Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why does my PC boot to a black screen sometimes?

Episode 1125

Dan from Somis, CA
Blue screen

Dan says he gets error messages when booting up to Windows and sometimes it just boots up to a black screen. Leo says that intermittent problems are the hardest to diagnose and it could indicate a problem with his power supply or a lose cable. It could also be an overheating issue. The best thing is to make sure his data is constantly backed up.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1125

Dickie D's gadget this week is a rocket fired parachute system that can be deployed during an emergency on a private plane and bring the plane down safely so it won't crash. The system is called CAPS (Cirus Airframe Parachute System). It's part of the Cirrus turbocharged SR22T aircraft. 95 lives have been saved since the system was introduced. Check out how it works here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_8qCTAjsDg

What's a good third party support company?

Rita from Pittsburgh, PA

Episode 1124

Rita is a self employed court reporter and she needs some good online tech support for her computer. Leo says that if she has a Dell, Dell's Gold support is as good as it gets. Leo isn't much of a fan of third party support. Rita has an HP computer, though. Leo says that HP likely has paid gold level support and he recommends biting the bullet and paying for it. And since Rita's computer is a few years old, it may be time to upgrade her computer, and then Leo would advise going with a Dell.

Did a website crash my hard drive?

Sue from Redondo Beach, CA

Episode 1124

Sue went to a website to watch Bob Dylan live on stage and her computer got "fried." Leo says that there's no website that can short out a computer. And it's not in the interest of a hacker to be that destructive. They want vulnerable computers to exploit them. So it's important to keep the computer updated. She should also update Flash, her PDF reader, drivers, and just about everything can be exploited. Leo also recommends using Google Chrome, because it sandboxes Flash and updates it all the time. So she doesn't even have to install Flash on her system.

The GizWiz and the Luxuriant Moustache

Episode 1123

This week's gadget is the Black + Decker (yes, new name) 20 Volt Lithium Drill Driver, with Auto Sense. It has a small microprocessor that reads the rate of change in the screw and stops the drill so you will never overscrew. To countersink, you press the screw again and it does small turns until you're happy. The 20V MAX AutoSense comes with a charger and a 20V MAX lithium ion battery, which holds a charge for up to 18 months.

Why does my Time Capsule keep resetting?

Episode 1123

Tamara from California
AirPort Time Capsule

Tamara has an Apple Time Capsule and every few weeks it requires her to start over again with a new backup. Leo says it's possible that the hard drive inside of the Time Capsule is faulty or failing. Fortunately, she has a secondary backup via iCloud Backup. Leo says that's good news. So she doesn't have to worry about the data on the Time Capsule. Should she just demand Apple give her a new one? Leo says that it may not be a bad device, actually. It could be a network issue. But Leo says to bring it into Apple and talk to a Genius.