10 Ways to Kill a Laptop

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1 Drop it. Inside most laptops is a rotating hard disc, it spins at 7500 revolutions per minute, that is incredibly fast and it is writing and reading information on finely spaced tracks. If you drop a laptop you will probably break off some plastic from a corner and you’ll certainly stand a good chance of knocking the alignment of those tracks on your hard disc and you might even break the screen.

2 Carry your laptop in a plastic bag. A plastic bag has no padding, every time you put it down you are jolting it just as though you had dropped it. Occasionally it may swing in your hand against a door or wall and with no padding you are subjecting it to a shock very nearly as bad as dropping it.

3 Spill liquid onto it. Here the simplest repair is replace the keyboard, this assumes the liquid hasn’t penetrated the circuit board. If it has your laptop is unlikely ever to be revived.

4 Poke the screen. Some touch screens are designed to be touched but most aren’t. Press it hard and you’ll crack the fine glass on the surface or if it has a plastic front you can squeeze the liquid crystal so that it no longer works and you have a screen which looks like it has a hole in it. But by far the easiest way to damage the screen is to close the lid with a paper-clip or a pen resting on the keyboard. Generally that’s instant death.

5 Rest the laptop on a soft surface. Don’t use your laptop in bed or rest it on any soft surface. The underside is vented and there is a fan to draw air through the cooling system of the laptop. Soft surfaces block those vents and the system overheats. There’s a slim chance you could start a fire.

6 Switch off when in use (or let the battery expire). You know you’ll get a warning next time you start up, well that’s not so bad. But if the laptop were in the process of updating or doing some other critical system function you may not get that message – you may not get anything. There is every chance you’ll have to completely re-install Windows. That is a time consuming and expensive operation.

7 Leave the power lead or any other lead plugged in when you put it in its bag. This puts a kink in the cable and a strain on the socket. The kink in the cable may not be too serious but if you strain the socket it can break the connection inside the laptop. This is often the case with the power connection and that means once your battery is flat you will have no power.

8 Trip over the power lead or a USB lead. So many laptops need repairing after this mishap. It breaks the socket. Soldering a new sockets onto the laptop main-board is a time consuming job because first you have to take the laptop completely apart and then when you’ve finished put it all back together again. The cost of this may make it cheaper to buy a new laptop.

9 Try and fold the lid back to far. You would no doubt like a nice light and compact laptop but those hinges have to take quite a lot of force. Manufacturers compromise – they are not as strong as they could be but they are not too chunky. This is a notorious weak point and so should be handled with care. With some models they will break in time others will last a few years of careful use. Worst though is that inside there is a ribbon cable taking all the power and signals to the screen. That ribbon cable is designed to last a certain number of flexes. Flex it more thoroughly, more often and you will shorten the life of your laptop. Open the laptop with care, don’t pick it up by the lid alone and don’t fold it right back as far as it will go

10 Sit or stand on it. Or don’t pile a bunch of books on top of it. I don’t suppose anybody will be silly enough to stand on it, but if its in a pile of books and you stand on them it is unlikely your screen will survive. And when its in its bag you might be tempted to sit on it – that is likely to kill it.

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