This Laptop Guide will help you to understand the causes and precautions to avoid problems for your Laptop.
The portability of laptops has forever changed the way people work and where work is carried out.
Laptops were originally designed for short duration and irregular use, not for daily continuous operation.
It is important that you take good care of your laptop to keep it working well. Following these easy steps will ensure that your laptop lasts longer and requires less maintenance. As an added bonus, many of the steps will also maintain your laptop’s speed.It is also useful to do a check of the laptop once in a while so as to remove any errors or problems which might have crept in during the routine usage.
- 1 Keep liquids away from your laptop. As tempting as it might be to drink coffee, soda, water or any other liquid near your laptop, accidents can happen all too easily. Alternatively, use a cup with a cover on it, so even if it does spill, the liquid doesn’t go anywhere. Spilled liquids may damage the internal microelectronic components or cause electrical damage. Short circuits can corrupt data or even permanently destroy some parts of the laptop. The solution is very simple: Keep your drinks away from your computer. Even if you are careful, someone else might spill your drink.
- 2 Having antivirus software available is the best defence against a virus. Even if you know what you download, it could still contain a virus. If you choose not to have antivirus software you run the risk of a circuit error or software problem in your system. The virus may also slow down the system operations and performance.
- 3 Keep food away from your laptop. Don’t eat over your laptop, the crumbs can fall between the keys and provide an invitation to small bugs or damage the circuitry. Worse yet, the laptop will look dirty if there are crumbs on it.
- 4 Do not use your computer in a room where animals are. Their fur and hair can get into the internal workings and damage them. Also larger animals (e.g dogs) can accidentally damage them by knocking them off their support by brushing past, wagging tail, tripping over leads etc.
- 5 Ideally keep the computer in a clean and dust free room.
- 6 Always have clean hands when using your laptop. Clean hands make it easier to use your laptop touchpad and there will be less risk of leaving dirt and other stains on the computer. In addition, if you clean your hands before you use the laptop, you will reduce wear and tear on the coating caused by contact with sweat and small particles that can act upon the laptop’s exterior.
- 7 Protect the LCD display monitor. When you shut your laptop, make sure there are no small items, such as a pencil or small ear-phones, on the keyboard. These can damage the display screen if the laptop is shut on them; the screen will scratch if the item is rough. Close the lid gently and holding it in the middle. Closing the lid using only one side causes pressure on that hinge, and over time can cause it to bend and snap.
- 8 Hold and lift the computer by its base, not by its LCD display (the screen). If you lift it by the screen alone, you could damage the display or the hinges attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure – take care not to place pressure on it.
- 9 Don’t pull on the power cord. Tugging your power cord out from the power socket rather than pulling directly on the plug can cause the cord to break off from the plug or damage the power socket. Also, if the power cord is near your feet, avoid kicking it accidentally; in fact, it is best to refrain from bumping into the plug at all because you could loosen it and eventually break it.
- 10 Be careful not to roll your chair over the computer cord. Stick the cord onto your desk with tape.
- 11 Be sure to plug accessory devices into their proper slots. Always look at the symbols on the laptop carefully before inserting devices. Jamming a phone line into an Ethernet port or vice versa could damage the sockets, making it impossible to use them again. It is very important to observe this step.
- 12 Handle any removable drives with care. CD drives that have been removed from your laptop could easily be crushed or dropped; do not be careless. If you are not putting them back into the laptop, put them straight into a storage box or case for safekeeping.
- 13 Insert drives into their slots carefully and at the correct angle. Pushing the drive too forcefully into its slot could jam it.
- 14 Check to see if labels are affixed securely before inserting media into your laptop. CDs, DVDs, or floppy disks should not have any loose labels that may jam inside the laptop. Don’t attempt to use undersized CDs, as these can damage the disk player permanently.
- 15 Don’t expose your laptop to rapid temperature changes. When bringing your laptop indoors during winter, don’t turn it on immediately. Instead, let it warm to room temperature first. This will avoid any potential for damage to the disk drive from condensation forming inside the machine. Avoid heat from sunlight as well.
