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How to take care of your computer so that it lasts longer

By Bless

Computers in our world today have become more of a necessity than a luxury. Our society incorporates it into every sphere of life. You most probably need to use one at work, you may even be reading this article on a computer, and chances are that you own one. Statistics show that the prices of personal computers and their peripherals has drastically reduced over time, in fact, the average person can make the financial sacrifice to own a personal computer. Question is: When next till we must buy again? In fact, how long do laptops last? The answer to that question depends on how you use yours. If properly used and managed, it could last as long as 6 to 8 years, shorter if used poorly. This article will tell you how to take care of your laptop and in the process, increase your laptop battery life.

Your computer has many modules and components which work together to ensure the functionality of the entire device. If your battery for instance, loses its ability to retain power, you find yourself with a portable desktop. Other parts like your memory can cause a total stop in operation if they fail. Keys on the keyboard may stop functioning and make typing very hard, if not impossible. Other issues relating to your computer software may arise affecting the manner of operation of your PC. It is important to care for the hardware as well as the software. So we are going to look at ways in which we can holistically prolong the life of your computer. We will divide them into hardware related ways and software related ways. There’s no time too late to begin, so let’s dig right in.

Taking care of your computer hardware

Hardware in this case not only refers to all the parts that we can touch, but those components that we may or may not see from the outside of the computer.

Keep it clean.

Keeping your computer clean is not something that you may see as an immediate necessity to keep it working well and for long, but it is. Dust and dirt have a lot of adverse effects on several parts of your computer. Dirt can clog your cooling system by blocking the ventilation, causing overheating which reduces the lifespan of almost every hardware component of your PC. Also, components covered in dirt like dust get hotter with use more than they would normally if they were clean. Interestingly, dirt in computers is one of the biggest causes of the short lifespan of computers, and it is not an inevitable or undetectable problem. Just listening to the sound of your computer fan will tell you how it is doing; a loud noisy fan signifies dirt and danger, and is an indication that your machine needs a good old rubdown.

On the external parts of your pc like the keyboard and screen, it is easy to observe the accumulation of dirt. Dust settled inside the keyboard can cause certain keys to stop working, or the keyboard to begin malfunctioning. Keeping it clean therefore is of paramount importance.

Just covering the PC properly when not using it ensures that many of the dirt that settle on it don’t. You may choose to use a cloth, or keep in inside your bag when not using it. You can also ensure that you only use it in clean environments that are not dusty. Also avoid eating and drinking around your computer, especially crunchy stuff that will easily produce crumbs.

Cleaning your PC also should be done carefully and with the right tools. Compressed air will get dust out of the way of your ventilation system and constricted spaces, especially under the keyboard. You can also use cotton swabs or special silk cloths along with special computer cleaning fluid. Don’t use water.

Keep it cool

As we have previously stated, because most computer components have an ideal low temperature of operation, an overheated computer is more likely to get bad as its components begin to fail. Avoid using your computer under direct sunlight, or in unventilated areas. Also avoid placing the computer on surfaces that prevent proper ventilation like foam mattresses, or other soft surfaces. If possible, use the PC in an air conditioned room.

Avoid movement as much as possible during use

Most of the recent computers in production now use solid state technology for their hard drives, which are more tolerant to movement, as their hard drives don’t have any spinning parts. If your computer belongs to the older generation, it will be on your advantage to avoid movement during use. You may like to work on the go, while in the taxi or on the train. This is to ensure a long lasting hard drive and prevent unnecessary data loss. This is how to take care of your laptop in terms of the storage (permanent storage).

Go easy on your laptop! It’s definitely not designed for bumping.

Once again, how long do laptops last? Really, the answer to that question depends on how you use it. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that these things can be fragile and easily destroyed until it’s too late. It makes a difference on the physical wear and tear of the system when the computer is treated with care and as fragile. Avoid lifting up the laptop by the hinges as this stresses the hinges which in turn affect the integrity of your screen connection. This could potentially affect your computer display. Carrying is more carefully done by carrying it around the base of the computer.

When transporting your laptop over long distance, transport it in a special padded bag specially designed, to absorb unexpected shocks and bumps along the way. Avoid stacking objects along a narrow space with the laptop before transportation as this puts the PC under unnecessary pressure.

You may also have serious gaming habits which makes you use your keyboard as your gaming input. Usually, this ends up being detrimental to the keyboard of the computer, leading to sudden failure. It would rather be preferable to buy a joystick or game controller which will help save your keyboard. If the gaming controller is not available, it’s more preferable to use an external keyboard for such purposes.

