The Geek Squad's 3 Sure-Fire Tips to Save Your Tech Life

You've got tech questions, we've found the answers. We've asked the tech experts at the Geek Squad to help you make the most of your technology, answering your thorniest tech questions. So if you're wondering what to buy, how to plug it in, or how to fix it, the Geek Squad can help.

This week, Geek Squad double agent Cyrus Tavadia answers YOUR questions.

"My wife lost the password to our iMac Admin user account. I'm told we have to restore to start over. Is there any way of reestablishing a new code without losing all our stuff?" -- David Massie

You're in luck! You won't need to restore the entire computer and start over from scratch if you forgot the Administrator password for your iMac. All you have to do is locate your Mac OS X Installer disc (included with the computer). To get to the Mac OS X installer screen, simply hold down the 'C' key when the computer boots up.

After selecting your preferred language, you'll find a menu bar at the top of the screen. Under "Utilities," you'll find a "Reset password..." option. Choose which drive and user account you'd like to reset. The final step is one last reboot and you should be all set.

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"I believe that my grandson knocked my external hard drive off of the computer desk where it sat and I can no longer access the drive. Is the drive repairable or is the backup information that I kept there gone for good?-- Allen Miller

Hard drives normally take bumps and shocks quite poorly. If your external drive fell off a desk, the hard drive "shell" may be damaged but this is an easy $50 replacement -- but damage to the drive is harder to fix.

There are some utilities built-in to Windows to determine the extent of the problem -- you just have to know where to look. Open up "My Computer," right click on the problematic drive and select "Properties." In the properties windows, you should see a "Tools" tab. Click on that and you'll find a whole section dedicated to utilities that help you backup, optimize and fix problematic hard drives.

However, if the drive itself is damaged, and you can't even access it in Windows, you may need to use a data recovery service to rescue your precious files -- we can help out too, of course. A good practice to adopt is having multiple backups including off-site and online storage to cover all your bases and minimize the chance of major data loss.

"I have a first generation "N" router and was wondering what benefits, if any, I would gain by upgrading to the manufacturer's latest offering. Since they are both "N" based routers, I would think that any performance gain would be nominal at best but maybe I'm missing something.” -- Stephen Matthews

If you already have Wireless-N equipment, you probably won't see much difference replacing it with newer gear that uses the same wireless standard. However, sometimes the router manufacturers do add other features in newer revisions. But you don't always need to buy a new router to get the new features!

Most routers are actually "improved upon" after release and can be updated. These updates are often free and can be done by logging into your router as an administrator and going to the Firmware Update menu. Some routers will even notify you when an update is ready -- how thoughtful!

Firmware updates can improve performance, correct issues, upgrade you to the most current standards, add menus, and more.

Got a question? E-mail us at and we'll relay it to the Geek Squad. Next week, the Squad will answer the most interesting or most frequently asked questions.