10 must-know laptops maintenance tips Detail

10 must-know laptops maintenance tips
10 must-know laptops maintenance tips

Caring for your laptop means more than keeping it in a case and tucking it in every night. It’s an advanced bit of kit, worthy of special care and attention. That doesn’t mean looking after your laptop is difficult though. Clue yourself up on our ten must-know laptop maintenance tips, and we’ll keep your portable in perfect running order

1) Avoid dust at all costs
Dust is a laptop’s nemesis, it’ll work its way inside the chassis and risks clogging fans and overheating your PC’s components. There are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of dust finding its way into your computer though.

The easiest is to keep it safely concealed in a case or sleeve when not in use. If dust does work its way inside though, you can blast it free using a small can of compressed air, available from computer stores. 

2) Use proper cleaning materials
Some laptop owners use household cleaners to give their PC a fresh sheen, but it’s an unwise move and could risk ruining that precious PC. Standard household cleaners can be damaging and dangerous to sensitive screen coverings, and risk marring the plastic shells of portable computers too.

Resist the urge to use whatever’s already in the cleaning cupboard, and always use specific screen cleaners. They’re available as sprays or wipes. In a pinch you can use a damp lint-free cloth, but be aware that you’ll find it hard to achieve a streak-free finish, especially on screens coated with plastic rather than glass.

3) Keep your laptop cool
Laptops generate a surprising amount of heat, and are engineered to extremely tight thermal tolerances. That means even the shortest period of prolonged heat can harm them. To best take care of your laptop keep it out of direct sunlight and away from heaters or radiators.

4) Beware of protruding connectors
Your laptop’s most vulnerable spot is also its most frequently used: the sockets along its side. USB, audio and network connectors will all jut out of its edge, making them prone to knocks and nudges.

Be careful though, since a sharp snag won’t just yank your accessory free from its socket, it could also damage the socket and the circuit board it’s connected to.

5) No smoking please!
If you smoke near your laptop, it’ll breathe in the same chemicals you do, and they’re just as bad for its health.

Over time the noxious fumes from cigarettes can clog up the innards of your PC. It’s almost as fast to cause damage as dust, so for the sake of your computer, and your own health, kick the habit!

6) If you can’t stand the heat..
keep the laptop out of the kitchen!
Similar to smoke particles from nicotine junkies, those who use their laptop in the kitchen will find its sensitive air vents and fans get clogged much quicker.

Airborne particles, moisture and more disgustingly, grease, will soon find their way inside your computer if it’s used in the kitchen. What’s more, cleaning out the gunk afterward can be a tricky and time consuming process, often needing the attention of a professional.

The simplest solution is not to let your laptop venture into the kitchen in the first place.

7) Protect that power socket
Trailing cables can be easily yanked free from your computer, and the laptop’s power cord is a prime candidate for unintentional tugging.

Always tuck it away neatly, to avoid passers-by tripping over it, but if it absolutely must snake across the floor try looping it around a table leg before plugging it into your PC. That way, any sharp yanks will be made to the table, not your precious computer.

8) Pick a laptop with shock protection
Increasingly, laptops come with built-in shock protection. Many Toshiba PCs branded with EasyGuard certification (Link to Toshiba EasyGuard- five ways it safeguards your data) have this feature, and are able to park the hard drive’s moving head as soon as they sense movement.

The result is a computer that’ll take a tumble, and live to tell the tale. If your laptop doesn’t have hard drive protection, you’ll need to be extra careful.

9) Stay vigilant of viruses
The best form of laptop maintenance is preventing any damage or wear taking place in the first place. We’ve covered that with cases, cable management and shock protection, but what about the software? Viruses are rife online, and as soon as your PC hooks up to the internet, it’s at risk.

Luckily, most Toshiba laptops come with McAfee Internet Security installed. You’ll find 30 days of free protection included, which you can extend to keep your computer completely virus free for life.

10) Backup your files regularly
This maintenance tip might not solve any problems straight away, but it’s the handiest insurance measure you have against an accident or virus wiping your data.

There are lots of ways to backup your files, from DVDs and Blu-ray discs to external hard drives such as the Toshiba StorE Steel, and even online backup services.


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Proper Storage of Your Laptop Detail

Proper Storage of Your Laptop
Proper Storage of Your Laptop

Laptop computers can go anywhere or be put anywhere. With a fully charged battery, your laptop has a home wherever you go! Beyond that, you can place your laptop anywhere you like: on the kitchen table, the coffee table, a real desk, a computer desk, or in bed with you.

You should keep the laptop on a flat, steady surface. Also try to keep it away from, or out of spilling range of, any drinks or food you might be consuming.

If your laptop doesn't have a permanent home, create a consistent storage place for it. You can keep the laptop in a drawer, bookcase, or cupboard, or in the box with the rest of the laptop stuff. Keeping it in the same place means that you can always find it when you need it.

