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Old 12-28-2009, 02:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Maintaining a Laptop

Hi Tech-Forums!

I was looking for a bit of advice on maintaining a new laptop that I just purchased. Recently I bought a Sony Vaio Bordeaux Red notebook (link) for student use, and while it's nothing too high-end, I'd like some advice (or just tips and hints) on how to properly maintain it so that I can have the longest lifespan possible. This includes any external as well as internal maintenance that I can perform to maximize my laptop's longevity.

A year ago I bought a new Toshiba Satellite laptop for around $1300, and it lasted me all of about six months before it went haywire. The battery life on it is now around fifteen minutes, and it's CPU usage is constantly running at 100%. I gave up on it and just decided to purchase a new one. I'd like to avoid having the same thing happening to this one.

As some additional background information, I use my laptop for school-work, a media center (Photoshop, music, videos, etc.), web surfing, and light gaming (along the likes of CSS, DotA). I don't believe I do anything too intensive.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintaining a Laptop

What operating system are you using? Look at the Power Options, that will take less stress on your battery.

Batteries do die over a period of time, Same for AA batteries, you can charge them, but overtime, they lose their ability to charge.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintaining a Laptop

A 6-month old laptop should have been covered under warranty. Batteries certainly last much longer than 6 months. The CPU maxing out is more likely caused by malware than anything else. Unfortunately, if a year has passed, it's too late to recover any money or get a replacement.

Common sense goes a long way with laptops. Don't drop them. Don't eat or drink around them. About once a month, completely discharge the battery and then fully recharge it.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintaining a Laptop

-As stated above don't drink or eat around the laptop, if you do be very careful.
-Clean the laptop once every two weeks or so with a can of air, blowing in all of the vents and fans.
-Ensure you have proper virus and malware protection to ensure that you don't get the computer infected.
-Do a virus scan once a week, same with malware scan. Keep your AV up-to-date.
-Do a disk cleanup once a month.
-Try not to install unecessary programs.
-Since this is a new laptop you'll probably want to uninstall a dozen or so crap bloatware programs that come with new computers.
-Laptop batteries only have a lifespan of 1 to 2 years at most. The new lithium ion batteries aren't supposed to have the 'memory' effect. So keeping a laptop plugged in 100% of the time isn't supposed to effect the lifespan of the battery, but it wouldn't hurt to keep it unplugged unless you are charging it.
-Systems slow down after time, any user knows this. Keeping your operating system clean of unwanted programs, virus's and uneeded files will help, but after a year a clean installation wouldn't hurt. I reinstall windows probably once every year or so.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Maintaining a Laptop

Also, don't beat it around. Don't take it anywhere you don't absolutley need to take it.
Don't turn it on and off constantly. I have heard that warming it up and cooling it down so much will do things to the solder or the MB which is bad.
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