Because laptops are portable, they are used in different types of environments. As a result, they are more likely than desktop computers to be exposed to these harmful materials and situations:
- Dirt and contamination
- Wear and tear
- Excessive heat or cold
- Excessive moisture
Many components are placed in a very small area directly beneath the keyboard. Spilling liquid or dropping debris onto the keyboard can result in severe internal damage.
It is important to keep a laptop clean and to ensure that it is being used in the most optimal environment possible. Proper care and maintenance can help laptop components run more efficiently and extend the life of the equipment.
Preventive Maintenance Program
A preventive maintenance program is important in addressing such issues and must include a routine schedule for maintenance. Most organizations have a preventive maintenance schedule in place. If a schedule does not exist, work with the manager to create one. The most effective preventive maintenance programs require a set of routines to be conducted monthly, but still allow for maintenance to be performed when usage demands it.
The preventive maintenance schedule for a laptop may include practices that are unique to a particular organization, but should also include these standard procedures:
- Hard drive maintenance
- Software updates
To keep a laptop clean, be proactive, not reactive. Keep fluids and food away from the laptop. Close the laptop when it is not in use. When cleaning a laptop, never use harsh cleaners or solutions that contain ammonia. Nonabrasive materials for cleaning a laptop:
- Compressed air
- Mild cleaning solution
- Cotton swabs
- Soft, lint-free cleaning cloth
CAUTION: Before you clean a laptop, disconnect it from all power sources and remove the battery.
Routine maintenance includes the monthly cleaning of these laptop components:
- Exterior case
- Cooling vents
- I/O ports
NOTE: If it is obvious that the laptop needs to be cleaned, clean it. Do not wait for the next scheduled maintenance.