Articles in Category: Hardware
Computers, computer systems and the physical components and accessories that make them what they are.
The message “Do you want to scan and fix” means Windows found an error on a recently-attached drive. What you do next depends on how disastrous data loss might be.
CHKDSK is a powerful Windows utility used to diagnose and repair disks. /F and /R represent two types of repairs.
“No Signal” is a message coming from your display device (not from your computer), indicating it has nothing to display. I’ll review possible causes.
Windows has accessibility features that change the behavior of your keyboard. They’re easy to turn on by mistake.
File systems are commonly formatted as FAT32, NFTS, or exFAT. Which is best for your thumb drive?
My Computer Does Nothing When Turned On; How Do I Fix It? Something to Look at, and Something to Listen To
A computer that does nothing when you turn it on can be very difficult to diagnose. Spinning disks and blinking lights don’t mean as much as you might think.
Occasionally, attaching a drive to a computer will appear to work, except the drive’s nowhere to be found. I’ll walk through one common solution.
What is Defragging and Do I Need It In Windows 10? What It Is, Why It Is, and What, if Anything, You Need Do
Defragging rearranges the layout of files on your hard disk for faster access. Chances are you need do nothing at all.
While I don’t recommend third-party driver update tools, the tools provided by your computer’s manufacturer are a different story.
It does sound strange that a wireless connection could be faster than ethernet. We’ll start by looking at the obvious: the cable connection itself.
“This device is working properly” is a often a lie. I’ll review what it really means, and where you need to look instead since it’s not telling you what you really want to know.
This is a question I generally avoid answering, but I will anyway. The problem is I can’t really tell you what to purchase, since your needs are undoubtedly different than mine.
Laptop settings control power use when running on battery. Your choices affect performance and how quickly you’ll need to plug in again.
Device-driver updates can come from several places. I’ll review the best sources for driver updates and where else you might need to look.
When I’m given an old computer, there are a few things I do for the safety of the original owners, myself, and the planet.
Can I Move My Old Computer’s Hard Drive to My New Computer to Transfer Data? My Recommended Approach
You can take the internal hard disk of an old computer and install it as an additional drive in a new one; or, consider a more flexible alternative.
Chromebooks can be a viable alternative for those who do most of their computing online and are looking for a simpler, perhaps more stable, yet powerful device.
A BIOS password provides a surprising amount of security on a computer — so much that if the password is lost, chances for recovery are slim.
“No sound” can happen for a variety of reasons. Here’s how to troubleshoot if your computer is inexplicably silent.
In general, faster is better, but make sure you’re testing properly so that you get an accurate report.
The steps you should take right after unboxing your new computer to save time, frustration, effort, and data loss later.
My new machine was ready! I’ll show you where it came from, and the laundry list of things I did first.
Recovery from an unbootable machine isn’t as daunting as it sounds… with a little preparation.
Looking carefully at how I use my computer, and with help from my chosen manufacturer, I’ve configured my new desktop machine.
A year ago, I replaced two laptops and a desktop with a single laptop. It’s time to evaluate the results.
Folks often ask what might be broken if their computer does nothing, but provide few clues. It’s a long list, and I’ll look at some possibilities.
Using an on-screen keyboard instead of a real keyboard might stop some keyloggers, but there’s no guarantee that other techniques aren’t also being used.
There are several options to extend the life of an older machine, depending on its capabilities.
My wife’s computer was struggling and it was time to replace it. After evaluating her usage, her willingness to make a change or two, and my own experience, I made a decision that might surprise some.
Here are five common options to speed up and extend the life of an older computer.
Diagnosing an unexpected drop in Wi-Fi signal strength can be challenging. I’ll review some things to consider, as well as some steps to take to perhaps sidestep the problem.
Terms used to measure disk space can be ambiguous. As a result, a megabyte to you might not be the same as a megabyte to your computer.
It is possible to recover deleted data from an old external hard drive, but success depends on how that drive has been used since the data was deleted.
NAS, for Network Attached Storage, is a device that provides shared disk space on your network. You may already have one.
Partitioning, or splitting a single physical hard drive into multiple drives, has pros and cons. I’ll look at those and make a recommendation.
Deleting a partition is a destructive operation, but that doesn’t mean you need to lose the data it contains.
Leaving a flash drive or USB thumb drive plugged in all the time runs a small risk of prematurely wearing it out. We’ll look at why, and what to do.
Hubs, switches, and routers are all computer networking devices with varying capabilities. Unfortunately, the terms are often misused.
UEFI has made booting from CDs, DVDs, and USB drives more complex. I’ll review why, and what steps to take.
While the ratio of PCs to mobile devices may change over time, I believe PCs will not be going away any time soon. They’re just too darned useful.
There are signs we can use to determine if a hard drive is about to fail, but it’s also common for a drive to fail without any indication at all.
It can be difficult to get wireless network coverage throughout your home. I’ll look at a couple of ways to extend your wireless network.
It’s easy to feel cursed if computer after computer you deal with has problems. It’s often not you at all.
My best practices for external hard drives concern software, hardware, and — you guessed it — backing up.
Many websites don’t expect you to print their contents. As a result, many don’t print well. I’ll review why that is, and the things to try.
There are several approaches to password-protecting a flash drive, one of which might be designed for exactly the task at hand.
Windows is changing the default setting for “Quick Removal” for external drives. I’ll look at why, and what it means.
External drives can indeed be used as part of your own home-brew NAS. It’s probably easier than you think.
Malware can do anything, but malicious hardware can do even more.
Extracting data from a hard drive in a dead computer isn’t typically difficult, unless it’s the drive itself that caused the problem.