Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Naomi has been running SpinRite to repair a failing hard drive. Leo says that SpinRite fixes the lowest level problems of bad sectors. It will try and read them and if it can't, it'll copy the data off and move it, then mark that sector unusable. It won't stop until it reads it, which can take weeks. She did that and now it won't boot up. Leo says to get the data off the hard drive first by booting to a CD or by using another PC to read it. Then transfer the drive and make it a USB external drive. Then wipe the drive and reinstall Windows.
Michael needs a camera to install in his car that has radar. Leo says that it's probably best to go to a car installer about that since it's more than just buying a camera. It's not only the camera, but the screen itself. So Leo advises letting a professional handle it. The chatroom says that Garmin makes one called the BC20 that wirelessly connects to GPS devices.
Mike has an older HP computer running Windows Vista. Can he put an SSD in it to speed it up? Leo says probably not. Older machines aren't fast enough to handle the speed of an SSD, which is rated for SATA 2. So unless the PC has a SATA 2 connector, Mike won't see any benefit at all. With the cost of an SSD, he would be better off getting a new computer. Of Course, he could also just upgrade to Windows 8 and get a boost that way.
John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.
Dan installed OS X Mavericks on his 2009 MacBook Pro and he says he's taken a "speed hit" with a lot of beach balls. Leo says it's best to try and do a clean install to eliminate any rogue fragments of the old OS. If that doesn't fix it, then it may be that the internal drive is starting to get a bit flakey, especially since Dan also booted from a backup external hard drive which worked fine. It may be time to get his data off and replace that hard drive.
Karen's husband bought an old Wang word processor on eBay that he got working. He's also written a Kindle book called "69 Things I Do With My Wang" using Amazon's CreateSpace. Leo says that Wang hit it's peak right as the personal computer came on the scene in 1986 and crushed it. It wasn't until 1992 that Wang saw the handwriting on the wall and filed bankruptcy.
This week's gadget from Dickie D is the BigRep One 3D printer. It's so huge that it can print furniture! It's a a full-scale format 3D printer with an 1147 x 1000 x 1188 mm (1.4 m³) working volume. In inches, that’s approximately 45” X 39” X 47”, or 49 cubic feet of printing volume. It'll also print several objects at once as long as they are within the area of the printing plate. It takes nine different printing filaments. BigRep One should start shipping in April 2014 and costs $39,000, not including shipping or taxes.
John had a computer that died on him, so he got a few parts and now the computer is back online. The hard drive has a partition on it and he wants to resize the it, but it won't let him. Leo says that John should try a non-destructive partitioner. Windows 7 may be able to do it if it's in a state to do it. Leo recommends defragging the partition and trying again. There may not be enough space to change the partition, though. EaseUS makes a free partitioning and backup program he can try as well.
Zach needs a new computer and wants to know how he can transfer all his music, videos, and images. He has thousands of pictures and a lot of duplicates. He also has a backup drive, but he's not sure it always backs up. Leo suggests just dragging the documents and settings folder over to the external drive. That will get everything.
Dave wants to know if he can install a USB 3.0 port onto his desktop computer. Leo says sure, but it largely depends on the bus of his desktop. If he has PCIexpress, he should be just fine. USB 3.0 goes as high as 5 Gigabits, but that doesn't mean he'd necessarily get that. What about just plain PCI? He won't get the max speed, but the hard drive isn't as fast as USB 3.0 either. So it should be good enough for his use of it.