Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Should I wipe the hard drive before giving away my computer?

Episode 1494

G. Scott from California
Hard drives

G. Scott is giving his granddaughter his old computer. Should he wipe it or keep an account on it so he can remote access it if needed? Leo says that if he's selling the computer to someone else, he should definitely wipe it using DBAN or even take out the hard drive. But for his daughter, it's a good question. Keeping remote access on it could be a nice thing if she needs his help. Gene could also install open source software like Libre Office, which can work for college.

Why can't I connect my iPhone to my Roku?

Episode 1494

Christian from Oconomowoc, WI
Roku Ultra

Christian recently bought a Lightning to HDMI cable to connect his phone to his Roku, but it doesn't work with Hulu. It only plays the sound, not the picture. Leo says it sounds like it isn't HDCP compliant. Copy Protection is probably what he's running up against. Hulu's site says it doesn't support it. There may be a workaround, though. He should try scrubbing through the timeline. According to the chatroom, 9/10 times it will bring the video back. Another solution is to log out and log back in. But if he has a Roku device, why not just use the Roku app?

Should I repair or replace my plasma TV?

Episode 1494

Sam from Costa Mesa, CA
Panasonic Viera Plasma TV

Sam has a Panasonic Viera Plasma and wants to know if he should repair it or replace it. Leo says that if the repair is cheap enough (like $100) then it's worth a try. Plasmas are great. But LCDs have gotten much better and with new power consumption requirements, Plasma sales dropped to the point where it was no longer profitable to make them. And now, OLED is emerging and is getting cheaper.

Why can't I read my external hard drive?

Episode 1494

Ted from El Paso, TX
Hard drive

Ted has an external hard drive that his laptop cannot read, even though the computer can see the drive. Leo says that since the computer can see the drive, the USB connection is working. So it's likely the drive is corrupted. He can crack open the external case, and Leo recommends going to iFixIt.com and input his drive model to find out how to fix it. Then he can connect it directly and run something like SpinRite to see if he can repair it.

No Hardware Expected at Apple's WWDC Keynote

Episode 1494

Tim Cook at WWDC

Monday June 4 is the keynote address to open Apple's annual Worldwide Developer's Conference, and while last year Apple announced several new hardware updates, the word on the street is that Apple will not be announcing any hardware this year. WWDC will likely be a software-centric event in 2018. It's too bad too, since Apple's laptops are in dire need of updating, especially the keyboards from last year's MacBook Pros. Leo says that they were awful and Apple is facing several class action lawsuits as a result.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1493

Dick DeBartolo

Give your doggie a bath, without using a bathtub, or even the sink. Here's what Bissell says about their new gizmo: Welcome to the next generation of dog-bathing, the BarkBath QT is a faster, easier QUIETER, and less messy way to bathe your four-legged family member. This portable bathing system allows you to bathe your pet practically anywhere and anytime with virtually no mess. The QT stands for Quiet Tone, a nice improvement over the original BarkBath.

Where can I get a good deal on a laptop?

Episode 1493

Janice from Van Nuys, CA
Lenovo T480

Janice is losing her job at age 60, and wants to get trained to make herself more marketable in finding a new job. She's looking at doing computer work from home. Leo says that most customer service reps work out of their home, so it's an emerging new field. What laptop should she buy? She has $1,000. Leo recommends a business grade laptop. It'll be far better built and she'll be able to use it for training and work. She should look at the Lenovo Thinkpad T480.

Should I reformat my hard drive to speed it up?

Episode 1493

Dana from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Apple iMacs

Dana wants to know if he should reformat his iMac hard drive to make it run faster. Leo says often that's the best thing to do. Since Dave has a bootable image from Super Duper, he can do it and be back up in minutes. He should just boot from the image, then copy the image to his hard drive and he'll be back up. Sometimes it just takes a little spring cleaning. Better yet — he can get an SSD and use the hard drive as his data drive. His computer will be a lot faster with that.