GUEST COLUMN: Looking after your laptop, by Jennifer Griffiths, Chips Computers

If you are like most of my customers, you may ask yourself: “How am I going to avoid replacing this laptop so soon?”

It’s a fair question.

Today I have some great tips that will help your laptop live a long and healthy life.

Tip 1. Keep it cool. You can do this by avoiding anything that will block the flow of air through the vents and any fan obstruction.

The number one cause of fans being blocked is they are sitting on a soft surface such a sofas and beds.

Tip 2. Avoid letting children put things inside of the vents and fans. This can kill your laptop or electrocute your child. 

Tip 3. Never spray deodorants, hair spray, or smoke around your laptop. You may ask yourself how all of these can hurt your laptop. Well, the answer is simple, it creates a sticky film inside and blocks the air flow. After a while the fan gets so corroded that it does not spin properly, thus causing the laptop to overheat again. 

Tip 4. Mind the socket! Be careful when you take the charger out of the laptop. Don’t yank it by the cord. Gently give it a little pull. Sockets are very pricey to repair and if too much trauma is caused, it can damage the board as well.

Tip 5. Have a service at least once a year. Why? Because if you are like most people, you will notice your laptop slowing down a little. It does this because of a good many things. Viruses are just one of them, also, your hard drive accumulates tons of things it does not need such as cookies, temporary files, etc. By getting a service you are basically taking out the garbage for your laptop. 

Tip 6. Invest in a good internet security/antivirus program. Free ones are free for a reason. T If I were to recommend one it would be Bullguard. 

Tip 7. When you carry your laptop around in the bag, turn the laptop where the lid faces the bottom of the bag and the cord is against the bottom of the laptop if you have a front pocket on the laptop case for your charger.

Tip 8. Try not to move the laptop when it is on or the hard disk can take damage. Think of the hard drive as an old record. Once those got scratches they never quite played the song the same again.

Tip 9. Laptops do not like liquids. Not only do spillages make a mess cosmetically and spread germs, they cause problems inside.

Tip 10. Avoid dropping or letting your laptop sit on a place where it is subject to falling or being at the hands of a child trying to get it. Once you drop one, it is subject to irreversible damage.