Whether you have a desktop or a laptop, your computer is part of your life and you’ve probably come to depend on it. Although you hope it will continue to operate indefinitely, it does have a lifespan. The question is, how do you keep an old computer running? Would it behoove you to buy a new one?
Look at the numbers
There are more than 2 billion computers in use worldwide. If you are among the large group of people who work remotely, your computer is likely an absolute necessity. If it goes down, you could drift aimlessly for days until the techs get it fixed. Meanwhile, you lose your online link to your employer, you can’t finish the project you were working on and subsequently, you may forfeit the trust of a valuable client.
The good news is that you can take action before problems arise. First, avoid overheating. Place your desktop computer where it isn’t exposed to regular sunlight. If you use a laptop, don’t set it on a blanket or pillow since such items will trap heat. Ideally, you should prop your laptop on a computer stand, which will allow air to circulate around it. At the same time, remember that dust can restrict airflow and the movement of the machine’s cooling fan. Consider using compressed air to gently clean your system, starting with the keyboard. And if you are used to just leaving your computer on all the time, get into the habit of turning it off. As long as the computer is running, its virtual memory continues to expand, which will eventually slow everything down. When you shut off your computer for the day, you set its virtual memory back to zero. It’s like allowing your old friend to get some needed sleep.
You should expect your computer to last for at least three to five years. But with care, you can extend its life for seven years or more. Here’s what to do:
· Declutter: Get rid of any files and applications you no longer need. This will open up extra space on your hard drive. CCleaner is a free program that will run a scan and let you know of any temporary files you can delete.
· Manage viruses: Use antivirus software scans to remove malware. Once set up, programs like Bitdefender Antivirus and Norton Antivirus Plus will run automatically to keep your computer safer.
· Add more RAM: If your computer slows down after you open multiple applications, you might need more memory. Be prepared to take your computer to a repair shop and let a technician handle the work as it involves opening up your machine.
Make the end-of-life decision
Your computer will let you know when no more “fixes” are going to work. Booting it up will take longer, for example, and it will continue to run slowly no matter what you’ve tried. The hard drive and/or the fan may make unusual noises. You may also see more error messages and you’ll have to put up with frequent application-crashing problems.
Head for Urban E-Recycling
If it’s time to replace your computer, you can at least feel good about having done all you can to keep your old friend up and running. Although a new computer may cost up to $1,000, buying it now will be a good idea since prices will only continue to escalate. Bring your old computer to Urban E-Recycling. We know just how to provide responsible end-of-life treatment for the computer that has been an essential part of your life for so long.