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.

Why can't I get my computer to recognize my Belkin NIC card?

Episode 880

Elias from Whittier, CA

Since the USB port on Elias's computer works for other devices, and the Belkin NIC (Network Interface Controller) card works on other computers, Leo thinks his problem is with drivers. When installing devices via USB, it's important to not plug the device in until the drivers have been installed. Elias did this correctly, though. Belkin support suggested that it could be a firewall preventing the card from accessing the internet, but Leo doesn't think this is likely. Elias should make sure he has all of the latest drivers for the correct model.

Can I connect my Dell laptop to my TV via USB?

Episode 878

Cheryl from Palmdale, CA

No, the USB is not for connecting to the TV. That's for viewing photos from a USB thumb drive. She'll need an HDMI connection, but her Dell Latitude doesn't have an HDMI out. Many laptops will have VGA out, and it's possible that her TV has a VGA input. This would work, but it isn't the best way to connect it because it's analog, not digital. Her laptop does have DisplayPort for video, though.