In my over 10 years of experience in computer engineering, i’ve noticed that most damaged or faulty laptops were actually caused by little mistakes most laptop users are not aware of or simply ignore.
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, you might already know some, but you need to read all to understand them better.
1. Keep liquids away from your laptop.
I call this the don’t drink and drive or don’t drive & drink principle, 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.
One thing you should know is your laptop is like a house, you should have a door or a gate if possible a security man, 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.
Just like the No. 1 step, 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, this could affect the keyboard and in turn affect your board when you have your keys constantly malfunctioning.
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.
Now this one might look so simple but is very important and technical, because about 50-60 percent of keyboard issues & laptop vent related problems like overheating are actually caused by this, i lived in an area where there was road construction going on & people were coming to me with 2 major problems(keyboard & overheating), i noticed dust was always the problem while fixing them, best advice here if you live in a dusty environment, you should always close your laptop when not in use & when using it, try to be in the best less dusty place you can get within the environment.
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 closing 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(the screen legs) attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure – avoid placing pressure on it.
9. Don’t pull on the power cord.
Pulling 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. Don’t roll your chair or keep any Heavy item over the computer cord.
Stick the cord onto your desk with tape or a special computer cord tie which can easily be undone when you’ve finished using the laptop. Always try to keep the cord away from the floor and your legs.
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. Never insert 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 harmattan or dry season , 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 your Laptop 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. the Heat can destroy the motherboard or the display, No matter how well & neat you keep your laptop it will get internal dust, so let your engineers help if you can’t, this is best done on a yearly basis, that’s the same reason a lot of laptops don’t last long, As a matter of fact dust is one of the major problems of laptop motherboard problems in Nigeria, but a lot of people are not aware even some engineers.
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.(see No. 24 for better explanation)
24. Don’t use your laptop on the bed.
Prolonged 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.
Also the vent is blocked up and the flow of air going in and out of the laptop is stopped causing overheating, your laptop is also like a person, it needs to breath in and out, so it’s like covering the nose of a person for a long period, the heart will come to a pause, the bed is a soft platform, whatever stays on it tends to sink in a bit or much, and the vent holes of a laptop are at the side and below it, so no side should be blocked. see No. 23
By: Been Daniels