Format External Hard Drive Mac – Instructions

I had a recent customer that was running out of hard drive space on their Macintosh computer. They wanted to hook up an external hard drive, so that they could transfer files and free up disk space. Here is their initial request:

Running out of memory on my Macbook Pro because I am importing a large number of videos. How to use my external hard drive for storage. I have tried deleting current large storage items.

I have an external drive and want to use this to store movies and photos.

I think what they meant to say was that they were running out of disk space. As a computer technician you learn also to interpret statements that may not be one hundred percent accurate. Anyways, here is my response to their request.

You will need to format your external hard drive so that your MAC can access it first, if you have not done so already. I did NOT need to remotely connect into their Macintosh computer and format the drive myself. This customer was able to figure it out on their own.

Perhaps, they just did NOT realize that it needed to get formatted first. When formatting an external hard drive you are just basically preparing it for use on that specific operating system. A computer operating system will NOT be able to read and write from a hard drive, until it is formatted.

This customer had purchased a Lacie external hard drive. Here are some quick instructions for formatting an external hard drive in Macintosh operating system. First you want to hook up your external hard drive and make sure it is mounted.

You can hook up your external hard drive and then boot into Macintosh operating system. You want to use the "Finder". Select "Go" and then "Utilities". Choose "Disk Utility".

In Disk Utility, select the hard drive you want to format. Make certain that you select the correct external hard drive. You do NOT want to accidentally format your hard drive that has Macintosh operating system installed on.

Click on the "Erase" tab from the top menu. Under the "Volume Format" drop down menu, you want to choose "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)". Type in a name for your external hard drive.

Finally, click on the "Erase..." button down below. Congratulations, you have successfully formatted your external hard drive. Now you should be able to read and write data from/to this external hard drive.

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Epson WF 3720 – Printer Driver Installation For Linux Mint

Another computer support request in the world order. This time a customer needed some help with Linux. I do NOT often receive that many support requests for Linux.

Here is their request:

Hi and I can't seem to get the drivers downloaded for the WF-3720 Epson to Linux.

There can be a steep learning curve with Linux. However, I have used Linux for around fifteen years now. Actually, I am almost more comfortable using Linux compared to Apple Macintosh or Microsoft Windows operating systems. I was able to find a suitable Epson WF 3720 printer driver for Linux Mint version 18.1.

Linux can be a pain in the ass to find hardware drivers for. Here is my response to this Linux support request. You can try to download this Epson WF 3720 generic printer driver. You will need click on "I agree" to view a list of drivers.

NOTE: This direct link was removed NOT too long after I originally wrote this blog post. You will need to click on the link above. Type in "3720" into a search box. To the right of the search box their is a drop down menu.

Choose "Linux" from that list and click on the search icon. You will now be able to see the Linux printer driver. Click on "Download".

You will need to login with your root account or root credentials. Also, you will need to install LSB version 3.2 or newer first.

apt-get install lsb

Since your using Linux Mint you want to select the correct .deb package. epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_i386.deb for Intel processor or epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb for AMD. This individual was using a Dell Inspiron computer with an Intel chip set. Also, this individual requested that I remotely connect and install the driver.

I ran into a few road blocks but was able to finally get the driver installed. First of all Linux can be a bitch when it comes to driver dependencies. Initially, I installed lsb successfully but had to remove it.

I received this error after installing LSB and while trying to install the "epson-inkjet-printer-escpr2_1.0.15-1lsb3.2_i386.deb" driver both via the graphical user interface and command line. Many times I prefer installing hardware drivers and software on Linux via command line, because at least for me the errors are displayed right away. When trying to install via the graphical user interface, Linux errors are NOT necessarily in your face so to speak.

The Package System is broken

epson-inkjet-printer-201303w:i386: Depends: lsb(>=3.2) but 4.1+Debian11ubuntu is installed

I fixed this dependency issue by submitting the following command. This command removed a partially installed Epson WF 3720 driver. I have no fucking idea why, but this driver would partially get installed even though there was a dependency problem.

apt-get -f install

Then the partial driver was successfully removed and I was able to successfully install this Epson WF 3720 driver on Linux Mint 18.1 with this command.

apt-get install printer-driver-escpr

I no longer received that dependency error and was able to submit printing a test page. The only remaining task was the individual had to make sure this printer was set to default. Also, this printer was connected via the network.

