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Episode 1147 December 27, 2014

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Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Lynn from Santa Clarita, CA Comments

Lynn got an "open box" deal on a MacBook Air, saving about $300. Leo says that's a great deal but she should look it over to be sure it hasn't been banged around by someone who returned it.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Sam bought a new Sony Vaio with Windows 7. What should he do about antivirus software? Leo suggests going with Microsoft Security Essentials. It comes bundled as Windows Defender in Windows 8, but he'll have to download and install it separately for Windows 7. Antivirus software won't protect him from his own behavior, though.

Sam is also wondering if he has to have a Windows password to log into his machine. Leo says if he is the only one who has physical access to the computer, then it's not necessary. He can disable that in the account management settings.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Sam is thinking about getting a keyboard protector. Leo says he doesn't need it, because keyboards are cheap and he could just replace it if something happened to it. Leo also suggests he clean it out, by turning it over and banging out the crumbs, then using a Clorox hand wipe. And if it's really bad, he can put it in the dishwasher. If he does that, he should wait until is completely dry before using it. But he will run the risk of it not working again if he does this.

Watch Sam from San Diego, CA Comments

Leo says Microsoft has a Files and Settings Transfer Wizard, but Leo doesn't like that as much. Leo recommends just getting an external hard drive, and copy over everything in My Documents, My Pictures, and all of the "My" folders. Then he can copy that all onto the new system, and in the process, he'll be making a backup. He'll have his files on his old machine, the external drive, and the new machine.

Watch Jerry from Alta Dena, CA Comments

Jerry has a cell phone and he's traveling out of the country. He's out of his contract. Can he get it unlocked? Leo says yes, he can just go to Verizon and ask them politely. They are supposed to do it, and AT&T does this for its customers too. Verizon is under a consent decree not to lock their phones, so they should unlock it. Then he can put a local SIM card in when he gets to his destination.

Watch Cordel from Ashville, NC Comments

Cordel wants to clone his RAID and make it bootable. Leo says that CloneZilla is a good option. He can make a bootable disc from his RAID using a bootable CD with CloneZilla on it, and it's free.

Other free choices include: EaseUS TodoBackup and Paragon Backup and Recovery 14 Free Edition. Paid versions include Macrium Reflect, and Leo likes Drive Snapshot.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brant from Watertown, SD Comments

Brant's tablet died and he's debating getting either the Nvidia Shield or Google Nexus 9. Leo says Brant should definitely go with the Nvidia Shield. It's super fast, great for gaming, and Leo thinks it's better than the Nexus 9. But Nexus 9 does have Lollipop. That's the advantage of having a pure Google tablet -- he'll be the first to get updates. But everyone loves the Shield, and it's less expensive.

Watch Marilyn from Dana Point, CA Comments

Marilyn has a 4 year old Mac laptop running Yosemite and she's having trouble with her account. She can't open anything. Leo says that's because she needs to update all of her apps now. She says she tried that, but she can't get them to update. Leo says she needs to be an Admin to update software.

The chatroom says that there may be two copies of the software on the hard drive since the app store doesn't update the old version, it just installs a new version. If so, she may not be opening the right version. So Marilyn should remove the old version of the software.

Watch Roger from Pasadena, CA Comments

Roger's LCD monitor is "flashing" after about a minute and then settles down and works again. Leo says that it may be a bad cable, which would be an easy fix. But it's more likely that the monitor is aging and the transformer or power supply is starting to fail, requiring it to "warm up" before use. It's not really worth fixing. Monitors are so cheap now, Roger should probably just get a new one.

Watch Neil from Colorado Springs, CO Comments

Neil got a popup from the FBI saying that if he pays a fine of $300, he'll be cleared of any charges from "online porno" that he's never done. Leo says that it's called the FBI MoneyPak Scam and it's a scam designed to get users to pay up out of fear. Leo says it's easy to fix by simply backing up his hard drive and reinstalling Windows. That's the only way to be sure he's free of it. But under no circumstances should Neil pay up. The FBI wouldn't offer a "get out of jail free card" with an anonymous payment from 7-11.

Watch Thomas from North Hills, CA Comments

Thomas has a OnePlus One phone, and he's having problems with it rebooting on its own. What can he do? He can't contact the company. Leo says that it's an operating system issue, chiefly the firmware. OnePlus One is a Chinese company that doesn't offer support outside of China. So the best Thomas can do is replace the firmware.

The chatroom says that if he turns off NFC, the rebooting will stop. That lends to the idea that there's a radio issue with it. Thomas should also try doing a factory reset and loading one app at a time to see if there's a conflict with an app.

XDA Developers has a section devoted to the OnePlus One with alternative firmware options. But if it's a hardware issue, they won't help in the long run. And sadly, cellphone companies won't really help unless the phone was purchased from the carrier. It's a very strong argument for choosing an iPhone. They support their hardware.

Watch Joey from Long Beach, CA Comments

Leo says he'll need a boot manager to do this. He should start with the oldest operating system and move up through time, otherwise the old operating system could wipe out the new one because it doesn't know it exists. GAG is a good boot manager that's open source. The chatroom recommends EasyBCD.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Mark from Malibu, CA Comments

Mark still has the AT&T Unlimited data plan, but it's so expensive. Should he just keep it or downgrade to a smaller, more limited plan. Leo says that the CEO of AT&T is on record sharing his regret that he ever offered that option. But they've now incentivized enough to get people to give it up. It may be you can save money by giving it up, but they don't want to make it easy to give you the best deal. Leo advises going to the AT&T store and asking a salesmen to walk you through the options because you're thinking of jumping ship. But that they know you're willing to give it up will be an advantage. And you probably don't use as much as you think anyway. And free wifi is everywhere.

Watch Kahn from Seal Beach, CA Comments

Kahn knows that when he visits the family for the holidays, they're going to ask him to fix their computers. He's working on one but he has to deal with restarts when running each update. Leo says that every once in awhile, Microsoft has a "rollup" of multiple updates to get him up to speed. But unless he brings a disc with all the updates on them, he'll just have to work through rebooting for each and every update. It's a pain.

A slipstream option is possible, but that requires preparing ahead of time, as is a WSUS Offline Update. He'll have to download the individual updates, but he won't have to sit through countless reboots.

Watch Jess from Pine, CO Comments

Jess would like to know how to put the music from his CD onto both his Galaxy S5 and his Barnes and Noble Nook. Leo says it's pretty easy to rip the CD and get it onto a mobile phone. There's a lot of choices. CDex and Exact Copy are a couple of software options.

Once he has the CD ripped, he should save it to MP3. Then he'll want to connect his phone to his computer and use MTP to see the phone file structure and copy the music to his phone's music folder. Then his phone's music player should see it. Leo also likes DoubleTwist and AirDroid to manage the music wirelessly.

For the Nook, Jess should look for a folder called "My Music." He can then move his music there and it should see it. WikiHow has information on how to do this.

Watch Gary from Long Beach, CA Comments

Gary bought a computer from GoodWill that they have put together. Leo says that's a great idea, and he got a great price on it too. But he's noticed that the fan is making noise. Leo says that could be a wire that has gotten in the way, and that could be dangerous. It could short circuit the wire and cause a fire. So Gary should open up the computer and make sure there's nothing hitting the fan. If that's not the issue, then the bearing of the fan may need to "warm up." They can easily be replaced.