USB

Why don't my computer speakers work?

Episode 1424

Steve from New Jersey
Logitech USB Speakers

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?

Episode 1381

Dennis from Santa Monica, CA
NewerTech USB 3.0 Universal Drive Adapter

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?

Episode 1364

Gary from San Diego, CA
Google Voice

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?

Episode 1345

Jonathan from Scottsdale, AZ
Eikon Mini Fingerprint Reader

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?

Episode 1339

Mike from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

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.

Will USB become obsolete?

Episode 1335

Rowan from San Bernardino, CA
Transcend JetFlash 790 USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Rowan wonders if USB thumb drives are becoming obsolete like so many other data drives before it. Leo says that no format will last forever, but there's still plenty of life left in USB. We need to keep an eye on how technology progresses and transfer the data over when the time comes, though. Rowan will likely be able to get an adapter for USB-C, which is the current standard. The other thing he can do is use an open source backup, like TAR, which will make the backup easily transferrable. The best way is to go into the cloud, though. He should have both.

How can I backup my data from a mobile device with a broken screen?

Episode 1330

Natalie from Los Angeles, CA
Samsung Galaxy S7

Natalie broke the screen on her Samsung Galaxy S7 and she can't get the information off. How can she backup her data? Leo says she can get a Samsung USB to Go adapter that would allow her to host other devices.

The chatroom says that Samsung has software called Kies that will allow the user to backup a device via USB.