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A clean notebook is a happy one

Many notebook users tend to forget a few basic rules when it comes to operating a notebook. Liquids, crumbs and the like are a definite no-no and when accidentally spilled on the notebook can spell disaster. REON COETZEE, Toshiba Regional Sales Manager for Southern Africa offer us a few tips on how to keep our notebooks at peak operating levels.

It is important to take care of your laptop to keep it in good working condition and increase its lifecycle. Here are a number of easy steps that will help you to ensure that your laptop will last longer and will need less maintenance.

Keep liquids and food away from your laptop

As tempting as it might be to drink coffee, water or any other liquid near your laptop, accidents can happen all too easily. Spilt liquids may cause electrical faults to the laptop. Food crumbs can get in-between the keys in the keyboard and provide an invitation to small bugs and may force the keys to become sticky or jammed. In addition, clean hands make it easier to use your laptop touchpad and there will be less risk of leaving dirt and other stains on the computer. Even if you’re careful, someone else might bump into your desk or you. Or you can use a cup with a cover on it, so even if it does spill, the liquid doesn’t go anywhere! So it’s best to keep food and drinks away from your working area.

Play it cool

Your laptop generates a lot of heat, especially if the processor unit or hard drive usage is always running high-powered applications. Keep your laptop in a well-ventilated position and don’t block the fan grills on the sides. Laptop coolers are also a great accessory to help extend the life of your computer. Coolers have several fans to help reduce the heat and heated feeling on your thighs and hands. It also helps if you store in a well circulated area.

Protect your LCD display

Always close down the laptop lid when you are not using your laptop to protect it from dust and dirt, and make sure there is no small item such as pens or anything that will damage the screen when shut. Avoid touching the LCD screen that leaves fingerprints. Regularly clean it with cloth or an anti-static monitor wipe to keep your visual experience to the max.

Don’t drop it

As we spend more of our time on the go, a good and durable carrying bag reduces the risk of damage due to laptops being dropped or bumped when moving around or travelling. Also, your laptop bag should be big enough as to suit the size of your laptop perfectly, hold the power supply, files and papers in the other chambers provided in the bag and to avoid scratching and squeezing. Moreover, don’t leave your laptop on the edge of your desk because one ill-fated drop could mean goodbye to your mobile device.

Battery life

To increase the battery life of your laptop, ensure that all chemicals in the battery are fully activated by cycling the battery (fully charge, then fully discharge) three times. If you are using your laptop for the first time, charge your battery for 12 hours continuously. This procedure is also recommended if you stored the battery for a few months. Remove the battery pack and keep it in a cool place if you won’t be using the laptop for a long period.

Keep accessories in good condition

Do not connect devices with damaged connectors/cables to your laptop as it may also damage your machine. If you use your laptop as desktop replacement, do not leave it plugged in most of the time to avoid detrimental effect on your battery life. Or you can keep it plugged in all the time but remove its battery. This will help your battery last longer.

Back up your data

Back up all data that is sensitive or cannot be easily replaced. Back up data to a safe location on the corporate network. After confirming a successful backup, delete all data—both work and customer related—that is not essential for the job being performed. Be sure to empty the Recycle Bin as part of the process too.

Clean up your system

Make sure you have the latest patch for your operating system and latest definition for your anti-virus. For Microsoft Windows, go to If this webpage doesn’t open Windows Update automatically: click the Start button, All Programs and then click Windows Update. For other software, go to the manufacturers’ Web sites. Defragging hard drives not only speed up data access, it also improves performance. Remove unused programs and other components that only consume memory. Clear your temporary Internet files folder and cookies. Delete duplicate files or other huge files you no longer use to free up space.

Data Protection

Never write down or leave access numbers or passwords in the carrying case. If a laptop is stolen, immediately do the following: report the theft to the local police and to Corporate Security: if customer data was on the laptop, contact your manager: change the password associated with the corporate user ID and if you can’t, contact your helpdesk for assistance. To avoid virus, ensure that the latest antivirus software is loaded and running on your laptop. Also, you will want to make sure the firewall on your computer is turned on. For maximum security, use a strong password on all local accounts, especially the Administrator Password. For a protected screen saver, you can use password-protected screen saver set to activate after a maximum of 15 minutes of inactivity.

If you are a Toshiba notebook owner and you register, you will be able to receive updates and information specific to your machine. This includes driver and download alerts and information about options and accessories created for your notebook. Toshiba Notebooks are covered by one, two or three year’s standard warranty depending on the model, effective from the date of purchase.

To ensure optimum service and support, please register your standard warranty. Toshiba also provides warranty extensions which allow you to extend your standard International Limited Warranty up to four years. During this period, you can take or send your defective Toshiba notebook to a Toshiba Authorised Service Provider, and all service parts and labour costs required to repair the Toshiba notebook are provided free-of-charge subject to registering the unit online.

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