USB

My car has an iPod dock, but is there another way I can connect my Samsung phone?

Belkin Bluetooth Car Kit

Episode 960

Dave from Tustin, CA

Leo says if the head unit in the car has bluetooth, that would be the easiest way. Dave says his car does not have bluetooth, though.

Another possibility is to connect the phone via USB instead. Or he could try getting an adapter, like this one from Belkin, to go from the iPod 30 pin connector to USB.

Dick DeBartolo

Episode 957

This week's gadget is the NewerTech Power2U USB outlet. What it does is that in addition to the AC plug outlets, the Power2U adds two convenient USB charging ports. The new version has safety for kids, has been boosted to 20Amp version for commercial use. Leo just installed them and he says they were easy to install and work really well! Note though - The Power2U USB device requires the 16 cubic inch electrical box. But they're only $15 at Amazon.

Why does my internet stop working when I plug in my flash drive?

Episode 946

Zach from Anendale, KS

Autorun software on the USB key may be the culprit. There was a virus that got transmitted via USB keys running autorun, and if Zach's USB key has autorun, it may be wreaking havoc with his Internet connection.

It could also be that the USB driver is corrupted and it could be affecting the network stack. If it's powered and drawing current from the system, his power supply may not be powerful enough to handle it. Try using a USB connection that doesn't draw power and see if there's still a problem. There could also be a motherboard issue at work.

Why is my Mac Mini taking so long to boot up? (Part 2)

Apple Mac Mini

Episode 940

Chris from Pittsburgh, PA

Chris is wondering whether or not the USB external drive connected to his Mac Mini is causing it to boot up so slow. Leo says it probably is, and he recommends choosing StartUp disk in the settings so it'll boot up directly by the SSD. He should also try disconnecting the USB drives before booting up. The Mac Mini may be scanning the drives to mount them first when booting up.

How can I get my faulty new computer replaced by Dell?

Dell Inspiron

Episode 939

Judy from New Jersey

Judy bought a new Dell computer and the USB ports aren't working. She contacted Dell and they actually made things worse by tweaking the drivers and formatting the hard drive in system recovery. Leo says that putting the computer back to the way it was is an easy fix for Dell, and they're looking for a software fix. But Leo thinks it may be a bad USB hub on the computer itself and that's a hardware issue. To get a replacement, Judy will have to go through a lot of steps. It's important to backup the hard drive before she does because they will wipe the drive when repairing it.

Why don't my USB ports work with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

Episode 901

John from Jacksonville, FL

Leo says that is strange, but it is just a preview. It's likely that John will need to either reinstall Windows 8 or go back to Windows 7. He can even contact the manufacturer or his computer and ask them to send him the recovery discs. They'll probably do that for around $10.

It's important for everyone to know that they should be careful not to install these previews or evaluation copies on a primary computer.