How to Replace Hard Drive on Dell Inspiron One 2330

Here is another All In One Hard Drive replacement guide. Like in other guides it is very simple to change or upgrade your hard drive on an All In One.

Today I will show you how to disassemble your Dell Inspiron One 2330 so that you can change or upgrade your hard drive. Also in the guide I will show you how to get to other parts excluding Motherboard and screen.

This customer delivered All In One without Prop Stand.

  • To remove stand, lay face down on a soft surface then unclip and remove cover over stand mount. With cover off remove 4 screws holding stand in place then remove. You should have this when done.20160411_111805
  • Next remove 4 screws at the bottom of display 20160411_111758
  • Next we can remove back cover. To remove use small pry tool to lift bottom section then slowly work your way to the top on both sides20160411_11182320160411_111931
  • From here you can see different components. The Hard Drive is in the middle, but is protected by a shield. To remove there are 9 screws to remove. After removing all screws lift shield out and away from base.20160411_11201320160411_11201720160411_11203220160411_112342
  • Next remove wires along hard drive caddy. Then remove one screw holding hard drive in place, remove and slide hard drive from base the remove connector.20160411_11240520160411_11235020160411_113147
  • With caddy out remove 4 screws holding hard drive in place then remove20160411_113154

I hope these steps where helpful with your hard drive change or upgrade. These All In One Desktops look scary but isn’t anything more than screws and clips holding everything together like any other computer. Just take your time with your repair and it will go well. Good Luck!

  • RAM – To remove RAM you will have to remove small netted cover to right side after back cover is removed20160411_11364020160411_113645
  • CD ROM Drive – Located on the left side, can be removed by removing 2 screws holding drive in place. Slowly slide out and remove connector before completely removing drive. 20160411_11370920160411_113712

How to replace Hard Drive for Dell XPS L502X

Today in the shop I replaced a failing Hard Drive for a Dell XPS L502X. This guide wil help you disassemble your laptop so that you can access Hard Drive, also Keyboard and CMOS Battery if needed. Hope this helps you.

Normally laptop Hard Drives are located under a panel at the bottom of the laptop or even sometimes in a slide out sleeve on the side. Not the case with the Dell XPS L502X! Though it may require you to disassemble a small section of your laptop its something you can accomplish on your own with just a small screwdriver and a plastic pry tool. With that said lets start. This guide also will show you how to disassemble Dell XPS L502X Palm Rest, and CMOS Battery.

Disassemble Palm Rest

First, make sure you have laptop disconnected from power and remove battery. To remove battery you will have to slide TAB til battery pops out of place. From there you can lift battery out.


Once you have the battery removed you will see one single screw under battery. There will also be 4 screws lining back panel, we will want to leave those alone. Remove screws will also want to push both clips back so that it loosens Palm Rest, (Not needed but will make removing Palm Rest a little easier)

20160328_115739With screw removed turn laptop over and open lid. Next we will remove Palm Rest. To do so, using your thin pry tool, lift a small section of palm rest til outer edge lifts then with pry tool continue along the outer edge to remove.



Once you go around edges the Palm Rest will release. Remove slowly because there are 2 ribbons you must remove before completely removing Palm Rest.


Now You have Palm Rest removed you will notice a few other repairs you can handle. Things like:

  • Power Button – To remove release ribbon then remove 2 screws holding it in place20160328_115057
  • Touch Pad – This maybe a little tricky to remove. If replacing Palm Rest most will come with Touch Pad but if you need to replace just this part remove screws holding brace in place. Next remove all ribbons connected to board. You will need a Heat Gun to apply small amount of heat to soften adhesive holding pad to Palm Rest. Take your time, its stuck on there good. 20160328_115102
  • Hard Drive – To remove Hard Drive remove 4 screws holding caddy in place the slide Hard Drive out from connector. Do not lift Hard Drive til you have it off connector.20160328_111704
  • CMOS Battery – Simple to remove by gently prying out of place 20160328_115007
  • Keyboard – To remove Keyboard loosen both clips above Keyboard, lifting small amounts after each clip is loosened the slowly raise keyboard and remove 2 ribbon connectors.20160328_11493420160328_11492920160328_114846

I hope guide was helpful with your repair. Below are a couple of links for more repair How to’s for your Dell XPS L502X.


Check for further helpful tips and other computer related topics.


