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Windows 7: General maintenance of laptops

29 Jan 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
General maintenance of laptops

As stated before, I am pretty new at computers and after having my computer basically die after a year of use (and losing it for a month due to best buy/ geek squad and their slow service, even though it was free). It got me thinking what are all the possible things I can do to keep my laptop both fast and healthy.

Basically all I know how to do is defrag the hard drive once a month and run ccleaner..... So anything more expansive than this is what I am looking for in a reply:

Also, any tips on battery care. My current battery (the one I got with original purchase a year ago) stays charged for 30-45 minutes max off of full charge and it used to be much longer. Needless to say this renders my laptop useless in class. I now have a new one not even opened yet, so what are things I can do to keep this new one lasting much longer than the one in it now?

Thanks in advance for the help as y'all here are generally kind and informative to the "uneducated" folk like me!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

These articles have a list of things you can do / not do to help prolong your laptop's life.

How to Take Good Care of Your Laptop Computer: 22 steps - wikiHow

General notebook maintenance

The two biggest problems IMO are heat and bumps. By it's very design, laptops have a lot of equipment shoved into a relatively small space. And there's usually just one fan to try to move air around and through the vents. Any dust build up on the fan blades and around the vents can seriously affect cooling. A can of compressed air can work wonders to clean out those dust bunnies. (A lot of people recommend using a Q-Tip or toothpick to keep the fan blades from moving when using compressed air.) Also, some people use a laptop cooling pad but this can drain a battery rather quickly. It might be best to save the cooling pad for when you're on AC power.

The second problem is accidentally bumping/dropping a laptop. The typical hard drive (HDD) has rotating disks with arms that swing back and forth to read / write the data. A good bump can ruin the hard drive. Newer machines or machines that have been upgraded to solid state drives (SSD) are more rugged becaue they don't have moving parts. But care still needs to be taken.

This guide should give you all the info you need about batteries. Maybe more than you need.

Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University

Hope some of this helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jan 2013   #3

W7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

I can give some insight as to batteries; having dealt with about 150 clients who had them, besides their desktops at work.

When you start using the battery, stay on the battery until it discharges. resist the temptation to plug it in thinking you're going to save battery life. The people who always kept it in the laptop and plugged it in after nominal use, suffered shorter run times and life. I've had to replace dozens of batteries that had only 15-20 minutes of run. Yes, even the lithium-ion type.

DO NOT use external chargers. Voltages could be off, and they tend to overcharge.

When home, and you don't have to be portable, pop the battery out and then use ac power. When back on the road, pop it back in.

One should get 350-400 discharges, 3-4 hours of run each, from a good brand battery.

As soon as you can, order a second power adapter as a spare. They can get funky and/or damaged. You will bless the day you have an immediate replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jan 2013   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Windows 7 should always be instantaneous and never hang with a perfect install on adequate hardware.

Unfortunately the factory preinstall on a laptop is about the worst install possible. That's why most tech enthusiasts prefer to Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 to shed the bloatware and useless duplicate utilities that have better versions built into Windows 7. Using only the tools and methods in the tutorial will assure you get and keep a perfect install.

At the minimum I would Clean Up Factory Bloatware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2013   #5

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I managed to get 10 years out of a laptop -- and did that by purchasing (when they were still available) a second (replacement) keyboard and extra system fans. Yeah, no one thinks about these -- but apart from the hard drive and screen, these are two things that get used all of the time.

If you wait five years or more and THEN look around for a keyboard or fan, they just might not be available anymore.

Of course, this presumes you want to keep a laptop around that long. Given the advances in hardware, 5 years is considered ANCIENT for laptops these days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 General maintenance of laptops





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