Help and advice

How to ruin your laptop

Laptops. We love them. The vast majority of us will use them if not every day, then certainly pretty often, and the chances are at some point we’ve all done something to damage one. Techies are often presented with laptops that have been put out of action by getting stood on, dropped or thrown across the room.

You might not have seen sparks or notice something falling off it, but the chances are you’ve made your laptop suffer in the past. Here are just some of the ways you might be accidentally running up a huge repair bill for the future.

Pressure Cooker

As efficient as processors might be these days, laptops generate heat and will end up hot to the touch if not properly ventilated. Make sure your fan vents are always clear - don’t pile things up around them, and never put the vents against a fabric such as your sofa or a carpet. If the heat can’t escape, it will build up in the unit. Even if your laptop doesn’t overheat, the chances are you’re baking the contents.

Sudden moves

Most laptops have a mechanical hard drive, which means that there are a few moving parts involved. Unfortunately, this means that if you move your laptop while those parts are active, the components might touch and this could seriously damage your chances of retrieving that crucial data. Move your laptop gently and try to avoid moving it at all when you’re using a programme which makes heavy use of the hard drive.

Power lifting

Picking up your laptop by the screen, a corner, the optical drive - all of these are excellent ways to ensure a nice healthy crack appears. They’re relatively weak compared to the actual body of the unit and just begging for something to fall off. Don’t even risk it if you’ve done so before and think it looks fine; the chances are there are stresses and strains in the materials that you can’t yet see. Lift an open laptop with one hand at either side. If it’s closed, grab the front or back.

Twist and shout

Stop mangling the cables. Believe it or not, they’re rarely good at coping with being bent and twisted at funny angles, so make sure you’re not expecting yours to cope with too many sharp turns. Look especially at the places where your cables go in and out of various sockets, because that’s where they’re most likely to come under stress. If something does look like it’s coming adrift, duct tape is not the answer - take it to a technician straight away.

Cooking up a storm

Laptops are of course full of air vents to keep them cool, but this also means that little bits of dust and grime can get caught in there. This is worst in the kitchen, where you’re likely to end up with moisture, tiny food particles and even grease joining the party. You don’t want those getting into your laptop and causing problems, so it’s best to stay well clear.

Never, ever clean it

Many of us are guilty of this, but there’s just no way of knowing how many germs are incubating on your laptop’s keyboard and screen. Of course, little bits of dust, food and whatever else that stuff is that ends up between the keys is doing nobody and nothing any good. Keep it clean and save yourself some serious hassle.


© Axonn 2015