Articles in Category: Hardware
Computers, computer systems and the physical components and accessories that make them what they are.
The most important information you need when selecting a new computer is understanding exactly what you plan to do with it. I’ll review my needs.
It’s time for me to buy a new computer, and I’m taking you along for the ride.
Your system BIOS is software, but updating it regularly may not be appropriate. Updating it to fix a bug, of course, would be.
When attempting to back up a new Windows 10 laptop, I inserted one of my external USB drives and … nothing. Here’s what I did.
External hard drives are handy and portable, but occasionally, it might be nice to move all that storage into your PC. You probably can.
There’s nothing wrong with covering your camera, but it’s probably not worth the effort.
If you don’t have a CD or DVD drive, you may be able to turn that ISO image into a bootable USB thumb drive.
CRC errors happen when there’s a bad spot on the media of your hard disk. Data recovery and disk repair are often possible with the right tools — but you won’t need them if you have a backup.
Depending on your usage, turning your computer off at night might be appropriate. But is it actually saving energy? In the long run, it’s hard to say.
The VPNFilter malware that impacts routers is complex and difficult to know what to do about.
We’re all told to shut down Windows before turning power off, but what if the power just goes out? If you’re not protected, bad things can happen.
Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Dust and dirt often block fans.
Partitions may be hidden for good reasons. Here’s how to peek inside.
“Device cannot be stopped” can be a frustrating error if there’s no obvious cause. Turning off device power or unplugging anyway isn’t really safe.
Newer machines often come with multiple partitions. While it’s tempting to remove them, there’s little to be gained.
If your mouse and keyboard stop working, you may be able to repair the situation — if you can overcome one huge obstacle.
Every so often, the Windows Print Queue gets “stuck”. Everything looks like it should print, but it won’t. We’ll clear that up.
“Hard Disk Failure Is Imminent” is a message you want to take very seriously — so seriously that hopefully, you’ll have planned for it beforehand.
It’s not difficult to shut down a machine if you can’t see its screen — as long as you plan ahead.
All technology changes, and yes, USB ports will someday disappear. “How quickly?” is the real question. I’m not terribly concerned.
Windows 10 makes it easy to make things bigger on the screen.
It’s always a good idea to look for the “best”. The problem is that when it comes to hard disks, “best” is a moving target.
If your machine won’t boot for some reason, there are a couple of approaches to try to get the data off its hard drive.
An “invalid system disk” error has several possible causes. Two of them will make you hope you backed up recently.
Four basic approaches to storing a laptop that isn’t being used.
There’s deleted, and there’s deleted. Secure delete is one approach to making sure your files can’t be recovered.
I tested a Google Chromebook. On a business trip, can I do every task I need to do, where I need to do it, without major inconvenience?
It’s not the printer. Software on your computer controls print size, so you need to investigate the settings on your computer or in the application that you use to print.
We’ve all been told that defragmenting a hard disk is a good thing for performance – but the same is most definitely not true for solid state drives.
Windows 10 made adjusting the size of items on your display much easier.
CHKDSK and Defrag are different tools for different purposes, and have different side effects. One is OK on any drive; the other should be avoided on SSDs.
It’s not difficult to gain access to a used computer without knowing the password. You just don’t want to.
File corruption happens most commonly when there’s a hardware issue or bad sector on your hard drive. I’ll look at implications and preventative steps.
Normally, a defrag operation will not cause data loss. Unfortunately, if there’s a pre-existing problem, a defrag could bring data loss to the surface.
MAC address filtering is a technique that theoretically prevents unauthorized computers from accessing your network. I’ll explain why the theory fails.
ISO files are often used to distribute images of CD and DVD data discs. I’ll walk through how to burn ISO files to optical media using ImgBurn.
SATA and PATA are two different and incompatible disk drive interfaces. PATA’s the old guard, but SATA’s taking over. I’ll look at the differences.
Adjusting the brightness of a monitor or display can often be done right on the display itself. Sometimes it’s also possible to adjust the brightness in software.
Multiple partitions can be useful at times. I’ll show you how to create a new partition by “splitting” an existing C: partition.
Processors are generally available with what are called “multiple cores”. We’ll look at what that means, and how you might select which is right for you.
Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 processors present a headache-inducing combination of characteristics. I’ll look at what matters and then dig a little deeper.
Why do some chargers work faster or slower than others? We’ll take a look at some basic electrical concepts to understand what to look for in a charger.
I had an impending NAS drive failure. I’ll share how I got there, the mistakes I made, the things I did right, and the lessons I learned.
Multi-core processors add an additional layer of complexity to software design. Occasionally that can manifest as only 25% of the CPU being used.
A new computer is a major purchase, and knowing what to get isn’t easy. I continue my review of some of the important qualities to think about when purchasing.
After deciding on what kind of computer they want, many people ask for recommendations for specific computer brands. That, too, is a tough question to answer.
A new computer is a major purchase and knowing what kind to get isn’t easy. I’ll review some of the important things to think about when deciding, starting with the type of device you’ll want.
Process Monitor is a powerful tool and it can be used to track down exactly what program on your machine is responsible for internet activity.
When you defrag files the pieces of the file are physically arranged for quicker access. But you can’t defrag some files. At least, not easily.
A computer memory upgrade can be an easy and inexpensive way to improve system performance, but how do you know if an upgrade is called for?