Replacing a computer can feel like replacing a child. It’s painful, it’s a long process and no one wants to do it. The good news is laptops can last for quite some time if you take good care of them, both inside and outside. Keep your older laptop going with these proper care tips!
Software and operating system updates generally help keep a computer running well. It’s important to note the difference between updates and upgrades. An update updates your existing version to a current version. For instance, 10.2 to 10.3, but it will not upgrade to the next major version, say from 10.2 to 11.0. Check weekly for software updates and run operating system updates soon after your computer announces them. Keeping your systems updated will keep you protected from viruses, fix bugs and keep your computer running well.
Upgrade the Hard Drive
There comes a time in most computer’s lives when a new hard drive is in order. Failing hard drives are especially common in Macs and you may experience hard drive failure when upgrading to a new operating system. If you regularly backup your files, a new hard drive isn’t as terrifying as it may sound. Bring your computer into a professional if you are beginning to see significant slowing, frequent freezes or the ‘blue screen of death’, or if you’ve experienced a hard drive failure. A trusted professional will guide you through different hard drive options and get your computer back up and running in no time.
Experiencing hard drive issues? Call or stop in today!
Clean the Inside
Does your laptop sometimes feel like it’s going to burn you? Does your fan never stop running? These are all common problems for older computers and are usually caused by a dusty interior. Computer fans are experts at collecting dust, and once the dust gets pulled in it doesn’t have anywhere to go. You can clean the inside of your computer yourself if you feel comfortable opening the casing and using compressed air or Q-tips to give it a nice clean, or you can bring it to a professional (which we recommend). Getting your computer insides cleaned out will keep it running longer and keep your lap from receiving third degree burns.
Use a Carrying Case
Simple as it may sound a carrying case is one the nicest things you can do for your laptop. If you are carrying your laptop in a briefcase or backpack, covering it with a protective sleeve will keep it safe from scratches as well as a potential leaky water bottle or lunch box. It’s best to carry your laptop in a separate bag or use a specialized bag with a separate laptop section. Properly storing your laptop will keep in safe in the event of a fall and can help extend your computer's useful life.
Wipe it Down
Computers are dust magnets, especially laptops, covered with oils from finger tips. It’s important to keep your computer clean. Regularly wipe down the outside casing with a Magic Eraser to remove accumulated dirt and grime. Be gentle! Use compressed air or keyboard cleaning putty to remove stray dirt particles and crumbs from your keyboard. Finally, use a microfiber cloth and a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and water or screen cleaner (not window cleaner) to remove tough spots from your screen.
If you are looking for help with hard drive replacement or general laptop maintenance, call or stop in today!
It can happen to anyone. You’re at work with a glass of water and you knock it over while reaching for a file. Or maybe you’re bringing a cup of coffee back to your work area and slip and watch in horror as the contents splash on your laptop.
Things happen and a big spill doesn’t have to ruin your laptop if you take the right steps to prevent damage. While no spill is a good thing, water and teas without sugar are generally easier to deal with than sugary drinks like soda (another great reason to avoid sugary drinks). All that to say, milk is one of the worst liquids to spill on your laptop. It’s best to not take any chances and leave the dairy far from your computer. The problem with sugary drinks and dairy is the residue they leave behind when they dry—the more residue, the bigger the risk.
Here is what you need to do IMMEDIATELY after spilling liquid on your laptop:
First thing is first, turn off your laptop to stop the flow of electricity and decrease the chance of electric shock causing damage to electronic circuits. You don’t have time to save your files, you need to do it now. And this isn’t the nice shut down of your computer. Find the power button, ensure it’s dry and hold it down until your computer shuts down. If the power button has liquid on it, run to grab a dry towel to wipe it away to avoid allowing more liquid into your computer. Do not turn your computer back on until it has been deemed dry by a professional!
Turn it Upside Down
Make gravity work in your favor! By turning the computer upside down, liquid will begin to seep out instead of seeping in. Do not close your laptop! Leave it open and turn it upside and leave it there. While it’s upside you can use a lint free paper towel or cloth to wipe up excess liquid from the bottom and sides. Avoid pushing any buttons as they can push liquid inside of the computer.
Further eliminate chance of damage from electric shock but unplugging your laptop from its power source. If you are able to remove your battery, do so now. You also need to unplug anything else you may have plugged in such as a mouse or a keyboard. This will prevent damage to your accessories as well as open outlets to help speed up the drying process.
Bring it to a Professional
At this point your computer needs to be dismantled, dried and cleaned. While this can be done at home, hiring a professional is a much safer and more reliable option. A professional will ensure the proper work environment to avoid damaging static electricity, and will have the proper tools to dismantle and clean your laptop. They will also be able to properly clean residue from the various pieces of your laptop to safeguard against further damage. Remember to keep it open and upside down during transport.
Today many laptops have spill resistant cases so a spill isn’t a the death sentence it used to be, but you still need to be extremely careful. If you find yourself in the unfortunate need of help after a liquid spill, call us today!