Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Is My Hard Drive Failing?

iMac

Episode 1703

Tracy from Long Beach, California

Tracy's iMac takes about an hour to boot up. What's wrong? Could it be ransomware? Leo says no, it's more than likely a worn-out hard drive. Back up data and get a new hard drive. But Leo says it's not trivial to replace a hard drive in iMac. She will need a ton of special tools, including a giant suction cup. She can get the tools from iFixit.com and watch videos on how, but Leo says it's just a better idea to have Apple do it and get an SSD to replace it. Right now, she can arrange to drop off and pick up. Just call Apple to arrange.

How Can I Get Data Off an Old External Drive?

NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter USB Bare Drive Adapter

Episode 1703

Gustavo from California

Gustavo has a 20-year-old Powerbook Mac that he hasn't turned on in years. He plugged in an external hard drive, and somehow the Powerbook now views the hard drive as empty. Can he recover it? Leo suspects that the age of the drive caused the drive to fail. Or the cable may have failed. Or even the external box itself. Leo recommends taking it out and connecting it to a more modern computer.

Did I download a virus from an app?

Amazon Kindle Fire

Episode 1702

RIchard from Windsor, CA

Richard put Facebook Messenger onto his wife's Kindle tablet. Since then, he's had nothing but trouble with his network. He didn't get it from the Kindle store, so he's worried he's been hacked. Leo says that Richard probably was since he googled and clicked on the first link he found. Leo says that's why its important to go to the official source like the Kindle app store. If bad guys can steer you to a website, they can infect you. But it may not be the Kindle that's been infected. It could be the router or modem. But Leo says it's not likely.

Why won't my newly built PC work?

PC Tower

Episode 1702

Dan from Norton, MS

Dan built a computer using an AMD Ryzen processor. He's been watching YouTube videos a lot on doing it and is ready to give it a go. Leo says there's a lot of great information on YouTube, but sometimes they can get it wrong, so keep that in mind. It worked for five days and then just stopped working. Leo says that building a computer is a great project, but if something like that goes wrong, you are your own support. There's no one really to call, as everyone will blame the other guy for the problem. So you end up having to go one by one to determine what goes wrong.