Long Live Your Laptop

Tips to Prolong Your Computer’s Lifespan

  • Graphic Dominque Coté

Sometimes I wish I had Styrofoam replicas of my laptop to smash against a wall. With so many frequent problems, my computer evidently has a sadistic mind. Call me a “n00b,” but in my lifetime I’ve already watched three computers die in my hands.

As a student, owning a computer is essential. From researching to writing papers to watching porn to spending monstrous hours on Facebook—we all rely on our computers, all of the time.

Being so expensive, a laptop is something most of us would ideally like to keep for more than six months, so I took some time to research how I could lengthen my laptop’s life expectancy. This way, I don’t have to resort to buying an upcoming, futuristic laptop like Apple’s Brick, or Orkin Design’s Rolltop to save a fortune on buying replacement computers.

Firstly, when you are away from your computer, simply save any programs being used and put your computer to “sleep,” “standby” or “hibernate.” These modes will reduce energy consumption, save files and programs on your desktop as well as RAM, while keeping them running.

However—be careful—if the power source is cut off, or the battery runs low while in sleep mode, the laptop may shut down. The Hibernate mode does not consume more electricity, and regulates the amount being used, as if the computer was actually turned off.

A major issue with laptops is the battery over-consuming energy, burning out and eventually dying. If this happens, it may cost anywhere from $50 to $150 to buy a new one. To help preserve your battery’s longevity, dim your laptop screen, close programs and external devices that are not in use, optimize the power settings and clean both your laptop and battery on a regular basis.

Another thing you can do is defragment your laptop often to keep junk from cluttering the hard drive. This will make your computer more efficient. Cluttering happens when a computer’s files break down, becoming fragmented in the hard drive. This may cause your computer to run slower and have processing problems. A setting is installed on most computers to defrag at a scheduled time, when wanted. Finally, install reputable anti-virus software to help keep the laptop clear of any damage.

Hopefully these tips can save you from the emotional trauma of witnessing your laptop’s death—or at least delay the experience. Reactions of such traumatic occurrences can be found on YouTube, where many derive vengeful satisfaction on their laptops by destroying them in various ways, such as throwing them against walls, microwaving them, driving through them with a screwdriver or over them with a car.

Rather than resorting to such barbaric means, perhaps try buying an XO Laptop (aka One Laptop Per Child).

It costs $100 and a duplicate is given to a child in need—besides, it is unbreakable.

This article originally appeared in The Link Volume 31, Issue 22, published February 8, 2011.

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