Carefully close the lid each time you do. Do not allow items such as pens, or other hard items on the computer before closing it to preserve the screen. Clean it with the right materials to avoid scratching and damaging the screen. Also, when disconnecting the charger, yanking on the power cord is a sure way to destroy it. The cable of the charger when being coiled, should not be made too tight, but should be arranged in an 8 form, to prolong cable life.

Avoid turning it on and off constantly

There’s this idea that as your computer stays on for long, its components deteriorate faster. To some extent this is true because everything deteriorates with use, but the electrical stress on components which are in use is far less than the stress on components when the computer is turned on or off. When you need to be using your computer over long periods of time, avoid turning it off and on repeatedly, because each time the computer comes on or goes off, the components are stressed, which reduces their lifespan. It is therefore important to avoid switching off your computer frequently. Once a day should do if you’ll be using the computer most of the time.

Have your laptop connected to a good surge protector each time you can afford.

Big tip on how to take care of your laptop: buy and use a surge protector. Surges are one of those nightmares that can cause you to go laptop shopping that same day, because when surges come, they fry the circuitry of the computer and if it doesn’t destroy the laptop will most likely terminate the laptop battery life. It is also important to note that surges are most likely during a thunder storm. So even if you have the computer connected to a surge protector during one of these storms, the high end of precaution would be to completely disconnect from the electricity source. This is because sometimes the surge of electrical power may be so strong that your surge protector cannot withstand the electrical power coming in.

How to ensure that the battery lasts long.

The battery of the computer is the one part which can either make the computer useless without a power source or dependable even in a power outage. How then can you ensure the longevity of the battery as well as best laptop battery life?

The first step is to ensure that the computer does not remain connected to the power source when it doesn’t need to be. The power source which charges up the battery can also reduce the laptop battery life when it has been connected for a long period of time. So the best practice is to charge it up to full capacity, then using it off the power source until the battery is quite low before reconnecting it to charge it up again. Alternatively, if you are sure of the reliability of the power connection, you can charge the battery and then remove it, and only plug it in when you need to use it. This way, you can increase the laptop battery life.

The battery also should be from time to time used completely to complete exhaustion and then charge it up to fullness, to re-educate the electronics in the battery of its capacity. It is possible that the battery electronics forgets the actual capacity of the battery. This is laptop battery optimizer action and increases the laptop battery life.

Keep your computer clean on the inside

Many times, the software running on your computer plays a role in damaging the computer and shortening its lifespan. There are many ways in which the computer can be damaged by the software running on, first of all by overwhelming and overworking the different components of the computer and the ensuing stress shortens the lifespan of the computer. We will now explore several things which you can do to get the best out of your computer system.

Keep the Operating System and software current.

Generally, software updates are regarded as a nuisance by most computer users (especially on the windows platform) as they usually consume a lot of very costly data and mostly pop up uninvited, interrupting the actual activities you may want to use your computer for when you see the “please wait” message. It is interesting to know that each upgrade that is released by the developers is not only designed to look different, but designed to interact differently with your computer hardware. Still wondering how to speed up your laptop? Think of the software on your computer as the driver of a car and your hardware as the car itself. The more skilled a driver is, the less accidents we can expect of him and the longer we can expect the car to last. Same scenario plays out on your computer. Every upgrade in terms of the operating system and other related software upgrades are built to work better with the computer hardware to ensure the least possible stress on the components and not getting these updates tends to be a negative choice. Step one therefore is to keep your operating system and related software as recent (updated) as possible by downloading every available update. You don’t even have to worry about remembering to update your Operating System and related applications as there is an option to have automatic updates activated, such that your system downloads them as soon as they are available.

Regularly take care of your hard drive

The hard drive of the computer is what we can call the computer long term memory. As the computer keeps working constantly, unnecessary files keep accruing and gathering in different places. This may include temporary files which your Operating System may not automatically delete. Fortunately, the Windows Operating System comes embedded with a Disk Cleanup application which cleans out this unnecessary data, leaving the computer running much faster than one could have expected. To run the program on older operating systems

  • Open My Computer.
  • Right click on the drive which you want to clean up.
  • Click on Properties.
  • Go to General category and click on Disk Cleanup.

On more recent windows operating systems, you can do a search for Disk Cleanup in the taskbar search space, select the drive you want to cleanup and proceed.

