Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why won't my computer turn off?

Episode 1482

Arnie from San Fernando, CA
Process Explorer

Arnie gets constant updates on Windows 10, but the last one won't let him shut down the computer. It starts to shut down, the screen goes black, but the computer won't turn off. Leo says it's a failure of Windows update, where it stops the shut down process until all programs are closed out. Many services are running in the background and they have to shut down before the computer turns off. If there's a bad process that won't stop, it causes the computer to stay on, crashing the computer. It's very common. To diagnose it, Arnie should look in Task Manager and see what's running.

Do HDMI switchers work?

Episode 1482

Brian from Indiana
Raspberry Pi

Brian builds Raspberry Pi computers for everything from running DVRs (via Kodi) to routers. Leo says that Raspberry Pis are great and for $35, they're incredibly powerful. But his HDMI switch died recently, and it won't recognize his Pi anymore. Leo says that HDMI switchers are notoriously finicky. He'd be better off with an A/V receiver with multiple HDMI ports. It's the best way to go because the audio gets switched and stays in sync as well.

How can I get access to my Apple ID?

Episode 1482

Jack from Maine
Apple ID

Jack is in the banking industry and he recently left his job. But when he did, he lost his Apple ID and they remote wiped his phone. Will he have trouble switching it over to a new Apple ID and will he lose all the apps, music, etc. that he bought? Leo says that Jack should be able to go to the Apple ID and change the email associated with it. They'll look for confirmation on the old email, though. He'll need to also log into the old Apple ID account and turn off Find My iPhone and back up to iCloud.

Bad month for self driving cars

Episode 1482

Google's Lexus RX 450h Self-Driving Car

April has been a bad month for self driving cars, as both a driver and pedestrian have died from accidents. Leo says that California is giving Google a permit for a self driving car called WayMo, which will have no safety driver. The irony isn't lost on Leo, and while he believes that self driving cars are better than human control, they're never going to be 100%. There's more testing that needs to be done and they should have a safety driver until the bugs are ironed out.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1481

Dick DeBartolo

This week's gadget is a deal of the day called the Stack-On 18 Drawer Storage Cabinet for $14.99, Dick bought one. These are some of the features: Drawers stay closed with the snap-close drawer System. See-through drawers let you see your parts at a glance. Customizable drawer labels for identification of contents are included. (Both good features.) Easily mounts to wall or stands on bench or counter top. NOTE: Drawer will be harder to pull and push - A little force will be needed to bypass this stay-closed system. (Wow, is that right!

How can I transfer my old programs?

Episode 1481

Don from Southern California
Laplink PC Mover

Don has a new hard drive and wants to know how he can move his programs over to the new drive. Leo says there really isn't a way to do it other than simply reinstalling the programs. Microsoft's installation of software is all over the place and as such, it's difficult to backup a program and recover it to another hard drive. There are some application movers out there, but Leo isn't confident that work well. Funduc makes one, but his best bet is probably Laplink.

Why can't I get radio reception?

Episode 1481

Darrell from West Hollywood
Radio

Darrell is having issues getting radio stations on all three of his radios at home. All he gets is static. Leo says that is odd. He even went into another apartment and tried and the same thing. Leo says it sounds like some sort of signal jamming. What he recommends is contacting KFI's engineering department and report it. The engineer could probably help him figure out what the problem is. But if other radio stations are also a problem, then that sounds like some sort of illegal electronic activity going on.

Is my printer dead?

Episode 1481

Dennis from Connecticut
Canon Pixma

Dennis' Canon printer isn't working anymore. He's replaced the cartridges, but it still doesn't print. What can he do? Leo says that if he goes into the printer setup and looks in the maintenance manual, there will be a "clean print head" utility. There's a good chance that ink has dried into the head and the clean print head utility will clear that out. He should run it several times. If he still gets nothing, there's a good chance the print head has died. But some models replace the print head when replacing the cartridges.

Will an SSD and more RAM improve my laptop speed?

Episode 1481

Dennis from Oceanside, CA
Memory

Dennis wants to upgrade his HP laptop. He wants to double his RAM and install an SSD. Will that help? Leo says that if he has a fast enough bus for the computer, an SSD will certainly speed things up, as an SSD has zero latency. Reads are very fast. But he won't get as much as a modern laptop. It'll still be noticeable. And he'll get at least a 10-20% boost by doubling his RAM.