Maintaining good practices for caring for your device, both inside and out is essential to ensure the longevity of your computer. Follow these steps to make sure your computer is running the best it can.

At any time if you are leaving your computer unattended we suggest locking the screen. You can do so by pressing the Windows key and “L” key at the same time. If needed a computer lock can be used to lock the computer physically in place.

Password: We recommend also setting a password or passphrase up for your device to further secure your data. 

Encryption: If you wish, you can take additional steps to protect your data by using a data-encrypting service, such as Microsoft BitLocker for PCs and FileVault for Macs. 

It is strongly suggest that you keep your data backed up at all times. Accidents do happen and some repairs may require you to format your computer with out being able to recover any data. We are able to assist you with data backups and can even backup some data for you. Here is the Help Desk’s policy on Data Backups

Remove any source of liquid from around the computer. One accident can lead to expensive repairs and potential loss of data. If you do spill liquid on any computer component follow the bellow steps.

  1. Power down the device and unplug it
  2. Flip the device over and allow for as much liquid as possible to drain
  3. If the liquid is sticky wipe with a damp towel
  4. Let device dry for 48 hours before turning it on and attempting to reuse

Computers are designed to operate at around room temperature and extreme conditions.

Computers are very susceptible to being damaged by heat, cold, condensation or humidity. If your computer is exposed to either cold or hot temperatures, we recommend letting it sit and return to room temperature before powering it on. The most common cause of exposure is leaving your computer in your car overnight.

Computers come with built-in fans that are designed to dissipate heat and keep internal components working in a normal temperature range. If using a laptop, we strongly recommend working on a hard, flat surface. Blocking fans or placing the laptop on soft surfaces like a bed can cause damage to internal components that can lead to costly repairs. If using a desktop tower, make sure that you are not placing the computer directly on thick carpet and are allowing space for air to flow to and from fans. 

Internal hard drives are composed of a moving disk that data is saved to. When moving any device with a hard drive we strongly suggest shutting it off. Small vibrations and quick movements can cause damage to a hard drive similar to a Walkman. Failure to shut off the device can result in poor performance and/or loss of data.

Cleaning up your desktop and temporary files can help free up space, increase performance, and help with boot up speeds. We strongly recommend having as few possible files located on your computers desktop. For info on this, see Cleaning up my Hard Disk

We recommend opening up and cleaning your computer every 6 months. If smoking or pets are present, consider cleaning your computer every 3 months. Dust can gather and affect computer performance, so routine cleaning is recommended. For cleaning your laptop: simply wipe dust and other debris off with a microfiber cloth and blow the dust off of the ports. Follow the below steps when cleaning your desktop computer:

  1. Unplug all devices from the computer and monitor. 
  2. Wipe monitor and peripherals (keyboard, mouse, etc...) with a dry soft, lint-free microfiber cloth. 
  3. Remove the side panel of the computer tower.*
  4. With a can of compressed air blow out and remove, all dust, hair and skin particles from computer components. It is important to keep the compressed air level and 4-5 inches away from the component, you are cleaning. Failure to do so can cause harm to the computer.

*Note: If you do not feel confident opening your computer yourself, please call a hardware repair store to bring your computer in and they will be able to assist you. You may refer to the list of hardware repair stores we recommend. 

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Last updated: 
November 19, 2021