Seven tips on how to make your computer last longer.
As the recession comes in, many people have become conscious of their spending and they tend to keep their possessions longer than usual. Among those possessions are computers, which have already become a major part of people's lives. Whenever possible, owners find ways and means on how to make their gadgets and appliances like computers last longer as much as possible.
For the sake of the environment, keeping things for as long as you can is positive. It is just desirable to maximize your desktop computer's performance and longevity as much as possible. Poorly maintained desktop computers will break down within a short period of time, adding to the problem of waste disposal.
Whatever desktop computer type or model you have, the following things are worth doing to keep your computer in top shape and make it last longer. These tips do not include software-related tweaks (for software-related concerns, see 10 Simple But Effective Tips on How to Regain the Speed of Your New Computer), rather these tips focus on usage and hardware maintenance concerns.
1. Do not use or place a cellphone near your desktop computer.
Placing a cellphone near your desktop computer can cause interference to it. Your cursor will be running wildly. When the cellphone rings, bands in your computer monitor may appear. Since the desktop computer has sensitive electrical components, better keep your cellphone away for say, two meters or more. The hard drive may be damaged because of this interference.
2. Use or keep desktop computers away from the window.
If your desktop computer is operated or kept near a window, chances are, it will slow down your desktop computer after a time. Dust tends to collect in the fans which get moistened by air laden with water vapor. Eventually, the fan will accumulate thick dust and cause it to create an eerie sound. This means that the edge of the fan (especially in laptop computers) have too much dust on it such that its edges contact with the box that contains it and cause friction. Always ensure that your computer's fan turns smoothly.
3. Do not overuse your desktop computer.
Let your desktop computer rest once in a while. Keeping it on most of the time will generate heat that will hasten aging of the sensitive computer components especially the computer monitor. Imagine cooking a fish in slow fire. The fish will dry up and burn if kept that way for a long time.
4. Detach, clean and reattach the removable components periodically (say once every two months or whenever needed).
Keeping the insides of your desktop computer clean can prevent disastrous consequences. Use a soft paint brush to remove dust and other unwelcome materials especially in the main board. Remove carefully the removable computer components like the video card, sound card, and random access memory modules, among others. Clean them, especially the interfacing copper bus with a pencil eraser (see detailed instruction in "10 Simple But Effective Tips on How To Regain the Speed of Your New Computer").
The computer monitor can also be cleaned with moistened cloth made cotton, soaked in warm (not hot) water. Synthetic chamois made by companies like 3M are excellent wipes that leave no streaks. The frequency of cleaning depends on the kind of working environment you are in. If you work in a dusty environment, more frequent cleaning is required.
It pays to inspect the insides of the desktop computer once in a while. The first bug that caused a computer to malfunction is a real bug. Spiders and ants tend to find the insides of the computer a good environment to lay their eggs. Even lizards make their way inside. This author's desktop computer was damaged because of a small lizard that got fried inside. For laptop computer owners, asking a qualified technician to clean the internal sections once in a while can help keep the laptop computer in top shape.
5. Always use an uninterrupted power supply (UPS).
Using an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) is a must for desktop computers. Electronic spikes caused by frequent power outages can damage the sensitive computer components especially the hard drive.
6. Avoid placing your desktop computer on a movable platform.
If the platform you place your central processing unit (for desktops) or laptops keep on moving, the moving read/write assembly of the hard disk can damage the hard drive. Placing a high speed printer on top of a computer table can cause vibration strong enough to make the head of the hard drive move erratically that may cause damage to hard disk drive surface. Keep the platform stable.
7. Avoid dusty areas.
Dusty areas can easily clog the fan as pointed out above and cause build-up of dust in the computer's main board and mess out the computer components. Accumulated dust may build-up in such quantities as to interfere with the flow of electricity among the desktop computer's components
Following these tips will help you keep your desktop computer last longer and spare you from costly repairs.