4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C

Tamarac, FL., 33319

Contact: (954) 228-7481



Fix Blue Screen of Death in Windows 7

Are you tired Blue Screen of Death Errors and trying to solve your problem? Make sure you go through following steps and lets hope that you might find your solution here

When your PC crashes or a reboot occurs, you will usually experience a screen that looks like this:


Here are some example blue screen stop codes you might encounter during a crash:

Windows Stop Error Codes


Fortunately, there are various methods to solve blue screen errors in Windows 7. You should be able to log in to your system (after a system crash due to a BSOD) to solve potential errors following the methods I outline below.
A majority of the blue screen errors you encounter are due to one of three things:

1. Device drivers
2. RAM errors

That’s it. There are less common causes such as a failing PSU (power supply), but for most users it’s going to be one of the top three culprits listed above.

Before You Continue – Read This!

Before you continue on, it’s important that you scan your PC and make sure all your hardware device drivers are updated. This will solve most blue screen issues!

For example you can use DriverFinder and use it on a monthly basis to keep my devices up-to-date.

After you make sure your drivers are updated, you can use the methods that are outlined below if you are still experiencing stop errors.

Steps To Fix Blue Screen Errors (Windows 7)

Note: You may be prompted to enter your administrator’s password when you try to execute certain system tasks!

Method 1: Using System Restore

1. Click on the Start button on the Taskbar.
2. Type “System Restore” (without quotes) in the Search box and hit Enter or,
3. Click on System Restore (when you see System Restore pop up in the list of search results).
4. Make sure the “Recommended restore” radio button is checked on the restore utility window.
5. Click on Next and follow the instructions given.

Note: There is the option on the restore utility to select “Choose a different restore point”. Unless you have a specific reason to select a different date and time than what Windows recommends, just select the recommended option stated in the steps above. If you choose to select another one, follow these steps:

1. Click on that desired date and time, and Windows 7 will perform a scan for any affected programs in that restore point.
2. Once completed, click Next and follow the instructions given.

Once you have selected the restore point, your system will start the restoring process, after which you will have to restart the system.

Method 2: Check memory problems

Memory management issues can also cause a BSOD in Windows 7. Thankfully, Windows 7 has a Memory Management Diagnostic tool that detects and solves problems related to system memory.

1. Click on the Start button on the Taskbar.
2. Type “Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool” or “Memory” (without quotes) in theSearch box or,
3. Click on Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool (in the search results).
4. Click on “Restart now and check for problems (Recommended)”.
5. The system will restart, and you need to follow the instructions given on the screen.

Method 3: Remove unsupported devices

Unsupported hardware may also result in a BSOD error. The easiest solution to this problem is to uninstall such hardware. You can detect the hardware that’s creating the problem through the Device Manager in Windows.

1. Click on the Start button on the Taskbar.
2. Type “Device Manager” in the Search box.
3. Click on Device Manager (in the list of results).
4. Expand all categories in the hardware tree – (click the little arrow icons).
5. Look for devices that have a red cross (x) against their name. These devices are not supported by Windows 7 and may be one of the reasons for BSOD errors.
6. Right click on these devices, and select Uninstall.

A corrupt registry can also lead to BSOD (blue screen of death) errors in Windows 7. Suggestion is that you download a good registry cleaner and scan your system for registry errors. There are both free and paid versions available and they both have pros and cons. Most of the registry cleaners available are easy to install and operate.

The cleaning process is automated, and the programs also backup the registry before cleanup, which acts as a safeguard. You can restore the registry to its previous state if you encounter system errors after the cleaning process.

There’s really no need to panic when you see a BSOD error on your screen. Just stay calm and follow the checklist above to fix the error.


Upgrading a Laptop

Personal computers have lingered understood to be upgrade-able in relations to memory and even hard drive space, however little is found out about improving laptops.


The primary thing to think about is actually the laptop on its own. This needs to have expansion slots for adding sticks of RAM if you desire to upgrade moment. This may additionally be performed by substituting the existing stick of RAM but this technique is not cost efficient.


To improve a laptop all-time low cover should be eliminated. When performing this any sort of manufacturer’s warranty the laptop will be voided if you decide to improve your laptop.

Improving RAM on a laptop is actually no different to improving RAM on a desktop. If your notebook has added RAM ports you just must buy some longer RAM and even install that in the unfilled ports. If your laptop does not possess expansion ports you will certainly have to replace the existing stick of RAM. If you had a 256mb stick of RAM, you would replace that with a 1GB or 512mb stick.