I configured this printer as a network connected printer.

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Boot Device Not Found HP Laptop – Troubleshooting Steps

I received another positive rating, on a third party website where I earn supplementary income answering computer related questions. The customer question is below:

I have an HP Pavilion G7 Notebook PC and it uses a Windows 7 operating system. I have not used the Notebook in three years. I need to reinstall a operating system, which I don't have the Hard Disk.

Can I purchase a Hard Disk? All I get on my screen is Hard Disk Not Exist. I can't even connect to my wireless internet.

My answer is as follows. Please disconnect the power cable from both the back of that laptop and wall outlet. Also, take out the battery.

Press the power button for 30 seconds. Now plug the power cable to laptop and wall outlet. Make sure that you do not have any other devices attached ie external hard drive, USB flash drive, printer, etc.

Press the power button and see if it will boot successfully now. If you still receive that error, you can enter the BIOS and look to see if the hard drive is being detected. If the BIOS does not detect that hard drive, then you can take out the hard drive and reinsert it.

Sometimes just reseating a laptop hard drive will clear up errors like that. If you need more detailed information on how to enter the BIOS and or take out the hard drive I can give you instructions. Entering the computer's BIOS depends on the manufacturer.

Generally, you can enter the Basic Input Output System on Hewlett Packard computers by pressing the F10 key as soon as that computer powers on. On older notebook and laptop computers the hard drive will be underneath a small cover either on the bottom or side. Newer laptops hard drives are located under the bottom cover.

All you have to do is once you remove the hard drive cover, is to disconnect the hard drive and then reconnect it.

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Connecting 2 Monitors – to a Windows 10 Computer

I received a question from a customer on a website whereby I earn supplemental income, answering computer and technology related questions. Here is the question I received:

"Hi, I have a laptop and a separate monitor. How can I use both screens without seeing same on both. I am a tax preparer.

I would like to use one for the tax software and the other to use the Internet."

This individual had a Hewlett Packard laptop with Windows 10. Also, they had purchased a separate LG display monitor. Make sure your monitor is powered on and connected to your computer.

In Windows 10 you can right click your desktop. A pop up menu will open up. Choose "Display settings".

In this window scroll down until you see "Multiple Displays". If your monitor is connected properly, then you can choose "Extend these displays" in a "Multiple Displays" drop down list. This allows you to move applications to whichever display you choose.

For example, open up your tax software and then click on the top with your left mouse button. Hold down your left mouse button and drag that application to the display of your choosing. You will be able to view your web browser on one monitor and your tax software on the other one.

I currently actually have two LCD displays connected to a desktop computer. If you have a desktop computer with two monitors, then you would follow those same instructions. If you run into any issues, make sure both monitors or displays are working and powered on first.

Also, make sure that you have proper video card drivers installed. Depending on what type of video connection(s) your monitor(s) have ie VGA, DVI, Display Port, or HDMI, you may need to connect your monitors first and then power on your computer. Generally, Display Port and HDMI are more plug in play.

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Samsung Hybrid Laptop – Notebook Spin 7 NP740U3L Screen Removal

I received a Samsung hybrid laptop with a cracked screen for repair. This laptop is actually a Samsung Notebook Spin 7 model number NP740U3L-L02US. I could only find one full replacement screen on eBay for $250.

I doubt my customer will pay that much for that screen. Also, this type of screen has fused glass similar to what Apple iPhone, Google Android, and some table computers. What this means is that the Liquid Crystal Display and glass are fused together.

If you have ever removed broken glass from a dumb device, I mean smart device you know that you have to take a heat gun and heat up the rubber glue so that you can seperate the glass from the LCD. Some notebook and laptop computers are designed so that the glass and LCD are not glued together and are seperate. This makes it much easier to fix laptop screens in my opinion.

I will still describe to you what it takes to take the screen apart from the rest of this Samsung hybrid laptop. There are ten total screws that hold the bottom cover on. Underneath the cover there are two bezels one on each side of this computer both held down by two screws.

You will need to remove all fourteen screws. There are two cables from the LCD screen connected to the motherboard. Remove these cables and then you can lift the bezel attached to the screen from the rest of this laptop.

I found out that this type of screen is hard to find. If you can find a full replacement piece, you would then just line up the bezel connections and tighten down the four screws. Now all you have to do is tighten down the remaining 10 screws for the bottom cover.

