troubleshooting

Is my MacBook Pro broken?

Apple MacBook Pros

Episode 1557

Andrew from North Carolina

Andrew bought a new MacBook Pro with the Vega 20 graphics and i9 processor. He hooked it up to an external monitor and the display is flickering. This is the top of the line laptop he paid $4,200 for. What's wrong? Leo says Andrew should take it to Apple to look at it, because it sounds like a hardware issue. He returned it and got a replacement, and the new one is flickering as well. Leo says to change cables and change displays. Eliminate all the easy things. Unfortunately, since even happens on the laptop's screen, Andrew really needs to take it back to Apple and have them fix it.

Why am I having issues powering up my computer?

Linux

Episode 1554

Larry from Cerro Gordo , CA

Larry built his first computer in high school, running Linux, and it's 15 years old. Lately he's been having power issues and he has replaced the power supply, but still has the problem. Leo says that indicates a deeper problem on the motherboard. It could also be a failing video card, and the CMOS settings may be corrupted. Removing the battery and putting it back in will reset everything, but he may want to make sure all the cables are seated, and that the RAM is properly installed.

Why can't I access my gmail account?

Gmail

Episode 1549

Mike from Glendale, CA

Mike is having issues with Gmail, it says he doesn't have an account, but he does. Leo says that one thing to try is logging into his account with a different computer, or log into a different Google service, like Google Dashboard. If that works, then his account is active and alive. He can also have a friend send him an email, and if it bounces back to them, then his account has somehow been deactivated.

Why is my Wi-Fi dropping out?

Netgear AC2600 Router

Episode 1549

Clarence from Chesapeake, VA

Clarence has issues with his laptop's Wi-Fi intermittently dropping after adding a new modem and Netgear router. Leo says to connect the laptop directly to the router and see if it drops out. If it doesn't, then he'll know the internet connection is fine, and the Wi-Fi radio in the laptop is flakey. If it keeps happening, then that would lead to his router, or even modem. Another possibility is the power-saving may be turned on in the Wi-Fi settings of his laptop. Just disable power-saving and it should be OK from there. It could even be congestion from other internet devices.

Why doesn't my touchpad work?

Laptop

Episode 1545

Greg from New Brunswick, CAN

Greg has a Samsung laptop computer. He had to reinstall Windows 8.1 and wants to upgrade to Windows 10. But his touchpad isn't working, even though Windows says it does. Leo says that he suggests using the actual drivers from the manufacturer. Often they will be different from the Windows driver and will be designed for that model. Chances are, it's a Synaptic touchpad. If that doesn't work, then maybe the touchpad is broken or the cable is loose. Also, the chatroom says that there is a function key, it could be F9, that will turn off the trackpad.

Why don't my headphones work with my home theater system?

Optical splitter

Episode 1541

Eileen from Upland, CA

Eileen bought a Bose sound system, which is connected to an optical splitter, so they can use her headphones too. But now the headphones won't work after a power surge. Leo says it's possible that the power surge fried the optical splitter. She should check if the headphones work with her TV (she may need to change her audio settings in the TV). It may also be possible that the settings changed in her TV, so she should look in there and see what it's offering. She may need to reset it to PCM unencoded audio or something similar. She should just try different settings.

Why can't I open my pictures in Apple Photos?

Apple iMacs

Episode 1539

Gary from Scottsdale, AZ

Gary has an iMac, and there's a large percentage of JPGs he can't preview. What is that all about? Leo says if the dimensions read "0" by "0", then the Mac thinks that the files are damaged and need to be repaired, even though Gary can read them on a PC. He should try opening them in Preview first. If he can read them there, then he can export them. Gary can also open them in Picasa, and so Leo suggests exporting them out from there. That can fix them and the Mac apps should be able to open them from there.