How To Look After An Old Laptop

How To Look After An Old Laptop

By Lee Kane

DellA used laptop is a lot like a used car. The most obvious of these similarities is that it’s not new. Like a used car it has had a previous owner who may have acquired a scratch or two to its exterior. It’s more than likely though that your used laptop has had a service and a reinstallation of the operating system, or even a new hard drive before it reaches you.

Like cars, laptops can have their quirks, and like a car this could be when it is switched on. New laptops in comparison to old laptops start up much quicker, but this is a used laptop. Occasionally an old laptop may surprise you and start up quick and sometimes you need to give them a minute or two to warm up. This is another parallel with cars, as most mechanics will tell you that with older cars its best to let them run for 5 minuets before you proceed on your journey, this is the same with an old laptop.

motherboardAllowing your used laptop to warm up will give its mechanisms, BIOS and software time to do whatever they need to be doing before you start giving it commands and even more to think about. Trust me your laptop or computer is doing some amazing acrobatics to get you out there on the net or ready to process.

This link has a good description of that process: How Computers Boot Up. Most used laptops will get you there in the end if you remember to give them a little time to do their thing.

cpuSometimes, old laptops and even new laptops will freeze for a small period of time. If this happens, it’s important for you not to become impatient and start pushing keys as this may send your laptop into confusion and freeze it up for ever. Which is a good reason to make sure your files are regularly backed up. File backups are good practice and recommended whether your laptop is old or new. The best thing you can do if your laptop freezes completely is the only thing to do, which is to switch it of via the power button, wait for 20 seconds then turn it back on.

If your laptop gives you an option to start up windows normally or in safe mode, start up in normal mode. Safe mode and advanced start modes are for those who know what they are doing. Starting windows in normal mode is fine.

This link explains several reasons why a computer might freeze: What Causes a Computer to Freeze?

In my own experience computers freeze mostly because they have used up all their memory during a process and the CPU has reached 100%.

Wifi problems are a common issue with laptops, and have numerous reasons for failure, however it is often not the fault of the laptop but rather exterior influences such as modems routers and signal.

Here are a couple of articles which describe the various problems you may encounter with wifi: Beating the Wireless Blues and Five common Wi-Fi Problems and Their Solutions

defragTo get the best out of your used laptop it’s a good idea to keep it well maintained. There are a couple of things you can do to keep your laptop working as it should be. One of them is De-fragmentation (defrag). The fragmentation of files is a problem you must keep on top of, as it really can slow down you pc.

This link provides a brief explanation of what defragmentation is and how it will benefit your computer: What Is Disk Defragmentation

Another way to keep your laptop working to its optimum ability is to keep your internet browsers temporary folders and cookies regularly cleaned out.

ccleanerCCleaner is a free and easy to use program which will clean out all your browser histories, cookies and temp folders with just a couple of clicks. Having used this for quite a few years now and can say it has always done a good job. It also has some other programs which can help keep your laptop maintained including a start up manager and a registry cleaner. CCleaner

laptopSo there it is, most of the time your used laptop just needs some time and patience. And in return should give you years of use. The laptop I use has given me 4 years of use and I expect if I keep on looking after it by giving it a good defrag now and again, keeping my internet browser cookies and temp folders cleaned out on a daily basis, turning it off via the start - shut down option and of course letting it wake up for a minute or two before I start out on the net and processing, it should last me another 4 years.

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