We live in a throw away world, it started at cheap ink jet printers, you know the ones where it was cheaper to buy a whole printer than it was to buy the ink for it, the 39.99 specials at Staples and Walmart? iPhones which cost considerably more than a cheap laptop get replaced every 2-3years even though they still work and can make a phone call, but wont run that new app. Laptops are now turning into disposable devices, if it breaks, we throw it out and buy a new one for $300, but when you do this once a year, or every other year that $300 turns into a $1000 pretty fast.
1. Overheating laptops
Symptom: laptop crashes or freezes, and is hot to touch
Solution: Clean out air vents, put filtered material over the inhalation vent, or update the BIOS
Overheating does more damage to your laptop than most people think, it causes the solder that holds the chips, DC Jack, Ribbon Cable Connectors etc. in place, when it is constantly being heated up, and cooled down the solder expands and contracts, this causes the solder to crack, and eventually dooming your laptop. You can solve this overheating issues by cleaning out the air vents with a little bit of air cleaner, or an oilless air compressor running at 10-15 PSI.
To prevent further dust build up, it is as simple as placing a swiffer cloth or something similar over the intake vent on your laptop. Ensure not to place it over the exhaust vent, as your fan needs to be able to get rid of all that hot air quickly.
If blowing out your laptops fans did not do the trick, you may want to update your laptops BIOS which controls the laptops hardware. Most manufacturers offer a simple update utility, these updates often address heat related issues. If you are doing a BIOS update, ensure that your laptop is virus free and plugged into the wall, if your system crashes in the middle of the update a lot can go wrong.
2. Hard Drive Failure
Symptom: Loud clicking noises whenever you try to access something
Solution: Backup your laptop, and replace the hard drive
The best defense for hard drive failure is backing up your laptop on a regular basis, once a month or better yet, once a week. If you are going to backup your data online look for software that will be able to wake your laptop from sleep to back up your system, this way you can ensure your backups are always running even when your not around.
Even though you are backing up your computer, a hard drive failure will bring your laptop to its knees. There are a number of tools to test your hard drive for problems. Western Digital offers a diagnostics tool for its drives (http://support.wdc.com/) If hard drive replacement is necessary, ensure your backups are up to date and switch out the hard drive. I highly recomend looking at the new Solid State Drives, prices have dropped considerably, and have less failure rates.
3. Stuck Pixels
Symptom: Green or red dots on your notebooks screen
Solution: Hire a massage therapist
Stuck or nonconforming pixels can be a nuisance on an otherwise functional laptop. The pixels usually remain red or green without properly lighting up with the other pixels on the display. Unfortunately, until you have a group of these (10-18) manufacturers wont replace the screen under warranty.
There is a solution, though. Take a soft cloth, like a felt cloth and gently rub in a circular motion around the stuck pixel. Performing this trick will usually get the pixel to light up correctly. Once you found the sweet spot, hold your finger there and apply very little pressure for up to two minutes, and voila, no more stuck pixel.
4. Virus or Spyware Infestation
Symptom: Excessive pop ups, slow downloads
Solution: Install an antivirus program or use a free antivirus scanner
Nothing, yes, nothing will cripple your system more than malware. The first line of defense is prevention. I like to recommend Uber Antivirus which unlike other antivirus programs this one guarantees to keep your computer virus free. If you don’t want to spend the money you can increase your defenses with free antivirus software like AVG Antivirus or Trend Micros free House Call at housecall.trendmicro.com.
Once you get the software installed, its best to run a full virus scan in safe mode, in order to get to safe mode you need to restart your computer, and press the F8 key before the Windows loading screen, and choose Safe Mode with Networking, it may take a couple attempts to get the timing just right when pressing the F8 key. Once you are in safe mode, start up your antivirus software and run a quick scan. If you went with Uber Antivirus you don’t have to do this as it is all done automatically, which is another reason why we like it.
5. Battery Won’t Hold a Charge
Symptom: Your notebook only runs for a few minutes
Solution: Replace your laptop battery
Over the life span of a laptop batter, they lose the ability to hold a charge. After a few years, some batteries will only last a fraction of the rated runtime. Replacing a battery is simple; most pop out at the flick of a switch from the bottom of the laptop. To get a replacement battery we recommend contacting your laptop manufacturer, or a local computer repair store who stocks your laptop battery if you need it right away.
Save Money By Doing Your Own Laptop Repairs
This article only touches on a few of the common laptop repair problems. This article describes the common laptop repair issues we see here at our laptop repair depot. If you feel comfortable enough to do your own laptop repairs this will save you a lot of money, however at the same time, having a laptop repair shop repair your laptop has its added benefits like warranties on parts or service guarantees. Most laptop repair shops will include a free tune up, and or clean out your laptop with any service, it is always best to call ahead and ask questions regarding warranties on parts, service guarantees, and why you should do business with them, if something doesn’t sound right, try calling another laptop repair shop, it never hurts to shop around.