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Laptop Maintenance Tips

Laptop Maintenance Tips

Laptops are expensive gadgets made for mobility. Generally, they are not very tough, and are not known to take too well to being mishandled. If you do end up messing your laptop, even the smallest of repairs will set you back by thousands of rupees. Read on to learn how to care for your laptop. We have also included some important pointers you need to stick to before, during and after using your laptop.

Clean It Right: Since your laptop is such an expensive gadget (falling prices notwithstanding), be extremely careful while cleaning the screen. Make sure the cloth is very soft, and has no imprints or monograms on it, as these may scratch the screen. Also ensure that the cloth is lint-free, else it will leave fibers on the screen, and make the display unclear. Make sure you don't spray any cleaner directly on the screen. Instead, spray onto the cleaning cloth, and allow the cloth to capture the dirt and contaminants.

Choosing The Spray: The screen is the most expensive component of your laptop. Adequate care must be taken while choosing the cleaning spray. Harsh sprays could turn the screen yellow, and may even cause cracking. Use plain water or vinegar to clean the screen.

Placing The Laptop: Hard drives work on the property of magnetic flux, so any electrical field may damage the hard disk and the data on it. Make sure your laptop is at least 13 cm away from any electrical appliance that generates a strong magnetic field-such as a microwave oven.

Give It A Breather: If you have just shut down your laptop, give it 30 seconds before you start it up again. This ensures that the hard drive has spun down, and is not subjected to sudden switching on and off.

Data Backup: Always back up your data. Laptops are mobile devices, and are susceptible to breakage. Also, it's possible that the hard disk simply crashes. Remember, you can never back up too frequently.

Laptop Battery Care: The bane of most laptop users is the lack of a really long battery life. There are three main types of laptop batteries:

  • Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd)
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)
  • Lithium Ion (Li-ion).


This type of battery must be fully discharged and then fully recharged every few weeks. If you don’t do this, it will quickly lose battery life due to what is known as the `memory effect'.

The memory effect means if you don't follow the above procedure, your battery will only charge up to the percentage of the last charge. For instance, if you discharge it to 30 per cent, it will only charge up the remaining 70 per cent. Do this repeatedly, and the 30 per cent will become unusable, giving you an effective 70 percent charge even though the indicator will still show a 100 per cent charge each time you charge it.

Nickel Metal Hydride

Ni-MH batteries are similar to Ni-Cd batteries, although they are less susceptible to the memory effect. They also have a higher capacity.

Lithium Ion

These are the latest type of batteries, and have no real problems as far as the memory effect is concerned. The problem with these is that they lose their effectiveness if overcharged or ­left for a long time with a full charge. Always discharge these batteries if you're going to be storing them away.

Keep Your Battery Healthy

  • Before the first use, charge the batteries for 12 hours or the minimum charge time, as mentioned in the manual.
  • For daily use, charge the battery to capacity, then run the laptop on battery power until it is completely drained (for Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries, this prevents the memory effect) or almost drained. (For Li-ion batteries, this can help prevent overcharging).
  • Don't leave your battery unused for long periods of time. Even if you use AC power most of the time, use the battery regularly to keep it in good condition. Switch off your AC adapter when the laptop is not in use. This prevents overcharging.

To extend battery life, you can try decreasing the LCD brightness while using your notebook. You can activate the `Standby' and `Hibernation' power­saving modes, too, for better battery life.

Battery Storage

  • If you do not use your laptop for extended periods of time-a week or more ­remove the battery pack from the laptop, but only after discharging it fully.
  • The batteries should be stored in a cool dry place, removed from heat, humidity and dust as well as metal objects.

Use A Laptop Case

It is advisable to spend a couple of thousand rupees and get a sturdy carry-case for your laptop. The case should ideally be hard from the outside and soft on the inside, while being a comfortable fit. It should be able to absorb shocks and carry your laptop accessories.

Keep Eatables Away

Obviously, no eating and drink­ing near or around your laptop. The least bit of water could short-circuit some sensitive laptop circuits, and render it useless.

No Hard Booting

You may sometimes be tempted to turn your laptop off by simply holding down the power button until it powers down. Although quick, this method is harmful to the laptop and could cause data loss.A hard reboot should only be used as a last resort. Sometimes this is inevitable, for instance, when Windows hangs. But this should not be a regular practice.

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