Switching out the hard disk is a lot easier but complexed at the exact same time. Switching out the true drive is actually rather straightforward. You merely separate the existing drive and change with the brand new one. The complex part is reinstalling all your drivers. Without your drivers the components in your laptop are going to certainly not function accurately. This is essential to create certain you possess all the original driver CD’s that featured the laptop.

hdd internaljpg


Updating a notebook, although not as easy as desktop computer, could still be done.

If you are looking for help with upgrading give me a call today. i am available all week and Saturday. Its time to improve your investment, why not start here.


4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C

Tamarac, FL., 33319

Contact: (954) 228-7481

Finding the right computer


Finding out what you need

Everyone is different when it comes to hardware and software needs. For instance, if you are someone that loves music and you will be syncing music and other media to your iPod, smartphone and tablet, then you will most likely need a large hard drive. If you play games, you’ll need a fast CPU and a quality video card. If you are using it for work, then you’ll need to be sure that you have Microsoft office installed and any other software you need. Document the most important functions that you will be using the laptop for. This is the initial step in your search.

Laptop brands are not among the most important thing

Time and time again, I am asked “What kind of computer should I get?”, usually meaning the brand (Dell, HP, etc). I always answer by saying that the brand is not all that important. It is what’s inside. You need to check out specs, not brand labels. You can get a great laptop by any brand. Dell, Acer, HP and Sony seem to be the most popular. Obviously, a Mac is a different animal all together. This article is on PCs only.

Ok, so what is essential?

As I said, everyone is different in terms of needs, but here are the specs you should be looking for and what is considered “good”.


types-of-computer-memory                                                                  Desktop RAM (left) Laptop (right)

In 2013, the average amount of memory is around 4GB on a standard mid-class laptop. Unless you are gaming or you are running 3d applications, 4GB will probably fit your needs. For someone like me that does run games and software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, might benefit from a little more. I have 16GB of RAM on my everyday desktop and 8GB on my laptop. That may be considered a lot but I run multiple graphic intensive programs at a time. I have even seen gaming desktops with as much as 128GB of memory and as much as 64GB on a laptop, which is definitely excessive in my opinion. Before purchasing parts for your computer always remember to check the specs or your computer with manufacture site to check for compatible parts. Example is knowing if you need ddr, ddr2, ddr3, or ddr4, laptop (short) or desktop ( long).

recommended places to purchase memory: Amazon, TigerDirect, or Ebay




Your processor is probably among the most important. It is the main workhorse of any computer system. This is one area where I do prefer a brand. There are 2 major brands in the world of processors and that is Intel and AMD. At this moment in time, I would suggest an Intel based processor for most people. The only reason to choose AMD is price. They are generally cheaper than Intel units.
The top CPU at the moment would be the Intel i7 chip. They are usually around $300-$400 (yes the chip only, not the computer). If you are looking for power, the i7 is the way to go. You can get an i7 based computer for $750 to around $1100. Just know that if you get a laptop with an i7 chip for $750 or less, it is probably lacking in another area like drive space.

The next one down would be the i5 processor. You could get a laptop with an i5 processor for $500 to $700. The lower end of the series is the i3 CPU which would be in low to mid range laptops. If you are just using the laptop to surf the Internet, social media, etc then the i3 would be just fine.

Hard Drive


There are 2 kinds of hard drives to select from. We have standard internal computer hard drives and we also have SSD’s (Solid State Drive). SSD’s are much faster and reliable but have very low storage for high prices. These are meant for the operating system only. They are not meant to store music, movies or other forms of data (not yet anyway) because there just is not enough room.

seagate_laptop_sshd Laptop Hard Drive (above)

The optimal setup is to have an SSD for system files and operating system and then a standard internal drive for your data. You can get a 128GB SSD for around $130. You can get a standard drive with 1TB (1000GB) of data for less. With that said, if you are looking for a good deal but also enough room to store your music, pictures and videos, you want a laptop with at least 500GB of space. A 1TB drive would be sufficient for most people. It would store thousands and thousands of songs and images.

hdd internaljpg


If you wish to run modern high graphic performance games, then you should be considering the graphics card. The Dell XPS series and Alienware systems are great for gaming laptops. Some great laptop graphic cards today are the Nvidia GT series and AMD radeon series.



