troubleshooting

Can my Computer Handle a New Video Card?

RayTracing

Episode 1575

Larry from SF, California

Larry is a gamer and got a new video card that supports RayTracing. He put it in his computer but it's lagging terribly. On top of that, he's now getting "green sparkles" everywhere. Is his machine too old? Leo says it shouldn't be too old at all, it's likely just a bad card. Green artifacts are usually an indication of a bad video card, so Larry should send it back for a refund or replacement. The GTX 1070 is better matched to his computer anyway.

Why can't I stream from my Samsung smart TV?

Samsung

Episode 1569

Greg from Los Angeles, CA

Greg can't mirror his phone with his Samsung smarTV, but he can use his hub to search the internet. Leo says the TV has to be cast-enabled to do it, and the feature may not be turned on in the settings. It could be DNLA or AirPlay. But it also says "smart hub is trying to update." Leo says that Samsung is notorious for not updating their TVs, and it will eventually get to the point where it can't be updated online. It's clearly looking for the update though. Samsung does suggest you can reset the country and that will fix it. The wrong country code could very well cause this issue.

Can I fix my old MacPro kernel panicking?

MacPro

Episode 1567

Fred from Pasadena, CA

Fred has a 2008 MacPro Cheesegrater, and he doesn't want to replace it. But it's having kernel panics. What can he do? Leo says a kernel panic is Apple's version of the blue screen of death. And it usually means it has a driver issue or a hardware issue. And sometimes, the first line of the panic will tell you something useful. Bad memory is a common cause of them. Power supply failing is an indicator. Try swapping out single RAM cards. That can tell Fred which RAM is acting up. He could just get one of the latest MacMini's and get a Thunderbolt 3 connection.

Why do I get audio from my TV when it's turned off?

Vizio D Series TV

Episode 1565

Max from Boca Raton, FL

Max is having issues with his TV speakers on his Vizio D series TV. He keeps hearing audio coming out, even when it's off. Leo says that today's modern TVs don't really turn off anymore. They just go into a very low power mode. Leo suspects that Max's Xfinity cable box woke his TV up through HDMI. Leo recommends putting the Vizio into Eco mode and it will turn off. Then, he should turn off CEC in his TV settings.

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

Windows

Episode 1562

Tom from Costa Mesa, California

Tom has a NUC computer and after updating to Windows 10, it takes several hours for Windows to come alive on the screen. Leo says that wiping the drive and reinstalling could fix it. It's probably a bad hard drive sector that the computer is trying to read. Do a full reset and wipe the entire thing. But make sure to back up data first. Another option would be to have a USB key with Linux on it and boot to it (F10). If it comes up right away, then you know there's something wrong with the software. If it's the same problem, it is a hardware issue.

Why can't my laptop read USB 2?

Episode 1561

Carlo from Ontario, BC CAN

Carlo has a small laptop with a USB 3.0 port. But suddenly, it won't read USB 2. What gives? Leo says that USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible as long as the plug is Type A. It could be a faulty connector, or the connector pins are dirty. The connector could have also shorted out. Shine a light in and look for some cruft, or even damage on the surface of the contacts. ScooterX in the chatroom suggests that it may be a driver issue. Go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look to see if there's a red X. Or delete the drivers and then restart to reinstall.

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.