hard drives

Why doesn't my computer boot to my hard drive?

Doug from St. Louis, MO

Episode 1465

Doug recently replaced a power supply, and now the computer won't boot up to his main hard drive. Leo says that the SATA cables may have been swapped and that can confuse the BIOS. disconnect the data drive and see if it boots to the boot drive. If it doesn't swap out the cables. Also clear the configuration data in the BIOS so that it can reset. There's also a possibility that your boot drive is damaged. So check that. Also getting rid of the master boot record on your data drive will prevent confusion as well.

How can I format my MacBook Pro hard drive?

Episode 1463

Zack from Los Angeles, CA
MacBook Pro

Zack is trying to reformat an old MacBook Pro and he gets a "temporarily unavailable" error. Leo says that Apple has a theft prevention setting that would prevent him from deleting everything in case the laptop is stolen. But there's a way around it by restarting it with Command + R. At this stage, Leo recommends going to the Apple Store and have a Genius look at it.

Why does it take so long for my computer to boot up?

Episode 1462

Matthew from Austria
Dell Inspiron 17R

Matthew gave his mother in law a Dell computer Inspiron 17R 571 running Windows 10, but it's taking 5 minutes to boot up. Leo suspects that the spinning hard drive may be starting to fail, with difficult to read sectors. It could also be software that's hanging up the bootup process. Matthew should try using the boot log to see what may be causing the issue. He can get to this by holding the Shift key while its booting, and he can choose to create a boot log on the root level of the drive named bootlog.txt.

How can I get my apps off a failed hard drive?

Episode 1459

Gary from Castaic, CA
Hard drives

Gary can't boot up his computer, not even in Safe Mode. What can he do to fix it? Leo says it's probably the hard drive that's preventing the bootup, and that's why Gary is getting the blue screen of death. It can be one tiny bit or sector that can cause it. Gary could use his Windows Install Disk, and during the install process, it will give him the option of repairing the OS. It's worth a try.

Should I let Windows repair itself after a hard drive crash?

Episode 1458

David from San Antonio, TX
Hard drives

David bought a refurbished computer from Best Buy. It turned off when the battery died, and when he turned it back on, Windows wanted to do a repair. When it did that, it started wiping out his entire Windows 10 operating system. Now he's stuck on the blue screen of death and he's worried that his version of Windows 10 won't activate if he reinstalls it. Leo says it will, but before he installs anything, he should get the data from it. If it crashed once, the drive could be ready to fail.

Why won't my old computer boot up?

Episode 1457

Penny from Long Beach, CA
Hard drives

Penny has an old tower computer that she wants to get rid of. Leo suggests keeping the hard drive and donating the rest of the PC. She tried to boot it up to move the data off the hard drive, but it won't boot. Leo suggests that she check her keyboard connection. Sometimes a computer won't boot if a keyboard isn't properly connected. The BIOS battery or motherboard battery could have died. The hard drive may have gotten stuck. It's called "stiction." Penny should try taking out the hard drive and putting it into an external enclosure to see if she can still read the data.

What's the difference between a traditional hard drive and a solid state drive?

Michelle from Northridge, CA

Episode 1450

Leo says that all traditional spinning hard drives are basically the same. They're basically like record players, but instead of vinyl, they use spinning metal plates. Those plates are magnetic, so they can be magnetized. They also have read heads, at least one per platter, which are like the needle on the record player. Except instead of reading the grooves in vinyl, they're reading the magnetic signals coming off the spinning platter. Because it's a computer, everything is recorded as 1's or 0's, and it's very easy with magnetic material to have a charge or no charge.

Why won't my hard drive boot up?

Episode 1452

Jason from Goldendale, WA
NewerTech Universal Drive Adapter

Jason has an old HP Pavilion and he's upgraded it to Windows 10. Recently, it hasn't been able to start up. Leo suspects that the hard drive has started to die. Luckily, hard drives are pretty cheap. Then, to get his data back, he can get an external hard drive enclosure and move the data off it right away. The benefit is, the computer will run a lot faster, especially if he gets an SSD.