Q&A: Do I need to replace a hard drive that fails the SMART Check?

bad-hard-driveQuestion from Eugene N.:  Rick, I have a 2 year old desktop computer that I fear might have a failing hard drive. I’m a professional photographer and I primarily use this PC for editing my photos.

Everything was working fine until late last night, but now every time I turn the computer on I get an error stating that the hard disk is in danger of failing and I need to run the hard disk test in system diagnostics.

When I run the disk test it says “SMART Check: FAILED”. Do you think I need to just go ahead and have the hard drive replaced or is there a way to fix this error?

I sprung for a 2 year extended warranty when I bought the PC, but I’m not sure it’ll cover the repair if it turns out to be a software problem. I’m not worried about losing any data though because I create a new system image after I download the photos from every shoot.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

HP reverses course on their new third-party ink cartridge ban

hp-officejet-pro-8610A few days ago I wrote a post explaining how a new firmware update for some HP printers effectively banned the use of third-party printer cartridges.

Well, it appears that they received so many complaints that it prompted them to reconsider the move and even apologize for it in a post on their corporate blog.

Of course they worded the apology in a way that frames the issue as a “communications” problem, but the real problem is the ban itself in my opinion, not the way they chose to “communicate” with their customers about it. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: What all does a System Image back up?

Windows-10-logoQuestion from Olivene T.:  Rick, I spent a few minutes reading your post that explains how to create a System Image in Windows 10, but I’m a little confused.

What exactly is backed up when you create one. Thanks in advance for clearing this up for me.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Is csrss.exe a virus?

microsoft-windowsQuestion from David K.:  My computer has Windows 7 and there is a file named csrss.exe running according to Task Manager. Actually, there are two of them. They are in system.

Some websites say this file is a virus, and others say it isn’t. How do I know?

Rick’s answer:  David, csrss.exe is a critical system file, not a virus. The filename is actually an acronym that stands for Client/Server Run-Time Subsystem.

It is perfectly normal to see this file listed in Task Manager (often twice) as it loads into memory every time Windows starts up. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can my wireless router be upgraded to make it an AC router?

tp-link-archer-c7-ac1750-routerQuestion from Rhonda P.:  I’ve heard that you can upgrade a router’s software to make it more up to date.

I have a Netgear RangeMax WNDR3700 that still works great and I was wondering if it can be upgraded to make it work like an “AC” router? That way I wouldn’t have to buy a new one.

Thanks for your help!

Rick’s answer: [Continue Reading]

      Check out these Featured Posts...

             • How to automatically save an extra 3% on everything you buy from Amazon

             • 8 tips for building and maintaining a super-fast WordPress blog

             • Should you completely drain your laptop’s battery before recharging it?

             • How to convert a spare internal hard drive into an external USB drive

             • Step-by-step guide to completely ridding your PC of viruses and spyware



Like my tech tips? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter!

Subscribe to the RicksDailyTips Weekly Newsletter to receive my latest tech tips, news and info in a single weekly email. As a subscriber you will also have a chance to win some great tech gear in one of my monthly giveaways!

Not sure? Click here to check out the Newsletter archives.