Fred has a 2008 MacPro Cheesegrater, and he doesn't want to replace it. But it's having kernel panics. What can he do? Leo says a kernel panic is Apple's version of the blue screen of death. And it usually means it has a driver issue or a hardware issue. And sometimes, the first line of the panic will tell you something useful. Bad memory is a common cause of them. Power supply failing is an indicator. Try swapping out single RAM cards. That can tell Fred which RAM is acting up. He could just get one of the latest MacMini's and get a Thunderbolt 3 connection.
Max is having issues with his TV speakers on his Vizio D series TV. He keeps hearing audio coming out, even when it's off. Leo says that today's modern TVs don't really turn off anymore. They just go into a very low power mode. Leo suspects that Max's Xfinity cable box woke his TV up through HDMI. Leo recommends putting the Vizio into Eco mode and it will turn off. Then, he should turn off CEC in his TV settings.
Patrick has a Dell Inspiron Desktop and wants to know why his computer doesn't know what time or date it is. Leo says that means the CMOS battery on the motherboard is dead. Just replace it. It's about the size of a quarter.
Tom has a NUC computer and after updating to Windows 10, it takes several hours for Windows to come alive on the screen. Leo says that wiping the drive and reinstalling could fix it. It's probably a bad hard drive sector that the computer is trying to read. Do a full reset and wipe the entire thing. But make sure to back up data first. Another option would be to have a USB key with Linux on it and boot to it (F10). If it comes up right away, then you know there's something wrong with the software. If it's the same problem, it is a hardware issue.
Carlo has a small laptop with a USB 3.0 port. But suddenly, it won't read USB 2. What gives? Leo says that USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible as long as the plug is Type A. It could be a faulty connector, or the connector pins are dirty. The connector could have also shorted out. Shine a light in and look for some cruft, or even damage on the surface of the contacts. ScooterX in the chatroom suggests that it may be a driver issue. Go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look to see if there's a red X. Or delete the drivers and then restart to reinstall.
Andrew bought a new MacBook Pro with the Vega 20 graphics and i9 processor. He hooked it up to an external monitor and the display is flickering. This is the top of the line laptop he paid $4,200 for. What's wrong? Leo says Andrew should take it to Apple to look at it, because it sounds like a hardware issue. He returned it and got a replacement, and the new one is flickering as well. Leo says to change cables and change displays. Eliminate all the easy things. Unfortunately, since even happens on the laptop's screen, Andrew really needs to take it back to Apple and have them fix it.
Larry built his first computer in high school, running Linux, and it's 15 years old. Lately he's been having power issues and he has replaced the power supply, but still has the problem. Leo says that indicates a deeper problem on the motherboard. It could also be a failing video card, and the CMOS settings may be corrupted. Removing the battery and putting it back in will reset everything, but he may want to make sure all the cables are seated, and that the RAM is properly installed.
Ken has an older Chromecast, and he thinks it may have died. He's tried pressing the reset button and nothing happens. Leo says he probably will have to press it and hold it. But it may also be a bad HDMI plug. If it is bad, the good news is, they're cheap. $35.
Jeffrey got a mesh router and he's having issues with his Sonos home theater system. Leo says that it's always a challenge to use Sonos with mesh, but he can get it done. Keeping the Sonos in Boost mode and updating his firmware will help. Leo has a few links to read up on:
Mike is having issues with Gmail, it says he doesn't have an account, but he does. Leo says that one thing to try is logging into his account with a different computer, or log into a different Google service, like Google Dashboard. If that works, then his account is active and alive. He can also have a friend send him an email, and if it bounces back to them, then his account has somehow been deactivated.