For someone that is very tech savvy, the software is not a big deal because they can just get the software they want and install it themselves. For some people, it is a good idea to look at what comes with the laptop they are buying. Most laptops in May of 2013 have either Windows 7 or Windows 8 installed. I would definitely suggest Windows 7 at this point. The tabbed interface of Windows 8 can be somewhat confusing for some people. There are also less bugs with 7.

The majority of people if not everyone uses Microsoft Office, so that should be something to look for. You also might want to look at what kind of virus protection comes installed and how long the subscription is. I prefer Norton when it comes to premium anti-virus but I actually prefer AVG over most of them, which is free. If you are into design, look out for Adobe products such as Photoshop.

Best Resources for Laptops

There are many great places to buy laptops at great prices. It is possible to find a good deal at Best Buy for a laptop with the specs above but I would suggest an online retailer, especially if you want a great price. My top choices are, and You can also get great deals on Ebay but just be careful if you are buying used laptops.


Hopefully, you have gained some knowledge from this article when it comes to what you need in a laptop. The main things to look for is memory, storage and processing power. Good luck in your search!

Just know that if you get a laptop with an i7 chip for $750 or less, it is probably lacking in another area such as drive space.

With that said, if you are looking for a good deal but also enough room to store your music, pictures and videos, you want a laptop with at least 500GB of space. For some people, it is a good idea to look at what comes with the laptop they are buying. You can also get great deals on Ebay but just be careful if you are buying used laptops.

Hopefully, you have gained some knowledge from this article when it comes to what you need in a laptop.


HDMI vs DisplayPort vs DVI vs VGA – every connection explained


Most monitors will have a range of different inputs available, and your PC or laptop will also use different outputs, so it can be difficult to decide which is the best one for you to use. Under most general circumstances, you might be able to get away with using whichever cable you have lying around, but if you have more specific needs, such as carrying audio or using high resolutions or refresh rates, you’ll need to be more discerning in your choice of cable. We outline the different cables below and give you a few different usage scenarios to help you decide.


HDMI, or ‘High-Definition Multimedia Interface’ to use its full name, is one of the most common connections. You’ve probably come across it on your television, set-top boxes, tablets, laptops and games consoles.

HDMI is unique among the many connection options in that it’s able to carry both uncompressed video and uncompressed audio. This is why it’s become the connection of choice for most multimedia devices as it’s a one cable solution (like SCART but so much less annoying). Other benefits of HDMI include functions such as HDMI-CEC (HDMI Consumer Electronics Control), which allows you to control numerous devices with one remote. For example, connect a soundbar to your television through a HDMI-CEC compatible port and the soundbar can turn on and off with your television and be controlled by a single remote.



HDMI has seen numerous revisions since its inception in 2002. Its most common version, used in most consumer devices at present, is 1.4 but there’s a newer, more exciting 2.0 specification now becoming more prominent. The main difference between the 1.4 and 2.0 specifications focus around bandwidth available. HDMI 1.4 has a bandwidth maximum of 10.2 Gbps/s whereas the HDMI 2.0 tops out at 18 Gbps/s.

The reason that bandwidth becomes important is due to the advent of 4K content. Due to the limited bandwidth of HDMI 1.4, only 24fps was possible at 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160). Now, thanks to the extra bandwidth available in the 2.0 specification, up to 60fps at 4K resolution is possible.

Colour depth is also another area where the new HDMI 2.0 specification gains some advantages. Where 1.4 was limited to 8-bit colour, HDMI 2.0 has 10-bit or 12-bit available. This is important for when High Dynamic Range (HDR) content becomes available.

HDR can be described as the ratio between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. Typically, with standard dynamic range, you’re losing detail at either end of the light spectrum. Expose a scene for the shadow detail and you end up with blown out highlights, or expose for the highlights and you lose shadow detail. HDR allows a greater range of detail across the full light spectrum.

You’ve probably already come across HDR through photography. Most smartphones now have an HDR mode where they essentially take numerous images at different exposures and combine them. As HDR has become part of the Ultra HD standard, you can expect more Ultra HD Blu-ray content to take advantage. The likes of Amazon and Netflix are going to be streaming HDR content as well.

More often than not, if you’re connecting something to a television, HDMI will be your best, and likely only, bet. Most PC monitors will also include an HDMI input. The good news, where it comes to 1.4 vs 2.0, is that you don’t need to rush out and buy new cables. To take advantage of the 2.0 specification you just need both devices on each end of the cable to be 2.0 compatible. Any HDMI cable will do, and we’ve already seen that there’s no difference in HDMI cable quality.


