Login

My Jelly Bean

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: computer health

  1. #1
    Paradox Guest

    computer health

    my last laptop died after three years, and i'd reeaaally like this one to last 4-5.

    i have anti-virus and run weekly scans. i have an anti-malware program that i run occasionally. i defragment every week.

    what are some other things i can do to keep my computer happy and healthy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2,409
    don't use windows.

  3. #3
    Paradox Guest
    haha, figured someone would say that, all my CS major friends already do. I dunno, I'm reluctant to switch to a new OS at this point and don't know that I'm tech-savvy enough to handle it.

    I run AVG free anti-virus (with scheduled weekly scans), malwarebytes anti-malware, the built in windows firewall (probs bad right? I feel like I should get a better one...), and use chrome (on which I have a pop-up blocker along with WOT which shows the safety rating of links so you don't accidentally click on a sketch site). I don't torrent and don't have a crazy amount of extra programs downloaded-- basically just word/excell/powerpoint, photoshop, skype, some science programs that take up very little space, some music stuff (to unzip or convert file types), etc

    am I missing anything? do I need a better firewall? if so, any specific recommendations or should I just look around cnet or something to see what's good.

  4. #4
    l4m3r is offline Damn Straight, Biznatch! (look at me, I'm a script kiddie who can spoof form fields! I R T3H 1337 H4X0R L0L)
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,940
    What you do software-wise isn't going to have a dramatic effect on the useful life of a laptop. If you manage to get some malware that actually nukes the hardware in the system, you really ****ed up.

    Antivirus and the like will help protect any sensitive info on the laptop, and your general sanity (not having to wipe and reinstall Windows every couple of weeks).

    The biggest factor in the longevity of any computer is probably the quality of the components and the overall build quality. Unfortunately it's a bit late to say "choose wisely". Beyond that it's general common-sense stuff... be gentle, don't use your laptop to hold papers in your bag, don't drop it, don't let it get completely clogged with dust, etc.

    Another big mistake people make is resting a laptop on their bed, or carpet, or couch. Soft surfaces conform to the shape of the bottom of the laptop and block the air intake vents, causing the CPU to overheat. If that's done habitually, it can fry a laptop pretty quickly.

    Just curious, how did your last laptop meet its end?
    Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

  5. #5
    Paradox Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by l4m3r View Post
    Another big mistake people make is resting a laptop on their bed, or carpet, or couch. Soft surfaces conform to the shape of the bottom of the laptop and block the air intake vents, causing the CPU to overheat. If that's done habitually, it can fry a laptop pretty quickly.

    Just curious, how did your last laptop meet its end?
    I never knew that, thanks! Luckily, the design of my laptop is such that the battery is meant to prop it up on a slant, so the fans have more circulation, but now I know to be careful

    The hard drive gave out, I guess. It started making scary grinding noises and eventually stopped turning on.

    One more thing, I tend to leave my laptop on for long periods of time. It's almost never shut down, just in hibernate. And sometimes I'll leave it on overnight with white noise playing to help me sleep (goes into screensaver, but still awake). Is that bad?

  6. #6
    l4m3r is offline Damn Straight, Biznatch! (look at me, I'm a script kiddie who can spoof form fields! I R T3H 1337 H4X0R L0L)
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,940
    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    I never knew that, thanks! Luckily, the design of my laptop is such that the battery is meant to prop it up on a slant, so the fans have more circulation, but now I know to be careful

    The hard drive gave out, I guess. It started making scary grinding noises and eventually stopped turning on.

    One more thing, I tend to leave my laptop on for long periods of time. It's almost never shut down, just in hibernate. And sometimes I'll leave it on overnight with white noise playing to help me sleep (goes into screensaver, but still awake). Is that bad?
    Consider getting a lapdesk. They're nice to have, and they provide a convenient surface to use when you want to set your laptop on your bed or whatever.

    For a Windows system, it's a good idea to shut down occasionally and do a clean boot. My experience is that Windows systems left on for a very long time tend to get unstable after a while.

