Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.
Jack gets the dreaded blue screen of death when he boots into Windows, and he can't even boot into safe mode. Leo says that tends to imply a serious error. It's either bad hardware or bad drivers. If he can't boot into safe mode, then that points to a hardware problem. It could be bad memory or a flakey hard drive. It could also be that the hard drive may have a bad bit in just the right spot that's causing the crash. Leo recommends running the repair utility from his Windows install disc. If that doesn't repair it, he may need a new hard drive.
Bill's son has a MacBook Pro that he got in 2009 and he complains that it's not as fast as it used to be. So he wants a new one with a solid state drive. Leo says that most new laptops now come with SSD, especially ultrabooks. Can he upgrade his son's current MacBook Pro with an SSD? Leo says maybe.
Dickie D says that First Alert has redesigned the smoke detector, making it much smaller and capable of detecting smoke and CO2. The First Alert PC900V is a combination photoelectric smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with voice warnings. It provides two kinds of protection, and features a new sleek design. It’s thin, square and less than an inch thick, which is about half the size of a standard alarm. It'll even tell you where the problem is in your house. Cost is $36.
Tim's battery will not charge on his Asus laptop, which is about 3 years old. In fact, a new battery just drains as well. Leo says that after three years, it could just be a depleted battery. After about 500 times, a battery just will not charge. But if the battery has been replaced and it still won't charge, it's probably not the battery. It could be the AC adapter. It also may be an an internal issue and chances are, that's more expensive to fix than to just replace the laptop.
Joe is going overseas for the first time and wants to know what technology he should bring. Leo says that a good camera is a must. A laptop isn't really necessary, though. He should be sure to turn off data roaming on his smartphone because if he doesn't, he'll come home to a phone bill in the thousands. So, turn it off and just rely on WiFi. He should also cache maps with Google Maps so he can use them without requiring data.
Roger is getting an "Dolby" error message on his desktop when it boots up. Leo says it's an issue with Roger's sound card. A motherboard sound card could be causing the issue. If so, then it's the job of the motherboard manufacturer. A new driver should fix it, so he should just go to the motherboard website and download the latest motherboard drivers. A dedicated sound card would fix the issue as well.
Deborah is suddenly having trouble with her Windows Netbook after it locked up. Apparently, a device driver got installed. Leo says that's probably OK. Drivers crash and the Windows OS finds new drivers all the time. Leo says that more important is the age of the netbook. And for the price of it, Deborah is lucky she got that much use out of it. Leo thinks she should start saving and just run the netbook into the ground. When she can't use it anymore, move on. But for now, a driver issue is minimal.
Louis wants to know if you can use a non touch second monitor with a touch screen laptop. Leo says sure. Windows 8 is designed to use touch, mouse and keyboard equally, so there's no issue. There's also keystrokes for everything. Leo says he should have at least one touch screen, though, if he can.
Rob has a Nikon D7000 DSLR and wants to improve his sound with an external mic. He was thinking of getting a Rhode, but they're a little bit pricy so he's wondering if there's something a little less expensive.
Wes has a six year old MacBook pro and he's ready to upgrade. He's concerned that he can't upgrade the newer versions because of how they're manufactured. Leo says that Apple wanted to get more capacity and battery life. To accomplish that, they sealed the laptop around a huge liquid battery that takes up a lot of room. So users can't upgrade them anymore. It may also be that they don't want people to upgrade their computers, they want them to buy new ones.