The one thing to look out for are the different HDMI connection sizes. Not only is there full-size HDMI (Type A), but you can come across Mini HDMI (Type B) and Micro HDMI (Type C), too. These are commonly found on portable devices such as tablets, camcorders and action cameras, where their physically smaller connections are required. You can either buy HDMI-Mini HDMI/HDMI-Micro HDMI cables or you can buy Mini/Micro HDMI adaptors so you can use your full-size HDMI cables.



Until HDMI 2.0 became a standard, DisplayPort had it beat when it came to high-resolutions. DisplayPort 1.2 has long been able to carry 3,840×2,160 resolution video at 60fps (or a refresh rate of 60Hz) and is the most common DisplayPort specification on most consumer monitors and devices now. This has 17.28 Gbit/s of bandwidth. A newer 1.3 specification is becoming more widely available, however, and this opens the floodgates to higher resolutions such as 7,680×4,320 (8K).


The main advantage of DisplayPort is the ability to output to multiple displays through Multi-Stream Transport (MST). You can do this by daisy-chaining compatible monitors over DisplayPort or by connecting a DisplayPort MST splitter to your single DisplayPort output on your PC or laptop. You have to work within the bandwidth limitations of whichever DisplayPort specification you’re using, such as two 1,920×1,080 monitors over 1.2 or two 3,840×2,160 displays over the DisplayPort 1.3 specification. As such, DisplayPort is often a great choice for those looking to use multiple monitors.

DisplayPort also has advantages where it comes to screen refresh rates through Adaptive Sync. This is what AMD has used for its Freesync implementation. Essentially this helps reduce screen tearing, which will be of particular interest to gamers. Like HDMI, some laptops and devices use Mini DisplayPort, so make sure you get the right cable.


DVI stands for ‘Digital Visual Interface’, and is another common connection found on PC monitors. Things can become a little confusing when you consider there are three different types of DVI. There’s DVI-A (analog signal), DVI-D (digital signal) and DVI-I (integrated analog and digital signal). Not only that, but DVI-D and DVI-I have single-link and dual-link versions. Nowadays, DVI-A is very uncommon, as it’s no better than VGA.


The differences between single-link and dual-link refer to how much bandwidth the cable can carry. A single-link DVI-D or DVI-I cable can carry 3.96 Gbit/s, which tops out at 1,920×1,200 resolution. Dual-link, on the other hand, physically has extra pins on the connectors, allowing a maximum bandwidth of 7.92 Gbit/s and 2,560×1,600 resolution.Although DVI is still a common connection, it’s becoming dated, so if you want to output a very high resolution you’ll need to use HDMI or DisplayPort instead.



VGA is the oldest of the four connections outlined in this article. It’s been around for decades, dating back to the days of thick, heavy CRT monitors of yesteryear. VGA stands for Video Graphics Array but can also be referred to as an ‘RGB connection’ or ‘D-sub’. While VGA can technically output to 1,920×1,080, the problem is that it’s an analog connection, so as you push the resolution higher you get image degradation as the signal is converted from analog to digital. Unless you absolutely have to, use one of the above connections instead of VGA.

Using a combination of HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA


Most motherboards and dedicated graphics cards will have multiple outputs. You can use a combination of these to output to multiple monitors. So if you have HDMI and DVI outputs, connect one monitor using HDMI and the other using DVI. As mentioned above, if you’re using DisplayPort and your graphics card or device supports Multi-Stream Transport, you can daisy-chain DisplayPort monitors, too.

Any questions regarding article give me a call. I am available M-F from 10:00am-6:00pm and Sat 11am-3pm. I also sell video cards with various connections to suit your needs.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                                      4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                          Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                                                                                        Contact: (954) 228-7481


Crucial MX200


THE GOOD The Crucial MX200 includes helpful enterprise-class features rarely available in consumer-grade SSDs. It should last a long time, and it delivers fast performance.

THE BAD The three-year warranty is short, and the drive is a bit more expensive than its competitors.

THE BOTTOM LINE For heavy storage users who also need a high level of data safety, the Crucial MX200 is an excellent buy. 

The Crucial MX200 is a mid-tier solid-state drive, rivaling the recently reviewed Samsung SSD 850 Evo as an excellent storage upgrade.

The new SSD has significantly higher durability, especially the 1TB capacity, and includes enterprise-grade data security features. In testing, it was also faster than the Samsung in certain categories.