    I've got a 4 year old laptop that has hardly left my desk since I got my first netbook a couple of years ago, and I never turn it off. The only problem I encountered was that the fan eventually died from so much continuous use. I had to order a replacement from fleabay and do a complete tear-down to get to the fan. It was a huge pain in the ass.
    Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Paradox View Post
    I never knew that, thanks! Luckily, the design of my laptop is such that the battery is meant to prop it up on a slant, so the fans have more circulation, but now I know to be careful

    The hard drive gave out, I guess. It started making scary grinding noises and eventually stopped turning on.

    One more thing, I tend to leave my laptop on for long periods of time. It's almost never shut down, just in hibernate. And sometimes I'll leave it on overnight with white noise playing to help me sleep (goes into screensaver, but still awake). Is that bad?
    If you use your laptop at home a lot (which I assume you do since you said how much you leave it on) I would suggest taking your battery out while using it to preserve battery and battery port life. While I'm at home I never have the battery in if I have it plugged into the wall. However, don't forget to put the battery back in if you're moving it to a different part of the house. I would suggest only using the battery when you're charging it and then taking it out of the house. I know it might seem like a silly/tedious thing to do, but it seriously decreases the battery and computer life leaving your battery in all the time as well as having it plugged in all the time.

    My mom did this with her last laptop and not only did the battery stop working after a really short amount of time but since she didn't realize she could take the bad battery out of the computer and just leave it plugged in, the battery ended up damaging the computer's battery port and now despite the fact that she has a new battery, her battery port is useless and her computer can't charge the new battery either.
    Touch me, touch me, touch me, touch me! I want to be dirty!

  8. #8
    BreakDownxx Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DropsOfJupiter View Post
    If you use your laptop at home a lot (which I assume you do since you said how much you leave it on) I would suggest taking your battery out while using it to preserve battery and battery port life. While I'm at home I never have the battery in if I have it plugged into the wall. However, don't forget to put the battery back in if you're moving it to a different part of the house. I would suggest only using the battery when you're charging it and then taking it out of the house. I know it might seem like a silly/tedious thing to do, but it seriously decreases the battery and computer life leaving your battery in all the time as well as having it plugged in all the time.

    My mom did this with her last laptop and not only did the battery stop working after a really short amount of time but since she didn't realize she could take the bad battery out of the computer and just leave it plugged in, the battery ended up damaging the computer's battery port and now despite the fact that she has a new battery, her battery port is useless and her computer can't charge the new battery either.
    A lot easier thing to do would be to just shut down your system when you're done for the night. Moving the battery in and out a lot can damage it if you somehow mishandle it while taking it out or putting it in.

    Anti- virus and malware programs tend to slow down your system sometimes. Since you said you use your laptop for storing nothing more than a few science software, you really need only need one antivirus software.

    And like the other person said, handle the laptop with care. And if you're comfortable taking out your laptop components, clean out the heatsink and fan every once a month or so. Since your last laptop died due to hard drive failure, this is one thing you can do to prevent it from happening again. It cleans out the dust in and around those parts and helps in better cooling of your system.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BreakDownxx View Post
    A lot easier thing to do would be to just shut down your system when you're done for the night. Moving the battery in and out a lot can damage it if you somehow mishandle it while taking it out or putting it in.

    Anti- virus and malware programs tend to slow down your system sometimes. Since you said you use your laptop for storing nothing more than a few science software, you really need only need one antivirus software.

    And like the other person said, handle the laptop with care. And if you're comfortable taking out your laptop components, clean out the heatsink and fan every once a month or so. Since your last laptop died due to hard drive failure, this is one thing you can do to prevent it from happening again. It cleans out the dust in and around those parts and helps in better cooling of your system.
    Shutting down your system when you're not using it for the night will help but not during the day while you're using it and keeping it plugged in all the time. I think it would be hard to mishandle the battery, they're (mostly) nothing more complicated than pressing/sliding a button, popping it out and putting it back in.
    Touch me, touch me, touch me, touch me! I want to be dirty!

  10. #10
    BreakDownxx Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by DropsOfJupiter View Post
    Shutting down your system when you're not using it for the night will help but not during the day while you're using it and keeping it plugged in all the time. I think it would be hard to mishandle the battery, they're (mostly) nothing more complicated than pressing/sliding a button, popping it out and putting it back in.
    Hibernating your system during the day won't cause a problem either.

