5 Common Laptop-Killing Practices Most of Us Are Guilty Of

Unless you have a mortal grudge on your laptop, you certainly don’t want to kill it. Laptops are expensive, and you often try to make sure you do everything you can to keep it safe from an uneventful death. Although people have all the incentives to keep their laptops away from danger, they often do so. These little devices suffer many issues because of the limited amount of space their components reside in and the convenience presented by their portability. The mistakes I’m about to present doesn’t apply strictly to laptops; some of them are also useful for smartphones and tablets.

Although it’s called a “laptop,” its place is not on the top of your lap, or any soft surface, for that matter. Laptops are specifically designed to allow air to flow through the bottom and sides. They have little rubber stoppers on the bottom for the purpose of lifting the laptop slightly off the surface it’s on. If you put the laptop on your lap, you may block airflow through the bottom and insulate heat.

If you don’t like using laptops on tables, get a portable multipurpose laptop stand like the one below.

laptoppractices-stand

The urge to drink something is quite common when you spend long periods of time on the web. You often might have a glass of water or some other drink nearby. While you’re looking at the screen, you might miss the glass while reaching for it and spill it all over your laptop. In my case, one of my cats did the job for me on a $1,500 laptop.

The moral of the story is: If you don’t want your laptop to die from a short circuit on its motherboard, don’t give it the possibility to drink whatever it is you’re sipping on.

laptoppractices-genericcharger

Generic laptop chargers are often much cheaper than what most manufacturers offer as replacements. For this reason, they became quite popular with people who travel a lot and end up leaving their original chargers in the hotel room when they leave.

Each laptop has a specific amperage and voltage requirement for direct current (which translates into wattage). If you go over the requirement just slightly, the laptop might shrug it off and just charge. The problem is that some generic chargers go over by quite a lot. If a laptop gets overloaded, the battery will literally fry. Some batteries even leak gas or explode. In short, don’t charge your laptop (ever!) with a generic charger, unless you’re very well-versed in how electricity works and bother to check the specifications on the charger and battery.

laptoppractices-plugged

I get it. You’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to bother with unplugging the charger. Actually, I don’t. It’s really tragic that people do this when one simple hand movement could prevent such a mess. When you put the laptop into a confined space with the charger attached, the space might not account for this extra occupation. This presses the charger’s plug into the laptop’s socket, eventually bending it and possibly desoldering the socket’s housing from the main board. What you’ll end up with is a laptop that will never charge again. Good luck repairing that for less than a fortune.

When you close a laptop’s lid, it goes through a shutdown sequence (either hibernation, or a full shutdown, depending on what you configured). While it’s doing that, the hardware is still on. I’m particularly concerned about the hard drive, which uses mechanical parts to read and write data. The parts on the hard drive are situated at such a small distance, that even the tiniest shock can completely obliterate it while the discs inside it are still spinning.

If your hard drive crashes, you’ll lose all of your data. That’s a consequence of impatiently putting your laptop through stress right after closing its lid. Instead, wait for the laptop to finish what it’s doing before laying a finger on it.

Read each of these mistakes again. You’ll see a recurring theme that sums everything up: Keep your laptop away from things that can harm it, treat it with delicacy, and maximize its airflow as much as possible. That’s the gist of it! If you’d like to suggest something else, you’re welcome to comment below.

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