I feel comfortable recommending the drive to anyone. The MX200 has enough power to make any hard drive-based computer perform much faster. And the ultra-high endurance means you can regularly use it for heavy tasks, such as HD video editing, without having to worry about quickly rendering it useless.

A consumer drive with enterprise features

The MX200 is a 2.5-inch standard internal drive, with a design similar to most other SSDs and laptop hard drives. It supports SATA 3 (6Gbps) and works with earlier revisions of the SATA standard.

On the inside, however, it’s the first such drive I’ve seen with a number of high-end features, normally found only in enterprise-class SSDs, that keep its stored data safe. These features include Exclusive Data Defense hardware encryption, and RAIN.

RAIN is a technology that allows a portion of the SSD’s flash memory to be dedicated as parity. This means when data is saved on the drive, it’s dispersed to multiple different storage components. As the result, if one storage component fails, you can still retrieve data from other components. And to reduce the chance of data corruption, each storage component has four layers of Exclusive Data Defense.

The MX200 supports AES 256-bit hardware encryption that is TCG Opal 2.0- and IEEE1667-compliant. This makes it fit in business environment where data security in case of theft or loss is important. On top of that the drive also features power-loss protection, adaptive thermal monitoring, TRIM, SMART and DevSleep, which enables it to use very little power.


250GB 500GB 1TB
Drive type 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick 2.5-inch, 7mm thick
Controller Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189 Marvell 88SS9189
Flash memory 16nm 128GB NAND with Dynamic Write Acceleration 16nm 128GB NAND 16nm 128GB NAND
Interface SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps) SATA III (6Gbps)
Max sequential read 555 MBps 555 MBps 555 MBps
Max sequential write 500 MBps 500 MBps 500 MBps
Max random read 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS 100,000 IOPS
Max random write 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS 87,000 IOPS
Endurance (TB written) 80 TB 160 TB 320TB
Endurance (GB written per day for 10 years) > 40 GB > 80 GB > 160 GB
Warranty 3-year 3-year 3-year


The Samsung SSD 850 Evo has impressive endurance, but the MX200 tops that by a large margin. Endurance, also known as program/erase (P/E) cycles, is the rating that quantifies the total amount of data that can be written to an SSD before the drive becomes unreliable. You can think of endurance as the drive’s durability.

Generally endurance increases with capacity: the MX200 is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities that have respective endurance ratings of 80TB, 160TB and 320TB. Particularly with the 1TB drive, you’d have to write 40GB of data to it per day, every day, continuously for 22 years before it became unreliable.

Note that an SSD’s endurance relates only to writing, as reading doesn’t affect its life span at all. Also, 40GB is quite a lot of data. On average, most days we don’t write even a fraction of that to our computer’s main drive, and many days we don’t write anything at all.

Nonetheless, the high endurance allows pro users to use the drive for heavy tasks that involve lots of data writing, such as video editing or data swapping. If you get the 1TB capacity, it’s safe to say that you can use it without having to worry about abusing its P/E cycles.


Are you looking into getting a SSD drive for your computer but worried that you would lose all you data or programs? Don’t worry, I can help you switch drives smoothly without sacrificing your information. I am available all week until 6pm and have drives available for your choosing. Stop by today so that we can get you that extra performance your looking for.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                                       4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                           Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                                                                                          Contact: (954) 228-7481

Mac troubleshooting: dealing with hard drive woes

Your Mac has begun showing signs of trouble. Perhaps you frequently get errors when trying to open or save files. You suspect a problem with the hard drive. Before panic sets in, you want to launch Apple’s Disk Utility and select Repair Disk from the First Aid tab. Hopefully, that will remedy the situation. One problem though: Repair Disk is dimmed and you can’t select it. Why? Because OS X cannot attempt repairs on an active startup drive. You can still use Repair Permissions, which may help in certain situations. But let’s assume it doesn’t.

So what do you do instead? That depends on what Macs you own, how you have set them up, and what other precautions you may have taken prior to the start of the trouble.

First things first, if you don’t have a recent backup, make one now. But be careful. At this point, you don’t want to overwrite an existing backup—lest you replace valid data with corrupted data. Instead, back up to a separate drive. When you’re done backing up, here are the things to try. You can try each method until you find one that works:

Boot from the startup drive’s Recovery HD partition

The startup drives of Macs formatted with OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion) typically have a hidden partition designed just for moments like this. This 650MB partition is called Recovery HD. Boot your Mac from Recovery HD by holding down Command-R at startup (or by choosing it from within Startup Manager, which you access by holding down Option at startup).