    Yes I meant that for the tech-challenged people.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2,409
    Quote Originally Posted by l4m3r View Post
    What you do software-wise isn't going to have a dramatic effect on the useful life of a laptop. If you manage to get some malware that actually nukes the hardware in the system, you really ****ed up.
    okay fine, but it will have a dramatic effect on how often you have to reformat your computer due to having **** tons of viruses on it.

  12. #12
    l4m3r is offline Damn Straight, Biznatch! (look at me, I'm a script kiddie who can spoof form fields! I R T3H 1337 H4X0R L0L)
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,940
    Quote Originally Posted by lolz@yourface View Post
    okay fine, but it will have a dramatic effect on how often you have to reformat your computer due to having **** tons of viruses on it.
    Right, but that wasn't the point. When someone says that viruses broke their computer, they're almost certainly wrong because either (a) the computer isn't actually broken and just needs to be wiped, or (b) it's broken because they mistreated it, not because of incidental software problems.

    People need to take responsibility for breaking their ****. Breaking your computer isn't even in the best interest of the people writing the malware, anyway.
    Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,275
    If the battery is fully charged, unplug it from the charger, Leaving it plugged in 24/7 will actually drain the battery life, and it could get to a point where it won't work unless plugged up, which defeats the purpose of a laptop in general. Haha.

    other than that sounds like you got it all squared away!
    "A light in the middle of the f***ing sky! yeah, that's brilliant!"

    "Maybe, just maybe, he was an English teacher. Learn to spell and he'll go away!"

  14. #14
    l4m3r is offline Damn Straight, Biznatch! (look at me, I'm a script kiddie who can spoof form fields! I R T3H 1337 H4X0R L0L)
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,940
    Quote Originally Posted by FreakOnALeash View Post
    If the battery is fully charged, unplug it from the charger, Leaving it plugged in 24/7 will actually drain the battery life, and it could get to a point where it won't work unless plugged up, which defeats the purpose of a laptop in general. Haha.

    other than that sounds like you got it all squared away!
    What? That's completely wrong. Modern batteries are fine with being continuously full, and the electronics in a laptop and most other devices are perfectly capable of keeping the battery topped out without damaging it.

    What does wear out a battery is using it constantly, so your advice couldn't be much more incorrect. Since Lithium batteries don't like being completely drained, the worst thing you can do is to run the battery all the way down frequently.

    In general, the best thing you can do is to plug in the laptop whenever it's convenient. Get a second charger so you can keep one at your desk, and one in your bag. That way, when you get up to leave, you don't have to wind up the charger cord every time.

    My 4 year old laptop lasted about 2:20 when it was new, and it can still get at least 1:30 on the rare occasion that I use it without AC power. Without question, the only reason it's held up so well is that I've kept it plugged in whenever possible. By contrast, my mother's laptop had its battery life reduced to 20 minutes in under 2 years because she avoided plugging it in whenever possible.
    Optimism is just a milder alternative to denial.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by l4m3r View Post
    What? That's completely wrong. Modern batteries are fine with being continuously full, and the electronics in a laptop and most other devices are perfectly capable of keeping the battery topped out without damaging it.

    What does wear out a battery is using it constantly, so your advice couldn't be much more incorrect. Since Lithium batteries don't like being completely drained, the worst thing you can do is to run the battery all the way down frequently.

    In general, the best thing you can do is to plug in the laptop whenever it's convenient. Get a second charger so you can keep one at your desk, and one in your bag. That way, when you get up to leave, you don't have to wind up the charger cord every time.

    My 4 year old laptop lasted about 2:20 when it was new, and it can still get at least 1:30 on the rare occasion that I use it without AC power. Without question, the only reason it's held up so well is that I've kept it plugged in whenever possible. By contrast, my mother's laptop had its battery life reduced to 20 minutes in under 2 years because she avoided plugging it in whenever possible.
    Wow I can't believe I've never thought of that lol. I just figured winding the cord up everyday was one of my first world problems I'd have to deal with. Not anymore!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:07 AM.