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Caring for Your Laptop

Please read these hints and tips carefully. They can extend the life of your machine and save you from many disasters!

Things to do: Daily

Back up your files.

Whenever you have spent time and effort on a paper or project, it is a good idea to back up those documents.  Why? The most common hardware failure is the hard drive. When a hard drive fails, everything on it is lost.

Also, some software and hardware repairs can erase or corrupt files on a hard drive. Though this is rare, it sometimes happens.

The SWAT Shop cannot guarantee the safety of your files during a repair. ONLY YOU are responsible for backing them up.

Not sure how to back up your files? Click here to learn more.

Carry your laptop in a laptop case.

The cases provided by IBM, Dell*, and other laptop manufacturers are specially designed to prevent wear and tear on your laptop during transport. Sliding the laptop into your purse or backpack allows it to bump into books and other objects as well as jostle while you walk. This extra movement can damage the components of your laptop.

Also, if you accidentally drop your laptop, the padded case can sometimes protect it from severe damage. Dropped laptops are not covered under warranty, and the SWAT Shop cannot always repair a dropped machine. Protect your investment! You may also wish to purchase insurance against this possibility.

Also, be sure to carry your network cord in the same case.

*The Campus Computer Store also carries laptop cases.

Keep food and drink away from the laptop.

The laptop warranty does not cover spills inside the computer, and the SWAT Shop cannot always repair a machine that had a liquid spill. Even a tiny amount of water can cause enough corrosion to ruin a laptop. Have you purchased that insurance?

Practice safe email.

Many devastating viruses are delivered through email. You might receive a harmless letter from a friend’s address with a small text file or program attached. As soon as you open the attachment, you infect your computer and may lose all your files.

Any time you receive an attachment, don’t open it unless you know the sender and have verified the attachment! If you have a friend who needs to send an attachment, ask him or her to send a personal message with the attachment to verify it is the intended file.

Things to do: Weekly

Things to do: Weekly

Clean out your email.

Make sure you have emptied your Deleted Items folder, your Sent Items folder, and as much mail as possible from all other personal folders.

The Training Team and SWAT Shop can help you with this, and more detailed instructions are in the FAQ. You have a limited amount of space on the email server, and if you collect too much email, you won’t be able to send or receive more mail. It’s especially important to delete any letters with attachments, as they take up a lot of space.

Check your anti-virus.

Ensure that your anti-virus software is operating correctly to keep your computer free of malware and operating at full potential. Most anti-virus software will maintain itself, but you should keep regularly to make sure it is working properly. More info about anti-virus can be found on our wiki.

Things to do: Monthly

Things to do: Monthly

Clean and defragment your hard drive. A fragmented and overfilled hard drive can slow down or even crash your machine. Windows XP and Vista make it very simple to clean and defragment the drive. Not sure how? Click here.