Wi-Fi off and on could help as it renews the "lease" on the router with a new IP address. Something inside the Mac's network settings could be messed up, and renewing the lease can fix it.

It could also mean that the computer has lost contact with the router. He should reset his AirPort and update the firmware. That chatroom says it may be Google Photos that's causing the issue as well.