If you are able to boot from Recovery HD, Disk Utility will be one of its four main options. Open Disk Utility and locate the name of your startup drive. You should now be able to select Repair Disk for that drive. From Recovery HD, you can also browse the Web for troubleshooting info using Safari as well as erase your startup drive and restore its contents from a Time Machine backup.

If you are unable to boot Recovery HD via either of these methods, it means there is no Recovery HD partition on your drive or your drive is too damaged to allow successful booting from the partition. In either case, it’s time to move on to the next repair attempts.

Boot from your emergency drive

If you previously created an emergency drive (see “Mac troubleshooting: Be prepared for hard-drive failure”), now is the time to use it. Restart while holding down the Option key. From the screen that appears, select the emergency drive. Once booted, things should work nearly identically to starting up from the Recovery HD partition. LaunchDisk Utility, choose your startup drive in the list, and select Repair Disk.

Run from a cloned startup drive

If you created a clone of your startup drive, you can boot from the clone and run Disk Utility from there. To do so, restart while holding down the Option key. From the screen that appears, select the cloned drive. When startup is complete, you’ll find Disk Utility in the /Applications/Utilities folder, just as it is on your original drive.

You may be wondering: “Does my clone drive include a Recovery HD partition? Could I start up from that partition instead?” Maybe. If you used Shirt Pocket’s $28 SuperDuper to make a clone, the clone will likely not have the Recovery HD partition. If you used Bombich Software’s $40 Carbon Copy Cloner, it should. However, if you are using a cloned drive, I wouldn’t bother with its Recovery HD partition in any case. Instead, boot from the drive directly, as I just described.

Try Safe Boot

Restart your Mac while holding down the Shift key to perform a Safe Boot.

To perform a Safe Boot, restart your Mac while holding down the Shift key.According to Apple, a Safe Boot “forces a directory check of the startup volume.” This is essentially the same thing as running First Aid’s Repair Disk. A downside of this method is that you get no feedback as to whether or not the repair succeeded. Still, if your problems vanish after doing a Safe Boot (and restarting again normally), you can assume that success was likely.

Access your Mac via Target Disk Mode

If you have two or more Macs, you may be able to connect one Mac to the other using Target Disk Mode. To do this, you’ll need a cable that can connect the two Macs. For Macs with FireWire ports, that means an appropriate FireWire cable. For Macs with Thunderbolt ports, you’ll want a Thunderbolt cable. If one Mac has FireWire and the other has Thunderbolt, you’ll need a Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter.

Once connected, boot from the second (properly working) Mac and put the problem Mac in Target mode (by holding down the T key at startup). The Target Mac should now appear as an external drive to the startup Mac. You can now attempt to repair it via Disk Utility.

Boot from Internet Recovery Mode

Internet Recovery mode uses a combination of code stored in your Mac’s firmware and a net-boot image stored on Apple’s servers to boot your Mac.

To enter Internet Recovery mode, hold down the Command-Option-R keys at startup. Run Disk Utilityfrom there.

I would use this method only if you can’t boot from the standard Recovery HD partition. This is because Internet Recovery mode requires that you download the needed software before it kicks into action. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, this can take anywhere from about 5 minutes to more than 30 minutes. Also, note that Internet Recovery will not work with older Mac models.

Start up in Single User mode

You can do a disk repair attempt by starting up in Single User mode (holding down Command-S at startup) and running Unix’s fsck command. This method should almost never be necessary. However, if you find yourself with no other option, an Apple support article details exactly what to do.

You’ve run Repair Disk. Now what?

You’ve finally found at least one way to attempt a disk repair with Disk Utility’s First Aid or its equivalent. Congratulations. Now what? That depends on the outcome of your attempt:

Your disk is OK: If First Aid reports “the volume appears to be OK,” it’s time to look elsewhere for the cause of your problem. Ultimately, in a worst-case scenario, a fix could require reformatting your drive, reinstalling a fresh copy of OS X, and restoring your data from a backup. For details on how to do this, see “Should you do a ‘clean install’ of Lion?” The advice still applies for Mountain Lion.

