7 ways to extend the life of your computer

Computers can be a big investment – get the most out of yours.

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1. Don’t use your laptop on your lap! (Or any other soft surface like your bed.)
Why? Your knees and clothing will block the vents, cutting off air circulation and, over time, will literally cook your device to death. Laptops have vents on the bottom to provide cool air to what is effectively a radiator – you wouldn’t your wrap your cars radiator in a blanket, would you? Many of us will remember noticing a number of years ago that computer manufactures across the globe suddenly changed the name of a “laptop computer” to “notebook”, “netbook” and “ultrabook” with minimal explanation. There was a good reason behind that.

2. Don’t overfill your computer’s storage system
Why? Your computer is constantly writing to its hard drive (HDD), and the less space it has the more it will use the portion of HDD space it has left. Computers have physical parts, and constantly using one part of an HDD wears it out. A good figure to work on is 80 to 90 per cent full is too full. If your computer tells you its running out of space DO NOT IGNORE THAT MESSAGE – doing so is like ignoring your car’s oil light.

3. Get a solid state drive (SSD) installed in your computer.
Why? A traditional HDD works like a record player and is constantly moving. A solid state drive, however, has no moving parts and as such generates less heat, requires less power, is impact resistant, and makes your computer run twice as fast! An SSD is a great way to make an older, slower computer come alive, and also helps fully utilise the power of “fully specced” modern systems.

4. If your computer has a myriad of popups, get it fixed. But try to avoid installing malware in the first place.
Why? Malware, adware, viruses, PUP’s and the like all force your computer to do lots of unnecessary things, often grinding it into the ground every time it’s switched on. This it like driving your car around with several bins of rubbish on the back seat and in the boot – slow and damaging!

5. Use good quality antivirus software and don’t install more than one on your computer
Why? Antivirus programs compliment your computer’s built-in security, filling in the gaps. If you cannot afford good commercial antivirus software, the next best thing is Microsoft’s free Security Essentials. We strongly recommend Quick Heal Total Security as the best option. Be careful – when you install some software, Adobe Flash for example, it may invite you to also set up a sponsored antivirus suite. Do not let it do this – it will compete with your present antivirus and limit its effectiveness.

6. Check your laptop’s power supply is the correct one
Why? If the plug fits it does not mean your device should wear it. Often laptop power supplies get mixed up or replaced with one with insufficient amperage or efficiency rating to operate the computer correctly. Incorrect and faulty power supplies are, surprisingly, one of the leading causes of computer and HDD damage. It is also worth checking the power supplies of all your devices – underpowering an external or internal HDD can ultimately lead to total data loss.

7. Be gentle on your computer
Why? Your computer is a precision instrument and needs to be treated as such. If you transport your laptop often, invest in a padded, purpose-made laptop bag.

If you have any questions on how to improve the longevity of your computer, visit Warragul Computer Repair at 2 Smith Street, Warragul. 0499 999 869.