Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I get into BIOS on my ThinkPad?

Episode 1148

Michael from San Diego, CA
Lenovo X140e ThinkPad

Michael has a ThinkPad with Windows 7 installed and he needs to put it in XP mode to run a few programs. How can he do that? Leo says to use the F2 key to get into BIOS and it's all about timing. But the logo may be in the way, and that requires hitting the escape key.

Alex, the TWiT Windows expert says that pressing the blue ThinkVantage button on boot up will get him to a BIOS menu.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1147

Dick DeBartolo

The last gadget of 2014 that the Giz Wiz brings to the Tech Guy is a preview of what we'll see at CES next month -- The Visijax Commuter Jacket. Designed for the bicyclist to ride at night, the Visijax Commuter Jacket has 23 integrated high intensity LED lights that show motion-activated, self-canceling turn indicators, brake lights, and other features. It has a USB rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, which when charged can power the jacket for up to 30 hours. Leo says this is an amazing and life saving device. Very smart. The price will be about $170.

Why does my computer fan make a noise?

Episode 1147

Gary from Long Beach, CA
Computer fan

Gary bought a computer from GoodWill that they have put together. Leo says that's a great idea, and he got a great price on it too. But he's noticed that the fan is making noise. Leo says that could be a wire that has gotten in the way, and that could be dangerous. It could short circuit the wire and cause a fire. So Gary should open up the computer and make sure there's nothing hitting the fan. If that's not the issue, then the bearing of the fan may need to "warm up." They can easily be replaced.

Why does my LCD screen flicker?

Episode 1147

Roger from Pasadena, CA
LCD monitor

Roger's LCD monitor is "flashing" after about a minute and then settles down and works again. Leo says that it may be a bad cable, which would be an easy fix. But it's more likely that the monitor is aging and the transformer or power supply is starting to fail, requiring it to "warm up" before use. It's not really worth fixing. Monitors are so cheap now, Roger should probably just get a new one.

Why is my PC giving me a blue screen?

Episode 1146

Moses from Apple Valley, CA
Power Supply

Moses has been getting a blue screen of death (BSOD). What is that? Leo says that a BSOD is a crash that has forced Windows to not work anymore. Moses has reinstalled Windows, but it still happens. Leo says that points to a hardware issue. A hardware flaw like a flakey power supply, video card or hard drive. It also could be a driver, but with a spontaneous reboot, it's probably the power supply. Fortunately, these are easy to replace. He can even do it himself. Moses should make sure he matches the existing power supply in wattage.