Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I clone my old hard drive and put it on my new computer?

Tony from Los Angeles, CA

Episode 1070

Tony needs to move the data from his old Windows XP machine to his new laptop. Should he clone it? Leo says no! If he clones it, he'll overwrite the new OS with the old Windows XP. And that's counter productive. Just backup the data and put it on the new computer. He can use a thumb drive to do it. He'll just have to reinstall all of his programs, but it's far better to start fresh.

What antivirus should I get with my new laptop?

Jim from Yorba Linda, CA

Episode 1070

Jim is buying a new Dell computer and wants to know what antivirus software he should get? Leo says first, an antivirus can't protect him against yourself. It should just be used as a backstop. He will be the first line of defense.

Windows actually has a good antivirus solution built into Windows 8 called Windows Defender. That'll work just fine as long as he keeps it up to date. He should also make sure he runs as a standard user, not an administrator. And don't click on links in emails.

How can I transfer my files from one laptop to another?

Randy from Dallas, TX

Episode 1070

Randy wants to transfer all the data from his old laptop to his new laptop. Leo says just transfer the data himself. He shouldn't use the transfer wizard or anything like Laplink. It's in his best interest to start over here. If he has a backup of his data, he can easily restore it. He can also get a USB key and transfer all of his data that way.

What can I do with an old Apple G4 Cube?

Episode 1069

Jethro from Carbondale, IL
Power Mac G4 Cube

Jethro bought an old Apple G4 Cube and wants to turn it into a media server. Leo says that he can't run iTunes on it, but he could run Linux and get a program that runs an iTunes compatible media server. As long as the music he has doesn't have copy protection, he should have no problems at all. Any copy protected stuff can be replaced by signing up for iTunes Match, which is $25 a year, and he'd really only need to do it once.

Should I use a service to speed up my computer?

Hamit from Danbury, CT

Episode 1069

Hamit keeps seeing commercials about speeding up computers using a registry cleaner and a service. Leo says that first, he doesn't need to pay someone to speed up his computer. He can easily do it himself. The best way to speed it up is to back up his data, format the hard drive and then reinstall and update Windows. He can use a registry cleaner, but often they are way too aggressive and will mess up Windows drastically. So he should just make a point to do spring cleaning once a year, and he'll keep his computer in good shape.

Are budget Dell computers a good buy? (Part 1)

Episode 1069

Ron from Los Angeles, CA
Dell Inspiron

Ron is looking to get a Dell computer and he's on a budget. Leo says that Dell makes two levels of computers: consumer grade and professional grade. The pro computers are made with better components, high resolution touch screens, etc. Then there's the lower grade budget line, like the Dell Inspiron series. They start at $500 without a monitor. The i3 is usually included, but for only $50 more, he could bump it up to the i5. Ron will want to get at least 4GB of RAM as well. He should also get the biggest monitor he can afford.

Should I get a Dell or Lenovo PC?

Episode 1068

Richard from Placentia, CA
Dell XPS laptop

Richard is ready to upgrade his Gateway XP desktop to a new computer. Should he buy a Dell or Lenovo? He bought his daughter a Dell Latitude. Leo says that Dell is great, and the Latitude is a great business model PC. In fact, Leo's entire business office uses Dell.

Will he get the same TV directly from Dell than the big box store? Leo says that getting it from Dell.com will be the most recent computer and that's better. The Big Box Stores will have older, year old models.

Can I run both DirecTV and cable on the same TV?

Episode 1068

Jim from Cypress, CA
HDMI

Jim wants to run both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable off the same TV. Leo says he can do it via the HDMI ports on the back of the TV. Then he can just switch from one source to the other. But he'll need a separate cable for it. Can he do it wirelessly? Leo says that wireless HDTV is a difficult thing. It's always best to go wired through HDMI.