Why do computers get slow or create problems over time? After all, it is a machine and should be like iron. But remember, even iron rusts when kept in humid atmosphere. It is all about keeping your machines – anything from computers to phones to cars – well maintained and cared for from time to time – just as you would care for your own baby. And for most of us here, our gadgets are more like our babies, aren’t they?
All machines, including computers & laptops, have a time-period or lifespan as they call it. If you use it roughly, it will fall sick, work improperly and eventually die. If you handle it with care, show some love, it will keep on performing as new for a longer tenure and not only that, you will also end up extending the battery life of the laptop.
Any electronic machine is composed of many parts and each part plays a role in the overall aging of the machine. For example, you have the motherboard, circuit joints, RAM, CPU, Hard Disks, and peripherals to name a few. I will provide a few tips on maintaining your computer.
Laptop Maintenance Tips
If you are using the Windows Operating System, you can reduce the wear and tear of your essential computer components significantly while enhancing battery life at the same time. The Power Options in Windows help you manage not only power consumption but also helps you in preventing wear and tear of computer components such as monitor, hard disks, RAM and the CPU. All you need to do is to get into a little details instead of just selecting from the given power plans. Here is an article on the pro’s and con’s of different power plans in Windows by default.
There is much more to the Power Options in Windows than is visible in the Control Panel. Navigate to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Power Options > Edit Plan Settings (Click any of the two listed). You will get a link below the usual Turn off Monitor etc. The link you need to click is labeled Change Advanced Power Settings.
Tweak Power Options
The following computer maintenance tips will help you in two ways: a) They help in enhancing battery life and b) They help in keeping your computer working as new for a longer period.
The above image of Change Advanced Power Settings Dialog Box shows you what you can do for enhancing battery life while at the same time, speeding up your computer. Once you are on the Advanced Properties dialog box, you just need to change settings under two sections: a) Hard Disks, and b) Sleep Settings.
Most of us set up the computer to sleep for the whole night. I do not recommend this for two reasons. First and foremost is that you never know if a storm drops by and sends heavy voltage to ruin your computer if you are sleeping. You may be using ‘fuse’ but then, the voltage can also pass through the Ethernet cable or phone cable.
The second reason is related to enhancing the lifespan of computer and to keep it new for a longer period. Since now we know that screensavers do not save any energy, it is better to turn off the monitor or screen after 5 minutes of inactivity. Gone are the days when monitors needed high voltage to start-up. This, while saving battery, gives some rest to the monitor or screen as well.
Likewise, if you are away from the computer for, say 15 minutes, why keep other components running? Put it to sleep either manually, while leaving the machine or set up the power plan to put the computer to sleep after 15 minutes. Many other devices – including audio peripherals – get rest that way. And if you are not sure if you would return early, set it to hibernate after 30 minutes or so. That way, it will store RAM contents to Hard Disk and shut down.
This means all your computer components are getting rest until you come back and press the power button. You won’t lose any data as it was written to hard disk before computer hibernated. For those who don’t know the difference, unlike shutdown and restart, hibernate resumes from where you left it. That not only saves power but also gives rest to components when you are not using it.
Tips To Increase Lifespan of Laptop
Here are four images I created for demonstration purpose. I have used CCleaner for two of the tasks. You can use any similar program. The bottom-line is, if you want to increase the life of your computer, you need to perform these tasks on a regular basis as mentioned in the images.
The above tasks do not require any special type of training. You may easily get a video demo on YouTube regarding how to clean the motherboard and RAM slots – just in case you are skeptical about opening up the computer.
These computer maintenance tips are vital to increase the life of your laptop. If you have questions or doubts on enhancing battery life or on speeding up your computer, please drop a comment here.