Finally, I was able to find replacement LCD screens for this Samsung Notebook 7 spin NP740U3L-L02US. However, I could not find any replacement glass. This replacement glass would have to be fused on top of the LCD, which to me is a huge pain in the ass.

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Card Reader Installation – in Desktop Computer

This blog post will describe a card reader installation in an average desktop computer. You will need a screw driver, most likely a phillips type. Open up your computer case by taking off one of the side covers.

Quickest way to know which door to take off is to take the door off opposite of the input output ports ie. video, ethernet, USB, HDMI, etc. Now you will most likely need to take off a front cover. Many front covers on personal computers are NOT screwed on, but it just depends.

There will be some plastic tabs that you just pinch together with your fingers and push out. Once you loosen enough of these, then the front cover will come off. Now you want to look for a 3.5 inch slot.

Multi card readers are the same width, 3.5 inches, as desktop hard drives. Also, the older school 3.5 inch floppy drives also fit in this same slot. You may need to remove a 3.5 inch cover.

Many times these covers are NOT screwed on. From inside the case you will notice two pieces of plastic on each side that are actually releases. Press in on both plastic releases and then push the cover out.

It is usually easier to install a multi card reader from the front. Slide in the card reader from the front of the computer case. You want to make sure that you have it front side up.

You should be able to read the print on the front. Now most current contemporary card readers are connected to a Universal Serial Bus. They can be USB 3.0, USB 2.0, etc.

Look on the motherboard of your computer for a spare USB connector. They should be marked in visible lettering. For example this computer I installed a multi card reader into, had "USB 2.0" labeled right above the USB port.

USB ports on motherboards are actually just pins. You do NOT want to press too, hard because these pins can break off. Before you connect your multi card reader to a motherboard USB port, look at the end of the cable that connects to the motherboard.

Sometimes these connections have a blank on the cable that would not fit over a pin. The connection on the cable will be female and the connection on the motherboard will be male. For example the motherboard I attached this cable to had four pins on the bottom row of pins.

The top row had 5 pins. The cable attached to the multi card reader had four pins and one blank. Line up this cable and connect it to the pins on the universal serial bus cable.

Most multi card readers do NOT come with drivers. Most modern Microsoft, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems have drivers that will suffice. Now all you have to do is put the front cover and side covers back on your computer as well as boot into your operating system and then test out your card reader.

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Hewlett Packard Laptops – 15AC121DX Memory Replacement

Hewlett Packard Laptops Memory

I recently received a Hewlett Packard Laptops model 15AC121DX. I am going to walk you through the memory replacement process. There are 12 total screws that you will need to remove from this bottom cover.

You can place this laptop face down. You need to take out the battery. There are two plastic releases that you need to use in order to remove this battery.

Once this battery is removed, you will notice two small screws under the battery. Remove these screws with a smaller phillips screwdriver. Now you can remove the other 10 larger laptop screws.

You will need a phillips screwdriver for those 10 screws as well. Once you remove those 10 screws you will want to remove the DVD optical drive. Once the optical drive is removed then you can go ahead and remove the bottom cover.

The easiest way to remove this bottom cover, is perhaps to place this laptop facing down. Now just pull up on the bottom cover. This cover should come off pretty easily, as long as you have removed all 12 screws.

There are two memory slots located in the center of this Hewlett Packard laptops model 15AC121DX right next to the microprocessor heat sink. In order to remove one or both memory modules, you just pull outwards on the two shiny metal releases. These memory modules will move up as long as the releases are pulled out.

Now you can just grab the memory module(s) by the end and pull them out of these slots. When you replace these memory modules make sure to slide them flush and tight so that you cannot really see any of the metal contacts. Then just push down with your fingers on the edges of these random access memory modules until they are in tight.

The two metal releases on each side will hold these memory modules in place. You have successfully replaced the memory on a Hewlett Packard laptops model 15AC121DX.

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Hewlett Packard Laptops – 15AC121DX Hard Drive Removal

Hewlett Packard Laptops Hard Drive

A computer repair customer of mine brought to me a Hewlett Packard Laptops model 15AC121DX. I am going to describe what you need to do to remove the hard drive in this notebook computer. First you will a philips style screw driver.

First you want to remove the laptop battery. There are two releases one on each side of this battery. Once the laptop battery is removed, there are two screws underneath this battery.

