Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I use DBAN on an SSD?

Episode 1455

Mike from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
SSD

Mike wants to wipe a hybrid SSD using Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). Is that a good idea? Leo says that SSDs are written to differently than spinning drives, and it also uses a technique called "wear leveling," which writes sectors randomly. This makes it difficult to fully and securely wipe a drive to prevent it from being recovered. He can do it to erase a drive, but it won't really remove the data. That's why Leo recommends encryption. Using BitLocker on Windows, or some other technique to secure data with encryption.

CES 2018 Recap

Episode 1453

Leo did not go to CES this year, and he's glad he didn't because it's filling up with insignificant junky stuff that looks like people desperate to find something interesting. There was a Gameboy Nintendo remade by a Chinese company called "HyperKin." Samsung did not announce the Galaxy S9, but said it'll probably be announced in March. There were some leaks about the S9 that make it sound like it's mostly the same as the S8, but it'll have a new camera that will do dual apertures with a single lens. Samsung did announce a Bluetooth speaker that aims at your ears without headphones.

How can I keep my Echo from crashing?

Episode 1454

Brian from Indio, CA
Amazon Echo

Brian's Amazon Echo has been misbehaving since the New Year. It keeps failing and restarting. Leo says that indicates a faulty device. It may be overheating or is worn out. Amazon really doesn't have a good suggestion either, so Leo recommends contacting them about an RMA return. There is a reset button, though, so he could try that first. It's a little hole at the base of the device. He'll need to use a paperclip to press it in, and he'll have to hold that button down for a few seconds to reset it.

Should I get Amazon Echo or Google Home for my mom?

Episode 1454

Dan from Fresno, CA
Amazon Echo

Dan wants to get his mother a home assistant and can't decide between Google Home or Amazon Echo. Leo says that both are very similar. If Dan's mom has Amazon Prime, then she'll get a free limited music service with it. Google, however, is better at facts, while Echo is good at skills. So it comes down to what she's going to use it for. Echo is also better with smart home devices (IoT stuff). Leo gave his mother the Echo, but it's important to train his mother how to talk to Echo. For most people, Echo is easier to use.

How can I get my PC to boot up?

Episode 1454

Frank from Land O Lakes, FL
Motherboard

Frank is having trouble getting his PC to boot up. He's replaced the power supply, but it still doesn't work. Leo says if there's no power on self-test (three beeps), and the fans are coming on, then it's likely a dead motherboard. Can he just replace the CPU without the motherboard or vice versa? Leo says if the power supply is eliminated as a culprit, then Frank could try replacing the processor and see what happens. But before he does that, he should pull all the USB devices and see if they're the culprit. It could be a short in his USB hub. There's so many possibilities.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1453

Dick DeBartolo

Dickie D just got back from CES and he pretty much saw a lot of silly ideas that didn't really have much use. Leo says they've run out of ideas and are now mashing them together to create something new. But one thing he did see came from Kodak. The Kodak Super8 camera looks like a retro model, but it was a brand new camera that will go on sale soon. And yes, it uses Super 8mm film! Film that you shoot and mail off to Kodak just the way you did 40 or 50 years ago! Unlike the old super 8 camera, this one has a large flip-out 4-inch LCD screen.