The small size and portability of a laptop computer makes it a far more convenient than a standard desktop computer, but being such, it is more vulnerable to damage than its desktop counterpart. Laptops are also generally more difficult to fix, and they tend to require more expensive, difficult-to-install parts. Fortunately, there are a number of simple precautions that you can take to protect your laptop computer and ensure that it continues to function properly over the course of time.
Let’s take a look at five of the most common laptop mishaps and the simple steps that go a long way in preventing them:
1. Damaged power cables
Power cables can become frayed over time and may end up exposing the copper wiring. This not only poses a shock hazard, but it can also cause the laptop to shut down unexpectedly. Charging cables tend to deteriorate near the computer’s power jack, so when you store a portable computer, but sure to check that the cord is not in a bent position, as this will put stress on the cord’s outer coating. It is best to keep the adapter or power cable in one of the carrying case pockets, rather than wrapping the cord around your computer.
2. Damaged or Cracked Screen
Perhaps the most common laptop mishap is a cracked screen.
Although laptop screen repair services are surely available, it’s always better to prevent this problem by keeping your computer on a stable surface. Avoid the common mistake of putting it near the edge of a table, chair or sofa. When transporting your laptop, always keep it in a padded carrying case of the proper size, so that it fits snugly and is shielded from damage. Use care when connecting network or power cables to your laptop; people can trip on them and cause the computer to fall.
Laptops retaining too much heat remains a serious problem, especially as new models continue to become ever smaller and thinner. To keep your laptop at a safe temperature, avoid using it on soft surfaces that absorb heat. For example, it’s best not to use a portable computer on top of a thick blanket. If the temperature exceeds 75 degrees in your home or office, only run the laptop on a desk or table and avoid using it for extended periods of time. PC World recommends cleaning the fan vents as well by spraying the vents down with canned air. Cleaning the dust from your laptop can save a major disaster and avoid overheating.
4. Stuck Keys
Keys can stick and cause the same letter to appear many times when you press a single button. Sometimes this happens when the keyboard mechanism wears out and needs replacement. However, most stuck keys are caused by bits of debris that become lodged in the keyboard. To prevent this, keep food and pets away from your laptop and regularly clean the keyboard with canned air or a small brush. Using brushes and keyboard vacuums to clean your keyboard are safer and cause less harm to the environment. This is all part of Computer Hardware Maintenance.
5. Liquid Damage
Spilled liquids can often completely destroy many laptop computers and other electronic devices. Even just a single cup of juice, coffee or soda can badly damage a portable computer, possibly to the point of no return. If at all possible, refrain from drinking beverages near your laptop. If you absolutely must do so, using an external keyboard and mouse combined with a laptop riser can keep your laptop out of harm’s way. Keyboards and the like are much easier and significantly cheaper to clean or replace when a spill occurs. If you do spill something on your laptop, immediately turn it off and try to dry it out as quickly as you can. If fortunate is smiling upon you, a full repair may still be possible, especially if the liquid did not enter any fan vents.
6. Storage Space
Laptops used to come with small hard drives, however nowadays, the storage space provided is relatively large. You would think that would eliminate a storage space problem, but no it does not! Not only are the hard drives larger in storage capacity, now the files we want to store have also increased also!
A laptop might have a 600GB hard drive or more, but when you start storing movies, music and photos, this space is not enough for the average user. Also filling up your storage space definitely slows your computer down and makes your productivity rate diminish. Therefore the answer is buying an external hard drive, or if you can afford it, online storage. There are many computer backup options to choose from and there is no excuse for filling your laptop with storage files.
By taking heed to the above-mentioned steps, you can keep your laptop computer working reliably for many years to come. This will reduce the amount of money you have to spend on things like new laptops, replacement parts, laptop screen repair and a slew of other repairs. Help yourself keep your data and other precious files safe from these common calamities.
Matt Papa is a professional inbound marketer, discussing laptop screen repair, who guest blogs for a variety of online publications. Matt is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites, including Reuters, SEOmoz.org and The Washington Post. Follow him @MattPapa77.