Remove those two screws plus another ten screws. Two of the remaining ten screws are hidden under rubber feet on each side of this laptop towards the rear. Once you have all twelve screws removed you can take this bottom cover off by just pulling the cover up towards you while the laptop is face down.

The hard drive is located towards the left front. There are two small screws holding this hard drive in place. Remove those two screws.

Now you can pull the hard drive out. The hard drive is connected to an adapter that connects to the motherboard. You can just pull this adapter cable off.

It is attached near the SATA and power connectors on the hard drive. There is one metal bracket attached to one side of this laptop. If you are replacing this hard drive you will need to transfer this metal bracket to the new hard drive.

There are two small screws that hold this metal bracket in place. Make sure the metal bracket is attached to the hard drive on the correct side so that the SATA and power connectors face towards you when reattaching the hard drive adapter cable. Remember to screw down the hard drive with those two small screws.

Place the back cover back on. Remember to tighten the two screws under the battery. Insert the laptop battery back in its place.

Slide the optical drive in its slot. Now you just need to tighten the ten remaining screws. You have successfully replaced the hard drive on a Hewlett Packard Laptops model 15AC121DX.

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Acer Laptop Computer – Aspire E1-470P-6659 Hard Drive Removal

Acer Laptop Computer Hard Drive Removal

I received an Acer laptop computer with operating system problems. This Acer Aspire E1-470P-6659 laptop had Windows 10 home edition installed. I concluded that Windows 10 operating system was corrupt to the point I needed to reinstall this operating system.

The customer had some important data they needed off their hard drive. These are intructions on how you can take out the hard drive for data recovery. There are twenty one screws that you will need to take out.

This laptop has just one bottom cover that you must remove. Also, you need to take out the battery. The Acer laptop computer battery has a release hole near it.

You place a screwdriver or possibly paper clip into this hole and then push the opposite direction to release the battery. Once this battery is removed, there are two smaller screws that you must remove underneath the battery. Now once you have all twenty one screws removed you can pry apart the bottom cover from the laptop base.

You might need a computer pick or even a guitar pick to help you seperate the two plastic pieces. I do NOT recommend you use any metal screwdrivers, as you will most likely start scratching up the plastic. Also, you want to be careful to not just rip apart the back cover.

You see the keyboard and mouse pad are connected to the motherboard via two ribbon cables. If you pull apart the bottom cover too much, you might damage one or both of these ribbon cables. I was able to extract the hard drive without removing the keyboard and or mouse pad.

The SATA hard drive was attached via a SATA hard drive adapter cable. Pull the hard drive out of its location and then pull of this adapter. You have just successfully removed the hard drive out of an Acer laptop computer Aspire E1-470P-6659.

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Acer Laptop Computer – Aspire E1-470P-6659 Keyboard Removal

Acer Laptop Computer Keyboard

One of my computer repair customers brought me an Acer laptop computer, model Aspire E1-470P-6659 that might have a failing keyboard. Some of the keys stick when pressed. It could be the operating system, since Windows 10 has other symptoms like missing drivers, will not mount a universal serial bus flash drive, and over all system slugishness.

I still think it could be a faulty keyboard hardware wise. I will describe how to take this Acer laptop computer apart so that you can either disconnect and reconnect the keyboard to the motherboard or replace the keyboard. There are a total of 21 total screws you need to remove.

This Acer laptop computer does not have normal release latches. Instead there is a release hole closest to the battery. You can use a screw driver or perhaps paper clip. Once you insert the screw driver or paper clip then pull the opposite direction.

Once you pulle this release the opposite direction, then you can pull out this battery. I have never come across a release like this for a laptop battery. Also, you want to remove either the optical drive or dummy blank.

My customer's Acer laptop computer model Aspire E1-470P-6659 did NOT have an optical drive but did have a dummy insert. Now you can disconnect the keyboard ribbon cable from the motherboard. If you are just going to disconnect and reconnect you don't need to disconnect the accompanying mouse pad ribbon cable.

Reconnect the ribbon cable for the keyboard and then reverse your work. Also, you can now replace the keyboard with a new one or used one now. Reverse your work, making sure to put back the optical drive or dummy insert.

Also, make sure to tighten down all 21 screws. You don't want to forget the battery. Now you can boot the operating system to see if your Acer laptop computer keyboard works correctly.

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