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How to change sound output Windows 10 (HDMI, headphones, optical out)

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Changing the audio output on your computer can be pretty frustrating. Something that should be very simple, has very few options for anyone doing anything out of the ordinary (playing sound through headphones and speakers, automatically playing through headphones when plugged in, or setting audio to go out over AUX rather than HDMI).

There is one simple way to accomplish most of this in Windows 10, using sound settings in the control panel. The easiest way to access this is to right click the sound icon in the bottom right corner, and choosing playback devices.

Change Sound Output Windows 10

The playback devices window is a list of all the ways to play sound from your computer, including any AUX (headphone jack) ports, HDMI, SPDIF, DisplayPort, etc. Anything installed in your system that has drivers should show up. In the image from mine below, the first few are HDMI output (video and audio on the same cable), then my AUX port (generally known as a headphone port), and then the optical output (uses fiber optic cable).

List of Windows 10 Audio Devices

To set a certain device to output audio, just right click on it and set it as default. Whichever one has the green checkmark is the current default device, and will play sound for whatever media you play.

Set default audio device in Windows 10

If you specifically don’t want a certain device to play audio, you can also right click on it and disable it. To re-enable it, right click in the window in the white space, choose show disabled devices, and then right click on the one you disabled and choose enable.

If you need to do anything more advanced, unfortunately it can’t be solved with default settings in the operating system. I have another tutorial on using the program audio switcher that helps with this, and can allow you to output to multiple devices, or override default audio devices.

UPDATED How to do GPU Bitcoin Mining on a Mac Easily

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This video will show you how to easily mine bitcoins using the GPU on your Apple laptop or desktop using guiminer.

Guiminer for Mac can be downloaded here:

The website for the mining pool is They are really good, and I have received payments from them, so they are 100% trustworthy.

First, setup an account on a mining website (such as slush, but any can be used). Then, download guiminer for Mac from the link above.

Once Guiminer is downloaded, just double click on the .dmg. This will mount the dmg on your desktop, which will basically look like a pen drive. If you open up the mounted folder, then you will see the guiminer application inside. You CANNOT run it from here. Drag it to your desktop or to your applications folder.

Double click on the guiminer app after you have moved it, and wait a minute while it starts up.

When guiminer is started up, go to file, new miner, and select opencl. Then name it anything and hit ok.

Click on the tab at the top of guiminer for the miner you just created. Then click on the dropdown box and find the mining pool that you signed up for (slush is shown in the video).

Then, input your username and password for the miner.

Then select the hardware that you want to mine with. In the dropdown list at the bottom you will probably see your video card and processor. Your video card is usually going to be a lot faster than your processor, so I would recommend using that.

After that, just hit start mining and you’re all finished.

How to Remove a Hard Drive From a Laptop Computer

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This is a general video on how to remove the hard drive from a laptop computer. These steps may be a bit, and in some cases totally different, than what you have to do to get your hard drive out. But the general idea is the same, so if you follow these steps, you will be able to replace your hard drive.

First, get a service manual for your laptop. Some are very easy to find, others extremely difficult. You should be able to find a free copy of your somewhere around the internet though. An example of one is this for my laptop (Inspiron 17R Special Edition 7720):

Next, decide if you want to use an ESD strap or not. I have never used one and have never had a problem, but you could be the one in a million where it’s an issue. So if you want to live dangerously, just touch something metal to discharge your static before working on the laptop, and wear shoes. If you want to use an ESD strap, this is an example of what you would get: These just basically make it much harder for you to build up a static charge that you could shock a component with.

Next, shut down the laptop and remove all power sources from it. This includes the Wall plug, and the battery.

