Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Why is my SSD running slowly?

Episode 1312

Michael from Fountain, CO
OCZ SSD

Michael bought an OCZ SSD to speed up his computer, and it's much faster than the SanDisk SSD. Leo says that's because of trim. SSDs don't have to be defragged, but with trim, they can accomplish something called "wear leveling." That way the SSD won't wear out prematurely due to an overused sector. It also allows it to be consistently faster. Without trim, SSDs tend to slow down over time. The good news is that trim is built into the OS now. He doesn't need AHCI, native command queuing, or hot swapping.

Why does my computer crash when I close a program?

Mike from Huntington Beach, CA

Episode 1311

Mike's home built computer crashes when he closes a program. The screen turns black and hangs up. It doesn't work again unless he reboots it. Leo says that's the hassle with building his own -- he has to eliminate each issue. Leo says the first thing to do is update his video card driver. He thinks it may be a bad driver. Leo says he can try booting to a USB key with Ubuntu on it and try to repeat the issue. If it repeats, he'll know it's a hardware issue. If it doesn't, he'll know it's a software issue.

Why did my keyboard stop working?

Jim from Missoula, MT

Episode 1311

Jim has several Windows 8.1 machines, and the keyboards on seven of them simultaneously stopped working. He found a fix for it, but he's wondering what happened. Leo said that it was probably an HP update that broke the HP keyboard drivers. They have a separate update from Windows that is always running enabling them to push updates on the fly. It sounds like their update ran afoul with Windows and caused the keyboards not to work. To turn off the HP updates, he should type Windows + Q, type "HP Update" and turn it off.

Should I buy a MacBook?

Episode 1310

Ed from Seal Beach, CA
Apple MacBook Pro

Ed wants to know if a MacBook is a good laptop just for getting online. Leo says it is, but it's also overkill. We've been conditioned to accept that we need a complicated computer for our general purpose daily computing needs. Leo recommends a Chromebook. They're very secure, and extremely affordable at $200 to $500. For most people's needs, it works just fine.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1309

Dick DeBartolo

In what may be the craziest gadget yet, Dickie D joins us with the ModoBag, a motorized bag that you can use as a scooter. Goes 8MPH and has indoor and outdoor speeds. Motor and batteries only takes up 15% of the bag, leaving you plenty of room to pack with 2000 Cubic inches of storage. Weighs 19 lbs empty though, which means you're almost certainly going to pay baggage overage It is currently available for $995 on Indiegogo with an estimated shipping date of January 2017.

How big of a hard drive should I get on my MacBook?

Episode 1309

Micheline from Studio City, CA
Apple MacBook Pros

Micheline is moving from a Windows 7 laptop to a MacBook. Leo says that she'll love it if she does. Leo says that Macs have a high hardware standard and are well made. They also have better support. She wants the 15", but should she get the 256GB or 512GB SSD? Leo says to look on her Windows laptop and see how much space she's using now. That will give her a good idea of what she will need. Leo says that 256GB will be plenty, though. How about a refurbished model? Leo says only buy it from Apple.

How can I sync Outlook to my iPad and iPhone?

Episode 1309

Brian from Long Beach, CA
Microsoft Outlook for iOS

Brian is having trouble syncing to Outlook on his laptop, iPhone, and iPad. Leo suggests going into iOS settings and removing the Outlook sync account. He could also install the Outlook app.

It could also be an issue with his Exchange server at work, especially if other coworkers are having issues. He should use Microsoft's app on the laptop. Then remove the Exchange server from iOS devices and reinstall it. It's likely a network issue with work. Brian should talk to his IT guys, as they may have to configure it.