USB

How can I connect Thunderbolt 3 to USB-C?

SanDisk Dual Drive Type-C

Episode 1491

Brian from Nashville, TN

Brian runs an external Thunderbolt 2 drive and Parallels to dual boot into Windows. He upgraded his SSD, which works on his laptop, but it won't attach to his Mac Mini. How can he adapt it? Leo says that the Thunderbolt 3 connector is the same as the USB-C connector. But that doesn't mean it has the Thunderbolt controller built in. So he may need to get a Thunderbolt 3 external enclosure to use it, but it's not cheap. He could use a Type A USB 3.1 data cable connector to the Type-C drive and he should get full throughput.

Why don't my computer speakers work?

Logitech USB Speakers

Episode 1424

Steve from New Jersey

The left speaker on Steve's computer stopped working. He replaced the speaker, replaced the cables, updated the drivers, and even used Linux on a USB stick. None of that worked. What's left? Rich says to try plugging a headphone into the jack to see if that works. Steve thinks that besides the drivers, he thinks that it's still a software issue. He should look at the speaker settings, and should try a different USB plug.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

Episode 1381

Dennis from Santa Monica, CA

Dennis' computer has a Western Digital Passport external hard drive that mounts, but it can't be read it or ejected. Then it crashes the computer. Leo says that it's a USB device that isn't fully mounting. It's probably an issue with either the USB controller on his computer, or the cable itself. Dennis should try using a different USB cable first. Then he should try plugging it into another USB port and see if he can replicate the issue. The USB driver may also be corrupted.

How does Google Voice work?

Google Voice

Episode 1364

Gary from San Diego, CA

Gary wants to know about Google Voice with the Pixel phone. Leo says that Google Voice started as GrandCentral, which he used to use for his office. Then Google bought it and created a central phone hub for everyone. It gives you a new universal number and then rings different phones until it finds you. It also has custom voicemail boxes for people in your contact list, strangers, close friends, and unknown. It also sends you a text message with the voicemail. And it's free to use.

Is a third party fingerprint reader safe?

Eikon Mini Fingerprint Reader

Episode 1345

Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ

Jonathan has a Windows laptop and he wants to add a fingerprint scanner. The one he's looking at works with WIndows Hello, but there's no real branding. Leo says that chances are, one Chinese company makes it and then sells it to multiple companies who put their name on it. The good news is that it works with Windows Hello. Jonathan should check out the Eikon fingerprint scanner. It's the one he recommends, and it's only $20.

Why does my phone say it's connected via USB when it isn't?

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Episode 1339

Mike from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Mike's Galaxy S7 Edge keeps pinging that it's connected to a USB even when it isn't. Leo says that could be a ghost issue. He should turn off USB debugging in the developer settings. He needs to go to into Settings > About Phone, and tap the build number 10 times. Then he'll get into the developer's menu. He should check his phone's USB port for fuzz. He can also try resetting the phone. Then before he reinstalls his apps, he should make sure it isn't happening. If it does still happen, then he does have a hardware problem. If it doesn't, then an app is likely the culprit.