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Caring for your Notebook

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

1. Keep the case clean

Cleaning the exterior portion of the laptop can help keep the laptop looking new. The exterior case of a laptop can be cleaned by using a soft, clean cloth such as an old cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel that has been dampened with water. It is not recommended that the exterior case of the laptop be cleaned with household cleaning solutions. However, if there is a substance on the laptop that cannot be cleaned with water, rubbing alcohol should do the trick.

2. Keep keyboard clean

Now the keyboard is the part of the computer that is easiest to get dirty whether its from a slight spill or from dirty hands. Start with blowing of the keyboard and keys with compressed air. If you have a small vacuum with a soft brush attachment, use it to clear the keyboard of any debris. Make sure to remove as much dust and debris as possible before continuing. Now to clean the keyboards keys get a soft towel (I recommend a microfiber towel) and spray the towel with a good cleaner. Never spray directly onto the keyboard I used glass cleaner. If there is something truly sticky, rubbing alcohol will help remove it. Q-tips work nice for cleaning the sides of the keys if needed. Never use too much force when cleaning the keyboard as the keys are sensitive and you can risk rubbing the lettering off the keys.

3. Cleaning laptop touchpad

Cleaning the laptop can help improve the look of the laptop and also many times will help improve the responsiveness of the touchpad. The touchpad is obviously prone to smears and smudges as its designed to have your hands and fingers touching it all the time so keeping it clean is almost impossible. However a rubdown every now and then wont hurt. To clean the touchpad surface, use a soft cotton or microfiber towel and dampen it with water and gently rub the touchpad down.

4. Keep LCD Screen clean

Notebook LCD screens accumulate smudges all the time. To clean these, choose a non-abrasive cloth or towel (I recommend a microfiber towel). NEVER us paper towels or tissues to clean the screen. Do not use Plastic and glass cleaners with ammonia as it may leave a glare-causing film, so use a computer monitor specific cleaner or a LCD TV cleaner. Note that most laptop screens have a special coating on them so make sure to not use standard glass cleaner as they are too harsh. Make sure the computer and screen are off as its never good to rub onto a LCD screen when they are on. Spray the cleaner onto the cloth, then wipe the screen gently with it. Never spray directly on the screen. Rub gently over the screen making sure to get all the edges and corners.

5. Clean the Vents and Fans

Now its time to clean the vents and fans on the notebook. Start by powering off the notebook and removing the battery and AC adapter. Hold down the power button for a few seconds to discharge all power left in the system and to remove some static buildup. Now its best to remove the backing of the notebook and really get into the gut of the computer instead of just blowing dust from the outside all around inside the computer. Now when cleaning off fans make sure that the fan in secured and not going to spin when you spray them with compressed air as making them rotate with the air can damage the fans. So pin the fan in place and remove all dust from the blades. As for vents blow air from both directions to be sure to remove all dust and debris. If the blade is still dirty grab a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol and clean the blades gently. Once the majority of the dust and debris is gone give it a good, through run through with your air. Make sure to never touch anything on the inside of the notebook with the nozzle of the compressed air as you risk damaging components.

NEVER tilt you compressed air can as the can will release freezing cold CO2 which can damage sensitive components on your notebook!

6. Clean I/O Ports

The back of your notebook PC has a series of ports. After cleaning the cooling vents, take your compressed air and blow out any debris that may have accumulated in and around these ports. Again make sure to never touch these ports directly with the nozzle of the air can.

7. Cooling Pad

A cooling pad might be the best investment for someone who uses a notebook. Now if your like me, and overclock and push your notebook to the max, a notebook cooler is a must-have. I have the Antec Cooling Pad that i picked up on sale at Staples and it has been a solid cooler. Things to look for in a cooler is make sure that its built solid. I have seen coolers that are built about as solid as magazines. Make sure and look for a cooler that has more than one fan. The model I use has 2 fans, 2 speed settings, and a nice ambient blue LED on the back. I haven't done any test yet concerning the actual difference my pad makes but I will update once I do. Overall a notebook cooler is not a bad investment for $20.

8.Watch Placement Surfaces

This simply means be smart about where you place your notebook when you use it. Do not leave your notebook running on a poorly ventilated surface, such as wood or metal for too long. Once the wood or metal heats up from the heat of the laptop, it will retain the heat and not allow your notebook to cool properly. Another often over-looked placement is on the couch or bed. The bedding and fabric acts as a cover for all the vents and fans on the notebook and extremely hinder the notebooks cooling.