How long do laptops last? Really, the answer to that question depends on how you use it. Another way to care for your hard drive is to defragment it. Defragmentation is the process of rearranging files and folders on your hard drive in an orderly fashion so that it works better. Normally, data is stored on separate places on the hard drive, in fragments as spaces are available and this puts a strain on the hard drive each time you want a large file which would be highly fragmented. The Operating System would be accelerated after this and the lifespan of the hard drive would be increased as it is stressed less this is also a laptop battery optimizer. If you have an SSD (Solid State Drives), you have less of a problem because there are no spinning parts within it to increase stress on the device during use.

Protect your computer from viruses and other malware.

Computer viruses are easily encountered by every unprotected computer that visits the internet. The presence and activity of these malware on your system can cause the slow running and quick deterioration of some components. There are some viruses that continuously write data to your storage, with the aim of crashing it. Aside from that, some of these malware make the use of the computer uncomfortable at best, if not impossible as it takes up so many CPU cycles and fills your desktop with unwanted effects. Fortunately, you need not combat them personally. You only need to buy professional anti-malware software which will take care of the situation. An advantage of buying is that they offer laptop battery optimizers, and if you’ve been wondering how to speed up your laptop, they are on the case.

You may already find yourself in a quagmire if you try to get such a program much later than you should have, because some viruses even prevent you from installing defense applications. In such a case, the only remaining option would be to reinstall your operating system on your computer, in which case it is easy to lose some, if not all of your files and applications. So the best time to install anti-virus applications is immediately after the Operating System is installed. If the option of buying an antivirus program does not appeal to you, same providers offer free versions. Here is a list of good free antivirus applications: Qihoo 360 Total Security, Comodo Antivirus, Avira Free Antivirus, MalwareBytes, AVG Antivirus, Avast Free Antivirus, BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition and Panda Cloud Antivirus Free. Getting one of these should at least give you protection from most of the usual threats.

Watch out for problems and be rapid in responding to them.

In the process of use, problems may arise in your computer. It may not seem serious immediately, but problems don’t generally get better by themselves, they get worse. So it is better to seek solutions for problems at the first appearance. Problems vary; your computer may just become slow, behave oddly or just put up error messages and restart for unexplainable reasons. In such cases, contact tech support to submit your complaints and get your laptop repaired as soon as possible. How long do laptops last? Really, the answer to that question depends on how you use them.

Avoid incompatible applications and resource hungry applications

This is a very useful tip on how to take care of your laptop, how to speed up your laptop: you should verify a software’s minimum requirements carefully before installing said application. A program as we previously discussed are like users of your computer’s resources, which determine how far your system will be pushed to get the kind of the results the program desires to deliver. Some resource hungry applications will literally freeze your computer, and sometimes cause impromptu restarts due to shortages in system resources like video memory, RAM or other critical resources. Some applications super-engage your processor, and cause it to over work and become overheated. If you have a laptop battery optimizer application, it will warn you about such applications. There are certain games that would have such an effect on your computer and generally their requirements are quite high. If you must run such applications, endeavor to upgrade your device to the maximum specs you can afford to avoid failure in the long run, or a burn out of components like your video card or RAM. You can always call tech support to have them guide you on where to have your computer upgraded.

In most cases, some professional programs are designed for exceptionally high-end computers like is the case of high graphics programs like the ADOBE Suite for graphics solutions and CAD programs like AutoCAD and ArcGIS. It is better to buy a high end computer for use with such applications then try to run them on your computer. You will just end up overworking your device if it actually runs them and make its end very near. If you have such programs running on your computer, then our advice for you is to uninstall them as soon as you can afford to, to prolong the lifespan of your computer.

Tune-Up applications

If you want to go the extra mile to learn how to speed up your laptop, you can recruit one of the very effective Tune Up applications for personal computers. There are very few free applications that offer even a bit of good service, so if you are going for this option, be ready to buy. These applications give you options on how to speed up your laptop such as deleting multiple copies of files you may have in more than one location on your computer, taking care of junk files, updating your applications and deleting unused programs. It is easy to get such programs online, examples include AVG PC Tune-up and Laptop Battery Optimizer

The primary focus of this article is to show you how to reduce stress on your computer. The more intensely you use your computer, the quicker it deteriorates. Overall, all your system needs is your attention and prompt action, and you will get the best lifetime possible. So once more, how long do laptops last? You decide, by not only learning how to take care of your laptop, but actually doing it.

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