- 16 Don’t leave your laptop in a car. Not only do the insides of cars experience large temperature swings that could damage a laptop, but a laptop (or laptop bag) is an inviting target for a smash and grab thief.
- 17 Have the unit cleaned annually to remove internal dust. Get this done by a computer professional, or do it yourself if you can. If dust accumulates, the system will not be able to cool itself correctly. Heat can destroy the motherboard.
- 18 Avoid placing heavy materials, such as books, on top of your laptop. This can push the LCD screen into the keyboard, and will eventually damage it. Also, the CD-ROM insert will be squished and, eventually, will break.
- 19 Use a properly-sized laptop case. Whatever you use to carry your laptop around, be it a case, a bag, or something you made yourself, make sure that it is large enough to hold the laptop. This will help avoid scratching, squeezing or potentially dropping it.
- 20 Look into getting a laptop bag. Many breaks happen because laptops are dropped or bumped. A bag greatly reduces the risk of damage.
- 21 Only use and store your laptop in a well-ventilated area. When you are using your laptop, do so in a place that has a constant air-circulation. Lots of people ruin their laptops by using them in enclosed areas and thus cause the laptop to overheat.
- 22 Use an old toothbrush to clean the area around the exhaust fan screen. If that gets plugged up, air flow is diminished and overheating can occur.
- 23 Try to keep the laptop on a flat, clean surface. This prevents damage to the laptop. This can be hard to do, particularly if you are outside with your laptop, but if there is a flat surface available then put your laptop on it..
- 24 Don’t use your laptop on the bed. Repeated use of a laptop on the bed will cause the fans to suck up the dust and debris in the bed, ultimately blocking the fan.
- 25 Always check that your laptop does not have too much of software and bloat-wares running around as they keep eating the precious memory which is required for playing games or doing other high-end tasks.
- 26 Make sure that while downloading stuff from the web you do not download unwanted installers which are usually created to install unwanted softwares which are provided as freeware for providing the file which you require.
- 27 Also its preferable that you use a cleanup software like tune up utilities or c cleaner etc. for keeping you computer under constant surveillance from the unnecessary programs installed during various activities.
- 28 If possible do a clean install of the operating system you use once every 2 to 3 years. This will really help the laptop to start from the scratch and maintain everything in a very organised and effective manner.
- 29 If you are already on a device with low ram then do not trouble the device with programs which accelerate the processor,it is better if you switch over to another hard drive or pendrive to provide a bit of external ram and provides a bit of breathing space to the computers internals.
- 30 For providing external RAM in windows laptops there is an option called windows ready boost which gives an allocated space to be used as the virtual ram for the computer instead of being completely dependent on the internal memory provided.
- 31 Do not try to run large or unsupported multimedia files over your computer if your computer does not meet the specifications as it usually damages the computer in the long run.
- 32 It is also better if you head over to the local store and check for a complete maintenance check to solve any errors which keep troubling you.
- 33 Take care that if you use a laptop not to use it in places full of dust flying around as it may block the heat escape routes over a period of time and thereby make your laptop much hotter than usual.
- Set up your laptop and work area for ergonomic usage. Laptops can be ergonomically worse than desktops because laptop keyboards are usually smaller, requiring you to pinch in your wrists at an angle to use all the keys, and their ability to be placed anywhere can promote poor positioning.
- You need a case to carry around your laptop. Laptops are fragile and it’s easy to damage them if you stuff them into unpadded cases and jolt them against things. Consider investing in a quality padded case for your laptop – or just make one yourself if you have a hoodie handy.
- If you are working, you may have an opportunity to choose your laptop computer based on your requirements – for example, a sturdy model for rough use or a light one for frequent travel.
- Keep your laptop in an open area that has air circulation, when in use.
- Clean your laptop using methylated spirit regularly.Clean the battery, its terminals and the laptop bag as well.
