Please read these hints and tips carefully. They can extend the life of your machine and save you from many disasters!

Things to do for your Notebook

Things to do: Daily

Back up your files to another physical location - USB Drive, CD, external hard drive, etc.

Whenever you have spent time and effort on a paper or project, it is a good idea to back up the document to another physical location. Why? The most common hardware failure is the hard drive. When a hard drive fails, everything on it is lost.

Also, some software and hardware repairs can erase or corrupt files on a hard drive. Though this is rare, it sometimes happens.

McCombs Computer Services, Tech Support, and the SWAT Shop cannot guarantee the safety of your files during a repair. ONLY YOU are responsible for backing them up.

Not sure how to back up your files? Check out the Backup article for two easy methods.

Carry your notebook in a notebook case.

Students are provided with a computer backpack specially designed to prevent wear and tear on a notebook during transport. Faculty and staff can request a computer case for McCombs-issued notebook computers. Sliding the laptop into your purse or non-computer backpack allows it to bump into books and other objects as well as jostle while you walk. This extra movement can damage the components of your notebook.

Also, if you accidentally drop your notebook, the padded case can sometimes protect it from severe damage. A dropped notebook cannot always be repaired. Protect your investment! Students may also wish to purchase insurance against this possibility.

Also, be sure to carry any power cords, network cords, and other accessories in the same case.

See also Your Notebook Computer's Physical Safety

Keep food and drink away from the laptop.

Notebook warranties typically do not cover spills inside the computer, and damage from spills cannot always be repaired. Even a tiny amount of water can cause enough corrosion to ruin a laptop.

Practice safe email.

Many devastating viruses are delivered through email. You might receive a harmless letter from a friend’s address with a small text file or program attached. As soon as you open the attachment, you infect your computer and may lose all your files.

Any time you receive an attachment, don’t open it unless you know the sender and have verified the attachment! If you have a friend who needs to send an attachment, ask him or her to send a personal message with the attachment to verify it is the intended file.

Things to do: Weekly

Clean out your email.

Make sure you have emptied your Deleted Items folder, your Sent Items folder, and as much mail as possible from all other personal folders.

The Training Team can help teach you how to keep your mailbox size under control. You have a limited amount of space on the email server, and if you collect too much email, you won’t be able to send or receive more mail. It’s especially important to delete any messages with attachments, as they take up a lot of space.

Things to do: Monthly

Clean and defragment your hard drive.

Lots of temporary files can slow down the performance of your machine and use up valuable file storage space. Read the Disk Cleanup article for an easy method to clean up temp files.

A fragmented and overfilled hard drive can slow down or even crash your machine. Windows makes it very simple to clean and defragment the drive. Not sure how? Read the Defragmenting Your Hard Drive article.