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How to Remove Stickers from a Laptop Detail

How to Remove Stickers from a Laptop
How to Remove Stickers from a Laptop

Make sure this laptop isn't too old. The stickers will dry up, and over time, the glue backing will separate from the printed material. If you decide to remove the stickers, do it quickly. The stickers are not going to stay fresh for more than a year or two, depending upon its quality. If your laptop is a relic, skip to the very last step to use a chemical removal method.
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    Having antivirus software available is the best defence against a virus. Even if you know what you download, it could still contain a virus. If you choose not to have antivirus software you run the risk of a circuit error or software problem in your system. The virus may also slow down the system operations and performance.
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    Keep food away from your laptop. Don't eat over your laptop, the crumbs can fall between the keys and provide an invitation to small bugs or damage the circuitry. Worse yet, the laptop will look dirty if there are crumbs on it.
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    Always have clean hands when using your laptop. Clean hands make it easier to use your laptop touchpad and there will be less risk of leaving dirt and other stains on the computer. In addition, if you clean your hands before you use the laptop, you will reduce wear and tear on the coating caused by contact with sweat and small particles that can act upon the laptop's exterior.
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    Protect the LCD display monitor. When you shut your laptop, make sure there are no small items, such as a pencil or small ear-phones, on the keyboard. These can damage the display screen if the laptop is shut on them; the screen will scratch if the item is rough. Close the lid gently and holding it in the middle. Closing the lid using only one side causes pressure on that hinge, and over time can cause it to bend and snap.
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    Hold and lift the computer by its base, not by its LCD display (the screen). If you lift it by the screen alone, you could damage the display or the hinges attaching the display to the base. The display is also easily scratched or damaged by direct pressure – avoid placing pressure on it.
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    Don't pull on the power cord. Tugging your power cord out from the power socket rather than putting directly on the plug can cause the cord to break off from the plug or damage the power socket. Also, if the power cord is near your feet, avoid kicking it accidentally; in fact, it is best to refrain from bumping into the plug at all because you could loosen it and eventually break it.
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    Don't roll your chair over the computer cord. Stick the cord onto your desk with tape or a special computer cord tie which can easily be undone when you've finished using the laptop. Always try to keep the cord away from the floor and your legs.
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    Be sure to plug accessory devices into their proper slots. Always look at the symbols on the laptop carefully before inserting devices. Jamming a phone line into an Ethernet port or vice versa could damage the sockets, making it impossible to use them again. It is very important to observe this step.
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    Handle any removable drives with care. CD drives that have been removed from your laptop could easily be crushed or dropped; do not be careless. If you are not putting them back into the laptop, put them straight into a storage box or case for safe keeping.
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    Insert drives into their slots carefully and at the correct angle. Pushing the drive too forcefully into its slot could jam it.
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    Check to see if labels are affixed securely before inserting media into your laptop. CDs, DVDs, or floppy disks should not have any loose labels that may jam inside the laptop. Never insert undersized CDs, as these can damage the disk player permanently.
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    Don't expose your laptop to rapid temperature changes. When bringing your laptop indoors during winter, don't turn it on immediately. Instead, let it warm to room temperature first. This will avoid any potential for damage to the disk drive from condensation forming inside the machine. Avoid heat from sunlight as well.
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    Don't leave your laptop in a car. Not only do the insides of cars experience large temperature swings that could damage a laptop, but a laptop (or laptop bag) is an inviting target for a smash and grab thief.
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    Have the unit cleaned annually to remove internal dust. Get this done by a computer professional, or do it yourself if you can. If dust accumulates, the system will not be able to cool itself correctly. Heat can destroy the motherboard.
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    Avoid placing heavy materials, such as books, on top of your laptop. This can push the LCD screen into the keyboard, and will eventually damage it. Also, the CD-ROM insert will be squished and, eventually, will break.
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    Use a properly-sized laptop case. Whatever you use to carry your laptop around, be it a case, a bag, or something you made yourself, make sure that it is large enough to hold the laptop. This will help avoid scratching, squeezing or potentially dropping it.
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    Look into getting a laptop bag. Many breaks happen because laptops are dropped or bumped. A bag greatly reduces the risk of damage.
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    Only use and store your laptop in a well-ventilated area. When you are using your laptop, do so in a place that has a constant air-circulation. Lots of people ruin their laptops by using them in enclosed areas and thus cause the laptop to overheat.
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    Use an old toothbrush to clean the area around the exhaust fan screen. If that gets plugged up, air flow is diminished and overheating can occur.
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    Try to keep the laptop on a flat, clean surface. This prevents damage to the laptop. This can be hard to do, particularly if you are outside with your laptop, but if there is a flat surface available then put your laptop on it.
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    Don't use your laptop on the bed. Repeated use of a laptop on the bed will cause the fans to suck up the dust and debris in the bed, ultimately blocking the fan.

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