Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

Can I get a docking station for my MacBook Pro?

Episode 1061

Bob from Hisperia, CA
Belkin Thunderbolt Express Dock

Bob is replacing a PC laptop and docking station with a 13" Mac Pro with Retina. He needs docking stations on both ends with external monitors and network connections. Leo says that Apple doesn't do docking stations anymore. Thunderbolt monitors will handle the external part with connectors for keyboards and monitors. All he'll need to do is plug it in. He won't even have to open the MacBook Pro.

Are all new laptops carrying Windows 8?

Jeff from Simi Valley, CA

Episode 1060

Jeff is looking for a new laptop and all he sees are models with Windows 8. Leo says that's true and it's likely because Microsoft is moving to a touch based system. Leo says that's the trend and moving forward, all laptops will have it. If he's getting a laptop, he may as well get one that has a touch screen because of Windows 8. But he can still get some Windows 7 machines. Dell carries them currently, but this will stop October 31.

Where can I find hard drives for an old Mac SE?

John from Melbourne Beach, FL

Episode 1060

John got an old Macintosh SE and he keeps going through hard drives. Where can he find more of them? Leo says that the hard drives he's using are old and used and just plain worn out, since the Mac SE is 30 years old. eBay may be a good way to find those. Leo also recommends EveryMac.com, and LowEndMac.com. Since it has an external SCSI port, Leo says that John could use a more modern drive with a SCSI interface. Then he could daisy chain it.

How can I get my computer to boot to my new drive? (Part 2)

Michael from Long Beach, CA

Episode 1060

Michael added a 2TB drive into his old Windows XP machine and installed Windows 7 on it. Now his computer won't boot to the drive with Windows 7 on it. Leo says he'll need to tell the computer that the Windows 7 drive is the boot drive. When he boots to XP, though, he can't see all of his hard drives. Leo says it could be that the hard drive is too big and XP can't see it.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1059

WowWeeMip

Dickie D went to the New York Toy Fair and came across WowWee's MiP robot. It's like a droid meets a segway. Equipped with GestureSense technology, you can use hand motion controls to control MiP. You can also program it to do up to 100 movements in a row. They have a built in speaker and a built in microphone. They can dance to music that’s on your smartphone, which will play right on the MiP, or MiP can dance to external music and follow the beat heard through its internal mic.

How can I get a bad drive fixed?

Naomi from Denver, CO

Episode 1059

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.

Is there a third party camera for the car that has radar to assist with parking? (Part 1)

Episode 1059

Michael from Diamond Bar, CA
Garmin BC20

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.

Can I put an SSD in a Vista PC?

Mike from Realto, CA

Episode 1059

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.

Why can't I play video on my PC running Windows XP?

Episode 1059

John from Van Nuys, CA
VLC

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.

Why is my Mac slower with OS X Mavericks?

Dan from Montclair, NJ

Episode 1058

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.