- Put a label with your name, e-mail, cell phone number or other contact details on the laptop, the power cord and any other removable parts.
- You can make your own laptop case using items such as 2 pieces of cardboard joined together with strong tape and insert bubble wrap, or even a pillow slip, in between the cardboard. Make sure you get the measurements accurate! Or recycle an old bag – pad it well and size it down to fit your laptop securely.
- Develop a preventive maintenance schedule to prevent problems rather than fixing them after they happen.
- Keep a record of your laptop computer details, such as serial number, make and model so that you can report theft or loss promptly.
- Press the buttons softly so that they do not get peeled off.
- Keep your laptop away from small children.
- Look into laptop insurance. Look for sites on the internet but beware the “Zero excess” or “no excess” claim of a few.
- You can make an easy screen protector from a thin piece of floppy foam cut the size of your screen. Place this between the base and top of your laptop each time that you turn off the laptop and close it. Do not leave it in there if the laptop is only sleeping or is not turned off. If the laptop overheats, this foam may cause the laptop to combust.
- Back up your laptop regularly. Doing a lot of work on your laptop and only keeping one copy on your laptop is a disaster waiting to happen. Keep a regular back up schedule, especially if you use your laptop for work.
- Keep an eye on your laptop at all times. Your laptop is valuable, portable and easily re-sold, making it attractive to thieves. Take basic precautions when traveling, and don’t leave your laptop out without keeping an eye on it, don’t leave your laptop out on your car seat, and as always, be aware of your environment.
- Don’t spill stuff on your laptop! Laptops have a lot of open ports for ventilation and an open keyboard that sits on top of hot, tightly packed circuitry – a great set-up for a catastrophic coffee spill. Your laptop’s warranty will probably not cover these types of events. Consciously make sure to keep your beverage far away from your laptop – on opposite ends of your table or desk, or even on a separate table if possible – when you are working and drinking.
- Do not drop or subject your laptop to impacts while it is running. Most laptops use hard drives that can easily be damaged if subjected to sudden shocks while running. A hard enough impact will cause a head crash, where the rapidly spinning disks inside your hard drive collide against the drive’s reading head. This will make your laptop a very expensive brick. Be careful and treat your laptop gently.
- Laptops run hot. Many laptops, particularly powerful ones,
will become hot on the bottom after prolonged usage. This can cause
discomfort or a heat rash on your thighs if you are using your laptop on
- Gaming laptops with powerful graphics cards and processors are particularly prone to overheating. Treat these laptops more carefully.
- Try not to use your laptop in a brightly sun-lit or hot setting. Not only will it wash out your screen and make it hard to read, it’ll also heat it up a lot faster.
- Consider purchasing a laptop cooler if your laptop runs especially hot. These devices have a fan that blows cooling air on the bottom of the laptop, reducing heat buildup
- Avoid putting your laptop on a carpet. The air vents on the back of the laptop help air to travel in and out. Anything which blocks the air vents is preventing hot air from escaping and only invites it back in again, which can result in overheating; leading to excessive lag and potential damage. Placing your laptop in a drawer has similar consequences.
- On the other hand, leaving a laptop, or any electronic device for that matter, on instead of frequently switching it on/off will avoid the heating/cool-down cycle that is ultimately injurious to components.
- If you are not going to use the laptop or the computer for the next two hours, shut it down. The energy it takes to start it up is far less than the energy it will take if the laptop is running continuously.
- Be aware of the “no excess” or “zero excess” of some laptop insurance companies; while it appears to be free of excess, you may have to pay again for the year in full to restart your insurance after a claim.
- Pets (like parrots that fixate on clicking, shiny objects) and children should be supervised when within a close proximity of your laptop.
- If you have decided to have a clean install of the operating system make sure you have enough expertise required to do it. If not you better contact a computer technician to do the job for you.If you are not sure don’t try it on the laptop you require the most as it may lead to some tough consequences.