Format External Hard Drive – in Microsoft Windows 10

Another request from a third party website where I earn supplemental income. This one dealt with trying to free up space on an external hard drive. Here is this individual’s initial request:

“I am trying to remove old files from my backup hard drive. Does not seem to work any way I try!”

This individual had two external hard drives. An F and H drive. These two external hard drives had the exact same data.

They seemed to have been mirror images of each other. One reason why this individual could NOT remove data from their F drive is that it was actually a Microsoft system image backup. This type of backup does NOT allow you to have read only access or read and write access.

This type of backup is a system image. There were only a few files, but they were actually image files. Image files are generally compressed.

This type of backup is for emergency purposes. Hypothetically, if your Microsoft Windows 10 computer does NOT boot correctly, you could restore it from this type of system image backup. When I deal with customer data, I always proceed with caution.

You do NOT ever want to delete customer data, even accidentally. I asked this individual if they needed any data off this F drive. They stated no, more than once.

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I went ahead and told them that I could just format this external hard drive for them. This would allow them to copy any type of data they wanted to this F drive. This is when I learned that their H drive was a mirror image of their F drive.

This individual gave me the approval. Formatting a hard drive in Microsoft operating system’s is real easy. You want to open up file explorer.

This takes you to “This PC”.

On the left hand side you will see folders, drive letters, and Network. Select the hard drive that you want to format. Right click that drive letter and select “Format”.

You can type in a volume label or just accept the default. You can accept the default of NTFS file system. Also, you will have two choices between “Quick” or “Full” format.

A full format takes quite a bit longer versus a quick format. However, performing a full format might be worth the wait later down the road. It is up to you what you choose.

Now proceed with formatting your hard drive. A quick format only takes a few seconds. I asked my customer to test the newly formatted hard drive.

Everything went smoothly. I have shown you how to format external hard drive in Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

Lenovo Vantage – BIOS Update Instructions

Another computer support request, from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. This time an individual was concerned with a pop up message that they received on their newly purchased Lenovo laptop computer. Here is their request quoted verbatim:


I got a pop up from Lenovo Vantage that says: “Lenovo recommends that you install these updates to optimize your computer. Please note, the following updates may require your system to reboot more than once. We recommend saving your work in preparation for system shutdown.

BIOS Update – 10 [64]”. I wanted to find out if this was real, or a scam. Thanks for any help you can give me.”

Lenovo Vantage is NOT malware, spyware, or a scam. This is actually software that Lenovo developed to keep their computers updated. The problem could be is that this software was formerly known as Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Settings, and Lenovo Account Portal.

This software was designed specifically for Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Personally, I think it is ridiculous when technology companies try to re-brand or rename their software packages. Just keep it the fucking same name or else you will confuse your very own customers, just like in this instance.

Anyways, I was able to remotely connect into this computer and upgrade the BIOS. This individual had just purchased a new Lenovo Ideapad 320 laptop. Whenever performing a BIOS upgrade, you should make sure that your active current AC adapter is plugged in.

You do NOT want your laptop to power off during a basic input output system upgrade. This type of disaster could potentially cause your computer to never boot again, no joke. Your computer will need to restart.

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Your BIOS cannot get upgraded while your computer is in use. Basic input output system upgrades are much easier than say ten to twenty years ago. Depending on the hardware manufacturer they are as simple as opening the maintenance software, in this case, Lenovo Vantage, and checking for updates.

This software will notify you that there is a BIOS update available. Select this update and then go ahead and proceed with the download. You will obviously need an Internet connection.

Once this basic input output system update is finished downloading, you will be prompted to install the update. You will be warned that you are about to upgrade the BIOS and to make certain you want to perform this action. Also, when I upgraded this computers BIOS it warned me making certain I was installing a BIOS for an Lenovo ideapad 320-15IAP.

This BIOS was actually compatible with two of these laptops. The 320-14IAP and 320-15IAP. If in doubt do NOT perform a BIOS upgrade until you are certain you know the exact model of your computer.

I went into “System” in Microsoft Windows 10 “Settings”. Under “About”, I was able to verify that this individual had a 320-15IAP. Many times trying to install a BIOS upgrade for the wrong computer will result in error, but it is better to become cautious.

I went ahead and kicked off this BIOS update and then the Lenovo IdeaPad 320 restarted. The BIOS update was successful. In closing I requested this individual open Lenovo Vantage to verify if this BIOS update was successful and check for any new updates.

The basic input output system successfully updated. BIOS upgrades will fail, often times due to the fact you are trying to perform this update on the wrong computer model.

Why Does my Computer Keep Freezing – Troubleshooting Steps

There can be many reasons why you keep asking yourself this question. Why does my computer keep freezing? I received a request on a website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions.

“It has froze up on me.”

This individual had a Dell desktop computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. The first thing I check for on a computer that freezes up is for adware, spyware, malware, and viruses. I use my preferred spyware scan tool.

When it comes to servicing customer computers, I also just use any tools that are already installed. This person had another malware scan tool, that I no longer mention. However, since it was already installed I went ahead and ran a malware scan with this tool.

Each tool found the exact same 90 objects. Sometimes these adware, malware, and spyware tools will find different objects. Also, I run a PC optimization tool with my preferred PC optimization software.

When it comes to antivirus scans, I normally just run a virus scan with whatever the individual has installed on their computer. I always make sure that the virus database has been updated, before starting a scan. Also, I make sure that there is only ONE virus software installed.

You NEVER want to install more than one antivirus software. They will conflict with each other and slow your computer down to potentially a crawl. I usually check in device manager for any problematic driver issues.

Also, I check Microsoft windows updates to see if any of them are failing. Another tactic you can use is learn how to read Microsoft windows logs with event viewer. A freezing computer could be hardware related.

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However, since I helped this individual remotely, then obviously I could not perform any physical hardware tests. Finally, I always run two major operating system scans. Number one I run a system file check scan with the following command:

sfc /scannow

Depending on how long each scan takes, I prefer to run this scan three times. It could be corrupt system files that is causing your computer to freeze up. Finally, I schedule a chkdsk scan to begin the next time the individual restarts their computer with this command:

chkdsk c: /f /r

You will need to type in Y for yes after hitting enter. This is a comprehensive scan that will check for corrupt system files as well as bad sectors. It could be bad hard or soft sectors that is causing your computer to freeze up.

You will then need to restart your computer. Leave the computer keyboard alone and the chkdsk scan should begin in 10 seconds. This Microsoft system scan can take hours to complete.

This particular individual did NOT contact me after I performed all the a fore mentioned troubleshooting steps. Usually, this means that I fixed their problem. If this individual had contacted me again complaining of a frozen computer then, I would have performed some hardware scans.

I would have tested the computer’s random access memory even with Microsoft’s memory diagnostic test. Also, I would have tested the hard drive. Faulty and or failing memory or hard drive can definitely cause a freezing computer.

Believe it or not a faulty memory slot will cause your computer to freeze up. However, that is more of a rare occurrence outside of the memory sticks or hard drive themselves beginning to fail. Hopefully, I helped answer that age old question of yours.

Why does my computer keep freezing?