In this economy who needs to buy a new laptop if not necessary. I ran across this article and I was doing all the wrong things, ie. using Windex to clean my screen and even though I have a laptop stand to sit on the bed I was rarely using it and instead just leaving my laptop on the bed. I bought a new laptop with larger screen and full keyboard for under $370.00. The place all the computer people shop is Tiger Direct
They really move the merchandise so if you see a deal snap it up because it might not be there the next day. Soon XP is being outdated and only Windows 7 will be the standard platform and supported with security updates etc.
Buy a bottle of compressed air and blow the dust out of your fan and heat sink once a month. Laptop heat sinks are very fine and get cloaked with dust easily. Open the case and get rid of all the dirt, dust, lint, Cheetos remains and whatever else might have accumulated in there.
If you can't figure out how to open the case, call the manufacturer. Most help desks will be more than happy to tell you how to open the case for maintenance, even if your warranty or support plan is up.
Also make sure to use static-neutral compressed air. The most popular brand is probably Dust-Off.
Unless you have an Apple laptop with its MagSafe magnetic connector, you need to be gentle when plugging in your computer. If excessive force is applied to the jack, the solder joints connecting the jack to the motherboard can crack. The points of contact can quickly overheat, further damaging the motherboard and the jack. In some cases the motherboard can even catch fire.
So don't apply too much force, don't use a cheap after-market charger (only an original charger), and if you notice that the jack is loose, bring it to a repair place ASAP. The more you use a laptop with a loose jack, the looser it becomes and the more you risk destroying both the charger and the motherboard.
You no longer have to buy computer security but can download for free from Free Security
That plus using Firefox
will keep your computer more secure.
Get those Windows Updates! Once a week Microsoft releases updates to its operating system, and often those fixes are critical to your security. In Windows 7, simply click on "Start," type in "Windows Update" and click on the first result to be taken to the Windows Updater.
Mac users should also update regularly, especially in light of the recent bugs in Lion OS X.
There are millions of viruses, malware, spyware and other really nasty bugs designed solely to harm your system. Fortunately, there are plenty of free anti-virus programs recommended by our New York-area repair shops, including:
- Microsoft Essentials. ("It's light, free, updated on a regular basis and just works," according to one of our repairmen.)
- Malwarebytes, a program for all the malware that's flying around.
- Spybot, for spyware protection. Free download Spye bot freeware
Many times when I was downloading something a box that was already checked was to add McCaffee security, I always uncheck because it can cause problems with already using Microsoft security, according to Spybot: McAffee and Micro Trends might also be considered Spyware, implemented in ways that can effect your system security
- AVG Free. free download
After you download you need to go to your download section to click to activate the program and then be able to check if you have spyware or any unwanted viruses.
Even if your laptop is a Mac, you should have one of these anti-virus programs.
Drain the laptop's battery all the way occasionally. Most manufacturers recommend using the computer until the battery is drained completely at least once a month. Don't keep the laptop charged all the time, as this can reduce battery life in the long run.
When dust dirties your screen, don't grab for chemical cleaners like Windex. The chemicals in those cleaning solutions can destroy the thin protective layer on your screen and damage the display over time.
Instead, take two tissues, one with a touch of H2O and one dry. Wipe your screen with the wet one and then the dry one, to clean completely and soak up any water drops on the screen. Even better, use only approved LCD cleaners to keep your screen shiny, new and scratch-free.
No liquids near your laptop! It's that simple. Don't drink by your computer, don't eat by your computer, don't keep your goldfish bowl by your computer. Even if you've never spilled anything before in your life, it's just a matter of time, and the spill could seriously fry your electronics.
Download CCleaner for Mac and PC. Every second you spend on your computer doing even simple things, the computer is working hard. That means it can get clogged with temporary files, history, cookies, etc. You can clean the computer and the registry with this very useful tool.
CCleaner is free and incredibly easy to use, and you can download it here. We've heard suggestions to use it as often as every day, but you should be fine with every week or two. CCleaner download free
Avoid overheating at all times. The lower the temperature of your laptop, the longer it will live. All of the repair shops we spoke with reiterated the importance of keeping the laptop's temperature low and agreed that overheating was a huge cause of laptop failure. Even a cheap $20 laptop cooling pad can help extend the life of your device.
If you can avoid using a laptop that's lying on a bed or sofa, then please do. When you put your laptop on soft material, you block the ventilation holes in the bottom and the laptop can't suck in air for cooling.
Make sure that your laptop sits on a hard surface such as a table or computer mat and that there is space between the bottom of the computer and the surface so that air can travel under the computer. If you must use your laptop in bed, prop it on a big hardcover book or a lap desk. I bought mine at Amazon for around $14. Check Ebay also.
I read somewhere and can't remember the % of bacteria a keyboard collects but as I recall it is a landmine of infections, when I vacuum I use the brush attachment for my keyboard to remove any hair etc. from the keys and frequently wipe down the keyboard and mouse with anti bacterial wipes. A dirty keyboard can cause many things like the flu and colds that are there and if you touch your face while typing the odds are you will get sick.
It's tempting to just pick up your laptop and move from place to place with it, but this might not be such a good idea. Computer hard drives contain high-speed spinning motors. Shake them the wrong way and they could have a "head crash," a total wipeout that you don't want. Power down before you move around to be extra careful
Listening to tunes in the bathroom while showering? Not the greatest idea. High humidity causes condensation buildup in electronic devices, and temperatures above 98 degrees can really stress out the cooling system. Couple the two, and your device just might be dead the next time you step out of the tub.