Hardware

Laptop or desktop computers and any components within.

How can I activate Windows without the activation key?

Episode 1054

Mike from Glendale, CA
Windows XP Activation

Mike bought a Dell Latitude and had to replace the hard drive. Now he doesn't have a serial number to activate it. Leo says that Dell puts a sticker on the bottom of the laptop that has the activation code on it. Mike says it wasn't there. Leo says he should contact Dell and tell them that he can't activate the machine.

The chatroom says that Dell puts the serial number in the BIOS, so that may be a place to look. There are also programs that will provide the key from the installation.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1053

The Giz Wiz

Dickie D is back with the Anker Astro Pro (2nd Generation) backup battery. This is a 15000mAh battery pack, which holds enough power to charge smartphones 4 to 7 times and tablets 1 to 2 times before it needs to be recharged itself. The Astro Pro identifies what device you want charged and enables the best charging configuration for it thanks to a built-in chip. You can charge up to three devices at the same time.

Can I boost my SSD performance with AHCI?

Jeff from Oklahoma

Episode 1052

Jeff just installed an SSD into his Lenovo desktop, but he can't enable AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Leo says it's in the kernel, but it doesn't mean it has to be enabled. Leo suggests using native mode since Jeff only has one drive anyway. He'll get the best performance he can for SATA 2, but he'll still have a speed improvement over the old hard drive.

How can I speed up my Mac running Mavericks?

Chris from Miami, OH

Episode 1051

Chris is still having issues with OS X Mavericks and wonders if upgrading to 8GB of RAM would help it's performance. Leo says not really unless he's doing video or photo editing. If the Mac is running slow, it won't hurt to double the RAM. 8GB is a bit of a sweet spot, though, and it could help if he's having performance issues with the OS. But the real issue could be Mavericks itself. It's filled with bugs and Apple needs to fix it. The chatroom also says to go into the activity monitor and view his RAM usage. That could show him where the issue really lies.

Dick DeBartolo, The Giz Wiz

Episode 1051

The Power Pot

The Giz Wiz is back and this week he brings along the PowerPot, a camping stove pot that you boil water in and will charge your smart phone at the same time! It contains a lightweight thermoelectric generator that converts heat into DC electrical power. The company says their 5 volt PowerPot will charge cell phones, GPS units, iPods, and lithium ion batteries, or will run speakers, lights, fans, and other low-power USB appliances. It comes with 3 feet of heat resistant cable. $149.00

http://www.thepowerpot.com/