Notebook Care and Maintenance Guide
- Notebooks shouldn't be bumped or moved while they're switched on. Think of the hard drive as being like a vinyl record - movement greatly increases the chance of causing damage. Putting a solid-state drive (SSD) into your notebook avoids this issue.
- Don't use the notebook on a bed, on your lap, on carpet or any other soft surface. Use a hard, flat surface. Most notebooks have air intake vents on their underside. They also have feet to elevate them off the surface a bit to allow cool air to flow under the notebook. Also be careful not to obstruct exhaust outlets at the back or side of the latop. Periodically check the fans and vents for fluff and dust buildup. It’s also a good idea not to use the notebook too close to heaters.
- Don’t push the notebook up against the wall. One of the most common things techs repair on notebooks is the power connector, which is often at the back of the notebook. In many cases, it requires a motherboard replacement. Not cheap.
- Keep the notebook away from magnetic fields. Speakers, TV’s, refridgerators and even alarm clocks can all generate strong magnetic fields. Hard drives are magnetic storage devices, meaning that a strong enough magnet can wipe the drive.
- Notebooks and liqiuds don’t mix. Coffee, water, wine, beer and vomit have all been known to kill notebooks. If you're having a party, leave the notebook somewhere safe.
- Notebook screens are fragile and expensive. Close the notebook gently. Avoid touching the screen and don’t put heavy objects on it (eg. books). Use soft cleaning agents and soft cloth. I recommend using a proper computer screen cleaning agent and a cloth for cleaning spectacles with. These should be available at your local electronics shop and optometrists, respectively.
- Notebook keyboards are less durable than normal keyboards. They're also more expensive to replace. Try to keep it clean and avoid being rough with it. If you have small kids, it might be an idea to get a USB keyboard for them to use.
- Use a surge protector. Desktop computer power supplies are designed to bear the brunt of dangerous power fluctuations (you should still use a surge protector on them). Notebooks don’t have that luxury. A decent surge can cause costly damage. Surge protectors are cheap. They can also protect against surges through the phone line (if you’re using the dial-up modem).