Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why am I unable to update Windows? Do I have a virus?

Mike from Lake Forest, CA

Episode 1072

Mike says his daughter's computer has a virus, and now he can't run Windows update. She was downloading music. Leo wonders what the symptoms were that led Mike to believe he had a virus. It could be a bad sector on a hard drive. Leo advises scanning with an online antivirus checker. Leo also suggests running Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool. Click on "Start," then select "Run,", type "MRT" and hit enter. He should choose to do a thorough scan. He can also try MalwareBytes.org.

Should I use a hard drive or SSD to rip my DVDs?

Episode 1072

Jamie from Hagerstown, MD
Crucial SSD

Jamie wants to rip hundreds of DVDs and compress them on his computer. Leo says that's a great idea. But since Jamie has an SSD, it would be a good idea to get an external drive. Jamie is worried about bumpy roads, though. Leo says SSDs would be better for that, since they don't have moving parts. But hard drives also should be able to handle that. Still, Leo says he understands the concern. Either way would work, and it won't be hard on the hard drive to do the ripping. Sold state would be ideal for a trucker's computer, but the cost per gig is much more.

What's the best printer for every day use?

Episode 1072

Oromay from California
Epson Expression 310

Oromay bought a Lenovo laptop and is having trouble connecting it to her Dell printer, and Dell says it's too old to support the Lenovo. So she's thinking of getting an HP printer. Why HP? Because she saw it on sale in the paper. Leo says that Laser printers would give her a lower cost per page, even though they're a bit more expensive up front. They don't do photos very well, though. Deskjets are better for photography and home use because the use isn't as intense as in the office. So Leo advises a wireless networking inkjet that prints photos.

Why does my computer freeze when waking up from sleep mode?

Episode 1072

Michael from Garden Grove, CA
BIOS

Mike's computer freezes up when it's coming out of sleep mode. Leo says that it's a common problem with computers, especially Macs. But even Windows machines have this happen. It's like the computer is "groggy." Sleep puts the computer into a low power mode but still feeds power to the RAM to prevent the user from losing information. It can be problematic, though. Hybernation has it's own similar issues. Leo suspects that since the mouse and keyboard work, that the computer hasn't really crashed. He should do a Google search for the specific computer model.

Why won't my resolution adjust when I use an external monitor with my laptop?

Episode 1072

Gary from Los Angeles, CA
Monitor resolution

Gary notices that his resolution doesn't adjust when he docks his laptop to his monitor. Leo says that's odd because Windows should do that really well. Chances are, this is an issue with the Lenovo laptop. Ideally, Gary will want the monitor to display at the native dot for dot resolution.

Did I buy the right MacBook Pro?

Episode 1071

Mike from Glendale, CA
MacBook Pro

Mike bought a MacBook Pro recently, updating it through Apple's build to order interface. He needs a CD player, though. Leo says that the base model is the only one that still has a CD player, but the down side is, it also has a spinning hard drive and no retina display. The problem is, for $100 more, Mike could've gotten a retina display and much faster performance with an SSD drive. If he doesn't need all that, it's fine. But he won't save much doing it.

When is the new Mac Mini coming?

Episode 1071

Roger from Ogden, UT
Apple Mac Mini

Roger wants to get a Mac Mini, but Apple hasn't upgraded it in a long time (Oct 2012). Leo says that is a common complaint with Mac fans. It's a shame too, because it's very affordable and a great product. It seems like Apple doesn't care about anything but mobile these days. It's like they have a limited attention span. They're all mobile now with iPhones and iPads, and they are less worried about the desktop computing experience. Leo's been hearing rumors for months about a new Mac Mini coming, but nothing has materialized.