USB

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

How can I make recovery disks for Windows 10?

Episode 1213

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry has a new Dell desktop with Windows 10. He wants to know how to create a recovery backup. It fails every time when he writes it to USB. He asked Dell, but they say they can't because they don't have recovery disks yet.

Leo says it could be as easy as a bad or unsupported thumb drive. He should try a different thumb drive. If that doesn't work, a third party utility like the EaseUS Windows 10 Migration Utility will do the job.

Is Magic Jack appropriate for a business phone line?

Phone

Episode 1210

Doug from Idaho

Doug has been using Magic Jack for his business. Leo says that's a good choice for smaller use, but it's important to remember that VOIP is always dependent on the quality and bandwidth of the internet connection. Also, there's latency as the packets often come out of order and must be reassembled. Leo uses a business solution, RingCentral. But for a sole proprietor, Magic Jack should work fine.