9. Stress on I/O Ports

Try not to let heavy power cords, USB cables, or any other cables that are plugged into your notebook hang. Over time, it could damage plugs in your notebook that could result in costly repairs. I have read stories where AC adapter were hanging and actually broke the power adapter that was soldered onto the motherboard.

10. Keyboard and Touchpad Care

Use the keyboard and touchpad lightly. Notebook keyboards and touchpads are not built as heavily as desktop keyboards and mice. Keeping the keyboard and touchpad clean and lightly tapping instead of “punching†the keys or touchpad will help increase the notebook’s life expectancy.

General Tips

Never take your laptop anywhere without the carrying case
Do not leave your laptop sitting in the car for extended periods of time
This applies during both hot and cold weather. Prolonged exposure to extremetemperatures can result in a number of glitches and possible hardware damage.
Do not place anything heavy on the laptop
For example, a textbook. The screen is made of liquid crystal, and it doesn’t take much to crack the screen. Also, try not to touch the screen because the oil on your fingers can ruin the screen.
Move the laptop as little as possible while in actual use.
Even though its a laptop, while its running you still have a hard drive spinning and other components working that are happier when still.
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post #2 of 21
Nice information=rep+
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post #3 of 21
How ironic I should see this thread. My brother's laptop crashed, so I gave him mine to use for college since I am on spring break for the next week and he isnt. Right now I am in the process of reloading it with a new HDD (after I completely tore apart the laptop to CLR the CMOS... it was corrupted).

My laptop is a year old and looks brand new!

His on the other hand is 3 years old and is, well how should I put it, not so new. The keyboard is missing a key and it looks like he eats cheetos while typing and using the keypad. The laptop screen looks like he tried to dust off some rocks with it and then cleaned out some chalk board erasers over it!

So I told him, "I am particular about my laptop, whatever you do while using yours, dont do any of it while using mine!"

I just cant believe people would treat a $$ item in such a way.
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
LOL! Yea I just got my Laptop and love it! Ive been doing a lot of research on ways to take care of notebooks so I decided to write a guide based on a lot of stuff that I have learned recently. I actually wrote this guide today in notepad when the website was down and just got back home and posted it and tweaked it to fit properly. But yea, Im the same way and am very particular about keeping my notebook looking brand new. So far Im in love with it!
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post #5 of 21
The worst part is that I put my laptop in the nice carrying case I always keep it in. Well he came by while I was out running errands. So I noticed my bag was still on the chair when I came home. I was thinking he didnt get it. But then I opened it to find he put his beat up laptop in the bag and just took mine without a case! I was shocked to say the least...
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yea Im not a big fan of letting others use my laptop. Ive taken it to work and Ill use it to just browse the web during slow times and I went to go get something to eat and I came back and 2 girls I was working with were using it to order a pizza online... I wasnt too happy about that.
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post #7 of 21
I don't baby mine, but I don't eat OVER it, which some people actually do. I wipe the screen and casing free of dust with the back of my hand. I've never used a laptop cooling pad either. I don't have a case for it, and never felt the need for one. However, I'm fairly careful with it, I don't set stuff on it, or throw it around.

I think when someone buys something with their own money, and can't really afford to replace it, they take better care of it. A good amount of electronic failures is user error from dbuse.

Great guide, I see it's your first. Keep them coming
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post #8 of 21
My friend ruined his 12-cell battery by keeping his lappy in his car for like a week straight.
    
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post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post
I don't baby mine, but I don't eat OVER it, which some people actually do. I wipe the screen and casing free of dust with the back of my hand. I've never used a laptop cooling pad either. I don't have a case for it, and never felt the need for one. However, I'm fairly careful with it, I don't set stuff on it, or throw it around.

I think when someone buys something with their own money, and can't really afford to replace it, they take better care of it. A good amount of electronic failures is user error from dbuse.

Great guide, I see it's your first. Keep them coming
Thanks mate. Yea I dont use the cooling pad unless Im at home gaming as I have been overclocking the GPU little by little and its kind of insurance when at home. I never take the pad with me though. Im actually going to do a thread soon on gaming differences between my notebook and my desktop with a 8800gtx. To be honest the new notebook plays COD4 and World in Conflict and TF2 on Medium to high settings which is great!
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post #10 of 21
lol 1-4 can be summarized by "clean the thing with a towel," and 5-6 can be summarized by saying, "clean tight spaces with compressed air."

My laptop is black, so it shows smudges very easily

My keyboard is permanently stained due to finger oil. I clean the whole thing with alcohol every week.

Also... Another laptop care note I'd like to add: take out the battery and just run off of AC while you're at home.
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