ssds

Why do my Windows programs time out and say "not responding" so often?

Episode 1144

Dale from Brooksville, NY

Dale is having issues with his Windows Vista PC where programs will just stop running. He gets a time out message that the program is not responding. Leo has a hunch that the program is just running really, really slow and it's likely the hard drive is getting flakey. Leo advises backing up the data and replacing the drive. Leo recommends going with a solid state hard drive. They're getting less expensive now and it'll be far faster. Then he can use a spinning drive for his data.

Should I use a hard drive or SSD to rip my DVDs?

Crucial SSD

Episode 1072

Jamie from Hagerstown, MD

Jamie wants to rip hundreds of DVDs and compress them on his computer. Leo says that's a great idea. But since Jamie has an SSD, it would be a good idea to get an external drive. Jamie is worried about bumpy roads, though. Leo says SSDs would be better for that, since they don't have moving parts. But hard drives also should be able to handle that. Still, Leo says he understands the concern. Either way would work, and it won't be hard on the hard drive to do the ripping. Sold state would be ideal for a trucker's computer, but the cost per gig is much more.

Should I buy a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air?

Episode 1064

Tom from Warren, OH

Tom wants to get a new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Should he get a hard drive or SSD? Leo says that if he gets the MacBook Pro, he can still get an SSD and it's worth it unless he gets the low end model. Leo doesn't recommend getting that one though. The MacBook Air is great for travel because it's so lightweight. And an SSD is so much faster. Anything else just feels too slow.

How can I speed up my computer while I'm online?

Episode 1062

Jack from Liverpool, UK

Jack wants to know if an SSD will make his MacBook Pro perform better. He's noticed that it takes longer to open websites. Leo says it absolutely will. SSDs are very fast and it's likely that Jack's regular hard drive is starting to fail. So now is the right time to make a change. The other thing to do is reset Safari, which will clear out the cache, cookies, and website history. He should also remove his extensions. That can slow things down as well.

Is Windows Encryption safe?

Episode 1056

Brad from San Jose, CA

Brad is planning to build a Windows 8.1 rig and is curious as to how Windows 8 will handle the SSD drive and if Windows eDrive will be good encryption. Leo says it will work just fine. And you really do need to encrypt anything you put on an SSD drive because it doesn't really delete everything. But encryption software from Microsoft may have a back door on it for the Feds. But if that's not your worry, then Windows E will work great for basic protection. But if you're really paranoid and concerned, then Leo advises using TrueCrypt.

Can I boost my SSD performance with AHCI?

Episode 1052

Jeff from Oklahoma

Jeff just installed an SSD into his Lenovo desktop, but he can't enable AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Leo says it's in the kernel, but it doesn't mean it has to be enabled. Leo suggests using native mode since Jeff only has one drive anyway. He'll get the best performance he can for SATA 2, but he'll still have a speed improvement over the old hard drive.

Why isn't my SSD faster than my old hard drive?

Crucial SSD

Episode 1046

William from Mont Claire, VA

William bought a solid state drive and didn't really notice an improvement in speed. Leo says that SSDs are faster at reading data than spinning drives because there's no seek time. However, if the PC is older, the I/O bus may become the bottleneck. The SATA port needs to be at least SATA3 to take advantage of the SSD. He may need to get a better motherboard. The newer way to do it is to use a PCIExpress SSD and add a PCIe card. Then he would see a significant boost in performance.