When I was in college, one of my friends showed up late for a presentation. As he sat beside me and switched on his laptop, I noticed that it had very prominent glowing spots on the screen while the rest of it was relatively darker than usual. I was perplexed because I did not know that something like that could happen to your laptop! When I asked him about it, he told me that he had accidentally spilled cola over his laptop screen! Poor thing, the laptop had crossed its warranty period 2 months before the incident. Good heavens, how does anyone be that careless? But, let's face it. Most of us give in to lethargy after 6 months of buying our beloved MacBook, Dell, Vaio or HP. The power cord that was once pulled out oh so gently like you could snap its bone if you were a little harsh, is now pulled out like you could give it multiple fractures. But, hey! That is a wire so you don't care much. And then, the day comes when your beloved, ahem, laptop doesn't respond to you and goes blank like it breathed its last, you sit there praying to God to make it come back to life. It may not just be your cord pulling routine, but also the way you have been taking care of your laptop, taking it for granted.
Tips to Care for Your Laptop
Don't Pull the Plug
I just mentioned it, how you pull the battery charger by the cord to unplug it tremendously affects its life. Don't be so lazy, you fool! Just to avoid taking 2 leaps to switch off the plug, you pull the cord. Very soon, you will need to empty your pockets to buy a new charger because this one will stop working due to loose wiring. You are educated and you are mature enough to care for your laptop, so get up and switch off the plug. Now, disconnect the charger from the socket using the plug, not the cord! If you subject the socket and the cord to such shock, they will both stop working and there might be a short-circuit someday. Also, try not to trip over the cord or rest furniture on it, even when not in use. I'd suggest that you either tape it to the floor or tie it up.
It's Not Your Theater
I know, we all love watching movies on the laptop because it is so multipurpose and I am not going to stop you from doing so. But, you better keep a check on yourself and keep the food away from the laptop. It deserves that kind of respect. Keep your colas, ketchup bottles, water and all greasy food away. You never know, a little drop might trickle down the keyboard or you might share the same fate as my friend in the above incident. It might end up being a victim of a short-circuit and you will lose all the data. In fact, once, my laptop just gave up out of the blue and when I went to the company's service center, they told me it was the moisture that had corrupted the motherboard. This is when I hadn't even brought any liquid near it. But, it was the monsoon season! Make it a rule, no food, especially liquids, at least within a 5 feet radius.
It Needs a Fan Too
Okay. Your laptop is not a person but it radiates heat and needs cooling too after long hours of continuous usage. You should give it a 30 minute rest after every 2-3 hours of use. If you need to use your it for longer durations, get a cooling pad. It is a small, one-time investment that will help prolong your battery's life. It prevents condensation of moisture in the atmosphere on its surface by maintaining a low temperature. The motherboard will also survive longer because the heat can damage the internal components of the hardware causing your laptop to run slow and/or malfunction.
Shut it Gently
One of the stupidest things occurred when my laptop fell off my bed, I picked it up and shut the display against the keyboard. This was when I was half-asleep though. Next morning, as I switched it back on, I was greeted by a screen that looked like a spider's web. The LCD monitor was in shambles! It broke my heart and burnt a huge hole in my pocket. Learn from my experience and immediately take it to the service center without shutting down. Apart from that, you should always wait for your laptop to shut down completely. Yes, wait for it to complete the updating process too. Then, gently close the LCD monitor like it was a bubble that would burst if you handled it a little too harshly. Make sure, there is no stationery or cell phone or iPod or anything else between the monitor and the keyboard.
Has your antivirus software validity expired? Did you even have one? The Internet is full of viruses, malware and trojans. Then, you also download so many things. Your laptop can easily get infected by a virus. If you don't want your files to get corrupted, the software or the hardware to malfunction, it's time to give it some strong antivirus protection. Update it from time to time as well! Always keep your firewall on, too.
Don't Eject the Battery
This is a common faux pas that I am guilty of committing too. When my laptop is taking longer to respond, I don't wait for more than 5 minutes for it to show some activity. I directly hit the eject button of the battery and restart it. This can really screw up your laptop and you might need to restore it to its factory settings, losing data on it. Preferably, charge your battery when it is almost fully drained out. Don't ever over-charge your battery. It severely affects the life of the battery due to overheating and doesn't give you any extra power storage. Proper battery care can ensure that your battery life is maintained at an average 3-4 hours for up to 2 to 4 years. Else, it won't last more than a few minutes and you will end up changing it every 6 months.
Cleaning the Keyboard
I bet you don't know that, your laptop and cell phone contain more bacteria per square inch as compared to a public bathroom's toilet seat! Hence, you should clean both of them, every single day without fail with a disinfectant. Don't spray it directly. Instead, spray it on a soft cloth and then use it to wipe off the entire surface. Also, it will preserve the outer coating of your laptop that can be damaged due to dirt and sweat. Better yet, get your laptop laminated. It will really protect its exterior and you can replace the lamination coating anytime, maintaining your laptop's appearance as though it was new, for years.
● Do not use corrupted or pirated CDs and DVDs.
● Don't use your laptop like a tabletop.
● Never hold the laptop by the display monitor. Use the base.
● Connect the USB in the right slot and at the right angle.
● Keep the laptop away from any device that radiates a lot of heat.
● Do not use your laptop like a large storage device. Get a hard disk instead.
● Don't leave your laptop on a stand-by mode for long durations.
● Use your laptop in a cool environment. Heat is detrimental to its health.
● Keep your laptop away from sunlight too. It ultimately heats up the metal.
● Avoid using the laptop on the bed. It causes overheating and dust accumulation.
● Regularly clean the exhaust fans.
● Keep your laptop on a hard surface like the table. Floor is a bad idea.
● Don't ever lose the laptop bill and warranty card. Renew the warranty if required.
● Don't touch the CD/DVD player lens. Hire a professional to clean it.
● Don't always use audio speakers at maximum volume.
● Use an ear bud to clean those hard to reach corners.
● Turn off your Wi-Fi if you are not using it.
● Your hands should be completely dry when you use your laptop.
These are some quick ways to take good care of your laptop and maintain it. If you haven't been taking good care of your laptop, start now. It's never too late. Never ever be harsh on electronics because then, they will refuse to function at all. Changing your habits to care for your laptop can ensure that it functions smoothly and for years. Also, it will give you a great speed off-line as well as on-line.