Your disk has a problem but First Aid repairs it: If First Aid reports a problem and is able to repair it, that’s the likely end of the story. Conventional wisdom says to select Repair Disk a second time before quitting Disk Utility, just to be certain that no further repairs are needed. After that, reboot from the repaired drive and hope that all is fine now.

Your disk has a problem that First Aid cannot repair: If First Aid finds a problem but cannot repair it, you can try a third-party repair utility, such as Alsoft’s $100 DiskWarrior, which is even compatible with Apple’s new Fusion drive. Otherwise, reformatting the drive may help. It’s worth a try. (Even if this works, be aware that your drive is likely living on borrowed time. If you can’t copy your files off the drive, it may be time to look into recovery options.)

Software utilities and reformatting cannot fix a physical problem with the drive. If your drive is making unusual clicking noises, it’s almost certain you have a hardware problem. Assuming you’ve backed up your data, and given how inexpensive drives are these days, I would replace a drive before wasting too much time trying to resurrect it. If you can’t replace the drive yourself (which is likely with recent Mac models, almost all of which Apple has made difficult to pry open), it’s time for a trip to an Apple Store or Apple-authorized service provider.


Windows 10 update history

We’re committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10. In response to this feedback, we’re providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You’ll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released.

We’re currently delivering updates to two distinct Windows 10 branches. The July initial launch branch (build 10240), and the November update branch (build 10586). We introduced new operating system features in November after having previewed, or “flighted”, them with our Windows Insiders between July and November. Most customers have already been moved automatically from the July branch to the November branch. Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, and Education edition customers can defer the update to the November branch and stay on the July feature set longer — as long as 10 years for some Enterprise customers. For more info, see Windows 10 servicing options.

Windows 10 updates are cumulative of all previous updates. Installing the latest one makes your device current. Windows Store apps are updated through the Windows Store. Details about app updates are provided on a per app basis.

The following sections list some key improvements included in each update.

Updates for Windows 10 Version 1511

February 9, 2016 — KB3135173 (brings system to 10586.104)

This update includes quality improvements and security fixes. No new operating system features are being introduced this month. Key changes in this update include:

  • Fixed issues with authentication, update installation, and operating system installation.

  • Fixed issue with Microsoft Edge browser caching visited URLs while using InPrivate browsing.

  • Fixed issue that didn’t allow simultaneous install of apps from the Windows Store and updates from Windows Update.

  • Fixed issue that delayed the availability of songs added to the Groove Music app in Windows 10 Mobile.

  • Improved security in the Windows kernel.

  • Fixed security issues that could allow remote code execution when malware is run on a target system.

  • Fixed security issues in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 that could allow code from a malicious website to be installed and run on a device.

  • Fixed additional issues with the Windows UX, Windows 10 Mobile, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and taskbar.

  • Fixed additional security issues with .NET Framework, Windows Journal, Active Directory Federation Services, NPS Radius Server, kernel-mode drivers, and WebDAV.

For more info about the security fixes in this update and a complete list of affected files, see KB3135173.

Updates for Windows 10 (initial version released July 2015)

February 9, 2016 — KB3135174 (brings system to 10240.16683)

This update includes quality improvements and security fixes. No new operating system features are being introduced this month. Key changes in this update include:

  • Improved installation time of updates.

  • Fixed issue with Microsoft Edge browser caching visited URLs while using InPrivate browsing.

  • Improved Silverlight performance.

  • Fixed issue that didn’t allow a Windows 10 PC to remotely configure a server.

  • Fixed issue with pictures and tables not displaying in Windows Journal.

  • Fixed security issues that could allow remote code execution when malware is run on a target system.

  • Fixed security issues in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 that could allow code from a malicious website to be installed and run on a device.

  • Fixed additional issues with Input Method Editors (IMEs), Direct Access, assigned access, peripheral device detection, barcode scanning, Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and scripting.

  • Fixed additional security issues with .NET Framework, PDF library, Windows Journal, kernel-mode drivers, Remote Desktop, and WebDAV.

For more info about the security fixes in this update and a complete list of affected files, see KB3135174.

If you find yourself having trouble with Windows 10 updates give me a call today. Windows 10 is still fairly new and may are having different types of issues since its release. I am available all week for your assistance, no appointment needed.

CompGuyUSA                                                                                                         4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C                                                                         Tamarac, FL., 33319                                                                                                                                              Contact: (954) 228-7481






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4620 W. Commercial BLVD. #7C

Tamarac, FL., 33319

Contact: (954) 228-7481