After this, it is time to disassemble the laptop to get to the hard drive. This can include several different methods. The easiest method is the one shown in the video where the hard drive can be found under the covers on the bottom of the laptop. Unfortunately, not all laptops are made like this. The next “class” is about as easy as the covers, where the laptop is in a slide out tray on the side of the laptop. Basically there will be 2-4 screws that you will have to remove, and then a tray will slide out from the side that has the hard drive in it. This is common on a few laptops, like Thinkpad/Lenovo T40, T42, etc, and some Dells like the XPS M1530 and XPS M1330. The next “class” would be having to remove the whole bottom to get to the hard drive. A good example of this is the 2011 Macbook Pros, where you have to take out 6 screws, and then the entire bottom comes out. Another version is where you’ll have to take all the screws out of the bottom, then take the keyboard out, then remove screws from under the keyboard, and then separate the laptop into 2 halves. This is the worst version to deal with, and can be seen on quite a few Acer models, older HP’s, and many Netbooks.

So once you know how you need to get to the hard drive, you can proceed with taking it apart. Make sure you have a system for keeping track of which screws go where. One method I use is taking a video of the disassembly process that I can rewatch to put it back together. Another method is to draw a rough picture of the laptop and put double sided tape over it. Then whenever you take a screw out, stick it on the picture where it goes.

So now you can start taking out the screws. Make sure to apply a decent amount of direct downward force, but not enough to break the plastic. If you try to apply pressure at an angle, or don’t use enough pressure, then you are much more likely to strip the screw and will create huge problems for yourself.

Some screws need to be taken out of the laptop entirely, while other screws stay embedded in the plastic. So if a screw seems stuck, don’t get out the needlenose and rail on it. Usually the trick is that if it’s difficult to get out, it’s supposed to stay in.

After you have taken out the screws needed to get to the hard drive (you may have to repeat this step and the last multiple times if you laptop has layers to go through) pull on the plastic covering gently to remove it. Some of the plastic coverings will have clips that need to be gently removed, so apply a little force to stuck areas to test if there are clips, but generally if the plastic is not coming apart easily, it’s either not meant to come apart, or you forgot to take out a screw.

At this point you will see all the internal components of the laptop. The motherboard is the big green circuit board with everything plugging in to it, the ram will be the small sticks about 3 inches long, and the hard drive should be a 2.5″ wide box that looks like what I show in the video. I also included a picture of a hard drive below (Spinning and Solid State hard drive)

Image of an IDE Hard Drive from a Dell Laptop with Caddy on

Image of an OCZ Solid State Laptop Hard Drive

The hard drive is what interests you in this case, and you should see that the hard drive is plugged into the motherboard by an IDE or Sata connection (picture below). You have to be careful with both of these connections, but IDE especilly because there are pins that can be bent.

IDE vs SATA 2.5

In both cases, you will probably have to remove screws that hold the hard drive in place. Sometimes the hard drives are held in place by screws that are in the cover you take off, so it can just slide out when you take off the cover, but in other cases there are as many as 4 screws holding it down (shown in the video).

Make sure to not put to much pressure on the hard drive, and only touch the sides when possible. Hard drives hold all of your important data, and are very fragile and can be destroyed by dropping or excessive force.

Once you remove those screws generally you need to slide the hard drive horizontally away from the connector. If you just yank straight up, without it being free of the connector, you can tear the connector right off the motherboard and then have to replace your motherboard. The hard drive should come out very easily once you have removed the screws and slid it free of the connector, so if it is difficult coming out, double check you removed all the screws and are completely clear of the connector.

Once you have the hard drive out, then you will usually notice that is has a piece of metal around it. This is known as the hard drive caddy, and simply serves as an adapted to put the hard drive into before it is put into the laptop.

If you are replacing the hard drive, take the caddy off and put it on the new hard drive. Make sure to put the hard drive in the correct orientation so that it will be able to slide into the connector when it is on the motherboard.

Once you have the new hard drive in the caddy and slid onto the connector, you can do all the steps in reverse order to get your laptop back together. Make sure to put the screws back in reverse order, as some screws taken out in the beginning may need other parts put back on before they get screwed in.

This was a general guide for replacing a laptop hard drive. Make sure to be very careful and not lose and screws. If you have any questions, make sure to watch the video at the top of the page, leave a comment here, or leave a comment on the videos page.

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