Loving Your Laptop

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Guest post courtesy of Technibble.com.

Heat Is Your Enemy
The cooling system is very simple: an internal fan draws air in through inlets on the underside or rear, over the hot components and out through another vent in the side or rear. If these vents are blocked the laptop will overheat; sensors inside the computer will turn the fan speed up to compensate and eventually force the laptop to switch off. If the fan stops turning, the show’s over. When working, place your laptop on a clean, smooth surface. A dirty environment can cause a build up of dust and dirt around the vents and fan. Don’t place it on the bed or on carpet or other soft, uneven surfaces. An uneven surface can block the vents. Oh and guys, excessive heat on your lap can substantially reduce your success rate when starting or expanding your family.

Switch Off First
The primary storage in your laptop is the hard disk drive. It is a precision mechanical device. It looks a little like a cd player or a record player. The read/write head hovers over the magnetic surface of the disk at about 5-10 nanometers. If the computer is knocked, the head can hit the surface and damage it causing permanent data loss and making the computer unreliable. To avoid this you should always make sure the laptop is fully powered down before you transport it or put it in your carry bag or backpack. When the computer is powered down the read/write head of the drive is parked away from the disk surface and locked down so a knock is less likely to cause any damage.

Regular Maintenance
Give your laptop a regular clean out using low pressure compressed air around the keyboard and vents. Once a year a clean out inside the case is also a good idea. This is probably best done by a repair shop. This will keep the temperature down and improve reliability.

Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again?
Many normal Windows maintenance tasks and updates require a restart. Sometimes Windows or your applications get stuck in a way that makes them seem broken or the computer is getting sluggish and unresponsive. Sometimes, the way to fix these little annoyances is to perform a full shutdown and restart of Windows. This is not the same as putting the laptop to sleep by closing the lid. I’ve often fixed seemingly broken printers, wifi, networks etc simply by doing a Windows restart.

Backup Often
If you have stuff on your laptop you simply can’t afford to lose then you should be backing up every day. Depending on the level of stress you experience thinking about total data loss, it may be advisable to set up a multi-level backup plan that involves daily and weekly backups, onsite backup, offsite backup and cloud backup. Nothing is guaranteed and the more backups you have the better your chances of recovering in the event of disaster.

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Emily is the person to blame behind Surviving Alabama. She is a nerd, a mother, and sometimes pretends to be a writer (although there was that one legit writing job for a few years...). When she isn't writing, repairing computers, or designing websites, Emily is happily raising three children with her very understanding husband.

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