USB

How can I backup my data from a mobile device with a broken screen?

Samsung Galaxy S7

Episode 1330

Natalie from Los Angeles, CA

Natalie broke the screen on her Samsung Galaxy S7 and she can't get the information off. How can she backup her data? Leo says she can get a Samsung USB to Go adapter that would allow her to host other devices.

The chatroom says that Samsung has software called Kies that will allow the user to backup a device via USB.

Why can't my car stereo play TuneIn?

TuneIn

Episode 1330

Richard from Los Angeles, CA

Richard has downloaded the TuneIn app, where he downloads podcasts and then listens to his phone. His stereo system doesn't support the mp4 stream, though. Leo says it shouldn't because mp4 is video. He can save audio as that, but it's not very widely supported. He'd have to reencode it to listen to it.

Leo advises just streaming it live. That way the phone can handle the encoding, not the car stereo. Leo also suggests going Bluetooth instead of the USB connection, if he can.

Why can't my PC read my thumb drive?

Episode 1322

Chap from Durango, CO

Chap has an old XP laptop and wants to know how he can transfer data from it to a USB thumb drive. He tried to and it didn't work. Leo wants to know first if the laptop can see it. If not, he should try another. Flash memory can die and the thumbdrive could just be bad. He should also try both USB ports. If nothing shows up, his USB port could be dirty or could have shorted out. That's not likely, though. He should try another USB device like a mouse and see if that will work.

Why can't I get my photos off my camera with my computer?

Episode 1322

Dorothy from San Francisco, CA

Dorothy is having issues getting images off her digital camera. Leo says the first thing to do is make sure the cable she's using is OK. A bad cable or connector is always the first thing to try replacing. Next, she should get a memory card reader and take the SD card out of the camera. It could be a USB driver, but it's unlikely if her wireless mouse and keyboard are still working. One way to test is to plug in a USB thumbdrive. If that works, then she knows it isn't the USB drivers. Dorothy should make sure her camera is being seen as a hard drive (known as MTP).

Why doesn't Windows 10 see my external drive?

Episode 1315

Ed from Levittown, PA

Ed backed up his hard drive and then ran the Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but his backup doesn't show up in Windows. Leo says he should be able to manually mount the hard drive in the Windows 10 drive manager. He should type Windows Key + X. It sounds like Windows update broke the USB driver. If it doesn't see the partition of the drive, then it sounds like a driver issue. Maybe the drive software is doing something. Ed should re-download and install the driver.

Why does my USB headset stop working?

Episode 1296

Alan from Louisville, KY

Alan has a problem where Windows 10 doesn't see his Plantronics usb headset. Saying the driver is corrupted. Leo says that there probably isn't a dedicated Plantronics driver for it, instead relying on the standard Windows USB audio driver. But it seems unlikely that the USB audio driver is corrupted. But it is Microsoft, so it may just be a matter of reinstalling the drivers. Leo also says that booting into Linux and testing it was a brilliant troubleshooting idea. The other idea is that it could just be a Windows 10 incompatibility.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1293

Dick's gadget this week is the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB 3.0 Drive. If you push the lever in one direction, you'll get the MicroUSB end that you can plug into your phone and it will show up as an additional drive. Then when you get back to the computer, if you push the lever in the other direction, you'll get a standard USB 3.0 end. For 32GB, it is $9.97. The 64GB version is $17.

This is a great solution for Android phones that don't have SD card slots. It does require that the phone be OTG-enabled.

Why do I get a bluescreen when unplugging my USB Headset?

Episode 1248

Camden from Mission Viejo, CA

Cam has a USB headset that causes a bluescreen of death when he unplugs it, and then his USB ports stop working. Leo suspects that the USB driver is corrupted. It could also be a bad USB port or short circuit in the headset. But he should always test the driver. He should remove it in Device Manger - Windows Key + X, then select "Device Manager." Then let it reacquire and install the drivers.

How can I make recovery discs for my new laptop?

Episode 1242

Raj from United Kingdom

Raj wants to buy a new laptop but it doesn't come with recovery discs. Leo says that the software is now on a partition on the laptop and he can make his own set of recovery discs with optical media or even a USB key. If he wants to use a USB key, he'll need one that is 8GB or larger. Use the Windows Boot Media Tool to make a bootable key. Then he can slipstream in new updates as they come available. If he gets a bigger key, then he can create an image of his hard drive, including all of his apps and he can restore it when he needs to.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 1229

This week's gadget is from SnapPower, which is an easy to install Night Light and USB charger. By taking out one little screw, you remove your existing plate and get a USB charger or LED guide lights. And there's no wiring. The tabs inside snap over the screws for the electric wires and they supply the power. It's pretty genius. It costs $15-20.

http://www.snappower.com/

Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/7D1l501RKw0