Its 5:00pm, the end of another long and busy day at the office. You are dog-tired, encumbered by deadlines and meetings and all you want is to get home to some mellow music and a hot cup of coffee – especially in this horrid weather. Without giving it a thought, you slam shut your laptop, put it in your bag and off you whiz out, totally oblivious to the repercussions of your split-second move.

What you don’t realize is that by casually folding your PC and tossing it into your bag without shutting it down or putting it on hibernation mode, you significantly increase the chances of damaging it. The laptop remains powered on & dissipates a great deal of heat in your bag and gets ‘cooked’ significantly increasing the probability of CPU damage. I’ve been a victim of this habit and usually notice the unusually high temperatures in my laptop bag when I get home only to discover the CPU fan spinning furiously to cool the ‘boiling’ laptop. If you are planning on carrying your laptop always ensure it is in hibernation mode. In hibernation mode, your PC uses zero power but upon powering on, your PC will resume everything where you left off and you can gracefully continue with your work. In sleep mode, the PC uses minimal power and can be used when you are away for a short while. But can still lead to overheating of your laptop in your bag. To be on the safe side, hibernate your PC or shut it down completely.

I cannot stress further how potentially risky it is taking drinks/beverages at close quarters to your PC. All it takes is for a slight accident to happen – a slight knock of the water bottle or push of that cup of coffee – for your laptop to be reduced to zero. It’s a common habit especially in offices and at homes. Liquid spills are highly destructive and are usually accidents waiting to happen. It gets worse when the liquid is sugary or thick. It leaves the keyboard sticky leaving you with only one option – replacing the keyboard. In the event of a liquid spill, immediately turn your laptop upside down, unplug it from the power and remove the battery. This reduces seepage of the liquid into the motherboard and consequent short circuiting & death of your PC. The rule of the thumb is simple, don’t throw caution to the wind. Refrain from taking drinks near your PC. You’ll thank me later.

Placing your laptop on the sofa, on the bed or cushy places leads to obstruction of air circulation vents which may lead to poor circulation of air inside your PC & eventual overheating of your PC. As earlier discussed, heat is your PCs greatest enemy. Place your laptop on a hard, dry place to prevent overheating due to blockage of air vents.

Avoid placing books, files & folders on your laptop as this exerts pressure on your laptop screen and keyboard leading to damage. Before closing your laptop lid, ensure there’s nothing placed on the keyboard such as papers pens, staple pins etc. as this will cause damage to your monitor.

When carrying your laptop ensure you have ejected your pen drives, USB sticks or any or removable media. This averts accidents which may damage your USB ports. Equally important is getting your laptop a well-padded laptop bag to absorb impact shocks when the bag accidentally takes a knock or falls on the ground.

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