How to Take Care of Your Notebook Computer

Geek!This is Bowler4Ever’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. Never put your notebook on a soft surface, such as your bed, a pile of clothes, or on your legs! A bed can “sink” a little when something like a notebook is on it, restricting air flow from the vent to the outside, which would cause your notebook to overheat and crash, possibly damaging components. Never put a notebook on your legs, either, because, over time, the notebook can get VERY hot and can potentially burn your legs.
  2. Never do a “drop test” to see how durable your notebook is! The company who created your notebook computer has already done this several times, since they know that notebooks already get bounced and banged around enough as-is. Dropping your notebook even from a small height can prove “deadly” to your hard drive, or other parts of your computer, which could render it useless; and the repairs will come out of your own pocket, no matter what kind of warranty you have on it.
  3. Never leave it on continuously for over 2 days straight, even on a powerful notebook. Again, notebooks can get very hot, causing overheating to occur. Not only that, but you are also wasting electricity. What I recommend is getting some sort of timer that automatically puts your machine into a sleep mode, or even shut it down at a certain time. One program I recommend for Windows users is PC Shutdown Pro. Basically, what this program does is you set up a time and day of when you want your computer to shut down, sleep, hibernate, log off, stand by, or lock down. It also gives you the option of cleaning out unnecessary files before the computer boots down, so when you reboot the system, it will boot up quicker, because there’s no junk in the drive. So, you set it and forget it! Then, the next time you go on the computer, just push the power button and you’re ready to go!
  4. If you have this option, get the computer’s innards cleaned out by a professional!!! Countless notebook users attempt to clean out their computer hardware manually (myself included) and all I did was crack the casing and nearly broke some of the parts. If you have a warranty, check out what is included in it, as some manufacturers, such as Apple’s AppleCare Program, have an included cleaning program, as well as a virus check and removal for free! So, talk to your computer manufacturer about your warranties and ask if this is included. It could save you some time, a lot of money, and perhaps even your notebook computer.
  5. Don’t spill your drinks! If you’re at a cafe or at home and you have a drink nearby and your spill it and it lands all over your notebook, power it off immediately! Take the AC adapter out (as well as the battery), get a cloth or paper towels and get as much liquid out as you can. Then, turn the computer over and let the rest of the liquid drip out for about 24 hours. During this process you should call your computer manufacturer and let them know what happened and if there is any way you can salvage it without much damage, such as a fried motherboard or rusted parts. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to send it in so they can look at it and make the necessary repairs.

19 thoughts on “How to Take Care of Your Notebook Computer”

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  2. I just have my laptop set to hibernate after a certain period of time, because I don’t turn it off that often. I occasionally have to restart, because of resources, But it works.

  3. I have to say, I have made a mistake in nearly every one of these areas at least once. Let’s see…I’ve left it on the bed, and I started to smell some smoke and noticed my bed had started to singe. I’ve burned my legs. I’ve dropped it nearly groin to floor distance. I’ve left it on for a day and a half, resulting in a screen burn in and a hard drive malfunction. I’ve spilled a large glass of soda on it. After all of the new parts that I’ve gotten for it, I’m surprised that I still call it the same notebook.
    I found this How To guide very helpful. I printed it out, and to make sure I don’t commit any more “Crimes” to my laptop, I now have it pinned to my bulletin board. Thanks Chris, and thanks Bowler4Ever!

  4. Guilty on article #1. A majority of my work is done with my laptop in bed when my girlfriend is sleeping. Is this really an issue I should be concerned about? Sure, it gets hot, but I monitor the temps with a widget.

  5. if your not using it for a while like ur going the mall or goin out to eat would it be better to shut it down or put it in sleep or hibernate mode?

  6. Excellent article! I know I need to work on 1 and 3 when I’m in bed I usually try to stick a book under the laptop would that suffice or should I just be on a 100% hard surface? It’s funny I was just looking for tips to take care of my computer.

    Oh one more thing, this is my main computer and I do use it A LOT(as in anywhere from 6-15 hours daily) I do shut it down every day and give it reasonable breaks but I am still using it like it’s a desktop computer. Could I be hurting it by using it this way?

    Bravo and good luck (you seem to be lucky when it comes to winning things=p)

  7. Great tips. I too am guilty of using a laptop on my lap..hmm wonder why I thought that would be OK?, I have to admit it’s a great way to warm you legs though.

  8. I have a great gateway notebook, that for a while began to snap off when drafting or doing extensive 3D work. I thought the programs graphics were too much for the machine. I bought a new computer (its ok, I love computers and always looking for an excuse to upgrade. I had some warranty warranty left on the gateway so I brought it in to have it looked at. They blew out the vent that had filled with lint, and presto, it works as well as the new one for Architectural Modeling. He had me buy some compressed air to blow it clean now and then. Happy Computing!

  9. Hey great tips! I didn’t even know apple offers that free cleaning. I’m going to have to check my Apple Care box now! Good luck!

  10. Thanks very much! Very informative article, which has really had an impact on me as I am now typing on my MacBook pro minus the incase sleeve which is usually left underneath. I will also try in the future to only use it on my lap for light browsing and nothing that will raise the temp too much.

    Thanks again!

  11. Nice article! I’ve been in situations myself where I dropped my computer a couple times and it didn’t work, now I have a new one and it’s being well taken care of. Nice tip!

  12. My first piece of advice when working around computers:

    Always use a covered cup, rather than drinking from a regular cup.

    I usually try to have my drinks on a different table than my computer. I like to have a little table off to the side for food and drink.

    Also, I found a really neat notebook cooler at TigerDirect. It’s made by Thermaltake. It actually looks like a pot holder.

    There’s something inside that helps keep the notebook cool. It really works.

  13. And about cockroaches! I saw one on my desk this morning. Caught him napping. But he was a foot from my laptop. What if he thought it was a nice warm place to nest? How does one deal with that situation? Spray the desk with repellent, I guess.

  14. Oh one more thing, this is my main computer and I do use it A LOT(as in
    anywhere from 6-15 hours daily) I do shut it down every day and give it
    reasonable breaks but I am still using it like it’s a desktop computer.Thanks

  15. Oh one more thing, this is my main computer and I do use it A LOT(as in
    anywhere from 6-15 hours daily) I do shut it down every day and give it
    reasonable breaks but I am still using it like it’s a desktop computer.Thanks

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