While many laptops appear durable, they are often quite fragile. A slight bump at just the right angle can and does damage laptops. Operating Systems are even more fragile. There are thousands of programs out there which supposedly stop, fix or protect, but the reality is that most of those programs do more harm than good. As your laptop slows down more with each passing week you think there might be a problem, but put it off or fear that it will be bigger than you think. There are thousands of reasons for a laptop to begin failing. There are some that appear more than others. The trick is to recognize a problem before it cascades into ten others. While in no particular order these five reasons are more likely for a technician to see than most others.
Overheating is high on the list of laptop problems that most never think of. Most will feel the outside of the case, and then think everything is okay. The usual suspects for overheating are setting the laptop on a blanket or pillow while using or dust. Fans do sometimes go bad, but it’s usually because of dust. On almost every laptop there is essentially an intake and exhaust (heatsink) vent. Block either and you get overheating. As the laptop heats up repeatedly it can eventually dry out the thermal paste on top of the processor. Overheating can also damage the motherboard, hard drive and memory. It’s a good idea to regularly blow out the fan and heatsink.
Hard Drive Failure
Hard drive failure is another of those issues that’s next to impossible to diagnose ahead of time. Every hard drive comes with some flaws. You’ve probably noticed that the space available on your new hard drive it less than what the packaging said. The flaws are mapped around at the factory. Still, hard drives are mechanical. There are spinning disks inside them as well as other moving parts. Sustained use (never turning your laptop off) and heat is the biggest killer. Back up your hard drive every chance you get, and regularly turn off your system. There are also programs in the operating system to check the health of the hard drive.
The AC Adapter
The DC jack and the AC adapter are two very important pieces of the laptop. They ensure that your system has power and at the right voltage, wattage and amperage. The AC adapter plugs into the DC jack except in the case of systems with mag safe adapters such as Mac products. Most people will just move the laptop around while it’s plugged in to recharge. They wind up hitting the adapter against things and tripping over the cord which causes pulling. The DC jack may feel secure, but most of the time they’re held in place by a simple plastic groove.
People also have a tendency to swap out AC adapters at random. It’s not always a bad thing. However, a 65 watt 19.5 volt 3.42 amp AC adapter just will not supply the proper power to a system which needs 90 watt 19.5 volt 3.42 amps. Dell and HP systems will often tell you that the adapter is incorrect when turning on the laptop. Those systems will not charge while the wrong adapter is plugged in. Others will power as best they can, but cause strain on the adapter or laptop. AC adapters are cheap on sites like Amazon. Buy a spare before you’re forced to use something inferior.
Liquid damage is an interesting problem because everyone will swear that they’ve never spilled anything on their laptop. While true for many there are other forms of moisture besides spilling a glass of iced tea on the keyboard. Humidity is a factor. There’s a reason computer labs are cold and dry. Computers like neither heat or moisture. One drop on condensation between the wrong two contact points on a motherboard can cause a BIOS to flash or worse. Water is a conductor of electricity. Circuit boards are set up for the electricity to flow a certain way. Think of it as putting jumper cables on the wrong post of your car’s battery.
Should you actually spill a liquid on the laptop immediately shut it down, unplug it and remove the battery. Then take it to someone who can open it up to clean it out. Depending on the model this is not always necessary, but replacing a keyboard is a lot less expensive than the motherboard and processor.
Simple neglect or apathy is perhaps the biggest reason for laptops to suddenly die. All of the factors above can fall into this, but they don’t go far enough. People will bang, knock, throw and treat their laptop like a backpack or bag. People eat, drink, smoke and generally do all kinds of crazy things around or with their laptop. They’ll leave them sitting in direct sunlight, and they’ll leave them in a hot car all day. The laptops are seen as critical and disposable at the same time.
With a little care and preventive maintenance, a laptop can last for years and years. There are people still using Windows XP and Apple G4 systems. If the above has said anything it’s saying that a laptop dying is preventable outside of the components themselves being bad. The most uttered phrase any technician hears is, “I don’t know anything about computers,” from their customers. With very little effort that can change. It takes less time than learning how to use programs like Office, Photoshop and millions of others.
Are you looking for a reputable IT company in Simi Valley to properly manage, not only your laptops, but all of your business devices? Contact J&S Advanced I.T. at (888) 406-8010 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put our IT experts to work for your business today!