What to Do When Your Laptop Gets Wet

coffee laptopWe all know the dangers of drinking coffee while typing on our laptops, but just like I’m doing right now, you probably drink coffee while working. Of course, once you spill your drink on your laptop panic and regret makes you swear the bad habit off, but until then our daily cup of poison must be drunk to get us going.

So what should you do if your laptop gets wet?

The first thing you should always do is to unplug it (if plugged), turn it off, and remove and external devices (e.g. USB sticks, mouse, external hard drive). Forget about backing up your files, because you just need to make sure you don’t fry your computer!

Next thing you do is to turn your laptop upside down (to prevent further seepage) and run for the most absorbent cloth or paper towels to wipe off as much of the fluids as you can. If your laptop’s keyboard easily comes off, take it off and try to dry off as much of the laptop as you can. After this, the best thing to do would be to take it to your service center. However, if your the DIY type of person then you can follow more steps to try to save your laptop from liquid damage, although it involves taking your laptop apart.

In case you already committed a big booboo by turning it back on when still wet and it does turn on or turns back off after turning on for a few seconds, then you’d better get ready to apply for a loan because chances are that you’ve shorted a vital part.

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Testing Your Computer’s Memory

memtest86+Testing your computer’s memory or RAM (Random Access Memory) to check is very important because it can cause multiple problems in your computer, such as repeatedly automatically rebooting. Testing it for errors will show you if it is time to get it replaced or if you need to check your computer for other possible causes.

The good news when it comes to testing your computer’s RAM is that it is as easy as pie. There are also free software, like Memtest 86+, that you can use to perform the test.

To use Memtest86+, all you need to do is to download a copy from their website, burn the file on a CD/DVD and run it on your computer. You will need to restart your computer and boot it from the CD to run the test. The test will do everything for you and will report any hardware problem. Of course, if it does find one then it’s off to the computer store for you to buy a replacement. There’s no need to sweat it because they’re quite affordable (compared to other computer parts, let alone an entire computer) so there won’t be a need to take out a loan just to get one.

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Importance of troubleshooting computers

Troubleshooting, as it is commonly defined, is a form of solving problems especially those found in systems, machines, and devices. Its definition alone exhibits the importance of such activity mainly because through it, expenses on repairs and buys are lessened and more importantly, a device’s usage is maximized. It is important to remember that at the very instant that a device is bought; issues could instantly go with it. This explains why it is greatly important to know how to troubleshoot these ever increasing system, machine, and computer problems. Troubleshooting lessens expenses brought by repairs and even the need of buying new systems and computers knowing that through it, problems are given immediate solutions. Also, through troubleshooting, uses and benefits of an involved software or device are maximized which as well makes its cost worth it and thus avoiding serious problems such as system failure or device malfunction and breakdown.

Diagnosing computer problems

Computer problems are greatly evident nowadays. There are those problems that can be readily fixed while there are those that seem to be very difficult to even just identify. For users’ easy and safe usage, there are now various ways on how to diagnose computer problems preventing further damage in the system. Checking newly installed software and running a virus or malware scan are just some of the most commonly used ways in diagnosing computer problems. There are cases the when the user installs new software, he or she is then asked for permission to allow changes brought by such installation. Sometimes, there are instances that problems arise after this is allowed. With this, users can diagnose problems through checking those newly downloaded software ensuring that it didn’t cause any problem. Another way of diagnosing computer problems is through running a malware or virus scan. Through such scan, problems are identified as well as its causes and so are its locations.

Cause of system breakdown

Users are always reminded of the importance of backing up one’s files. Behind this reminder is the fact that computers are always prone to system breakdown and nonetheless, users rarely see this coming. What causes system breakdown? The main reason behind it is user’s lack of knowledge. Indeed, the quality and functionality of a computer will only last if the user knows how to properly deal with its usage. Nowadays, though there is an increase in users, there as well seems to be an increase in unknowledgeable users that neglect the importance of maintenance. Just like any other forms of technology or device, computers are in need of regular maintenance to ensure that every part functions the way it should be but if for instance, there are already problems and are still taken for granted, the system can then just breakdown. Nonetheless, lack of knowledge of users leads them to incorrectly handling the said device which then causes more serious problems.

Fixing problems on computers

Computers are considered to be necessities in a person’s everyday activities. With this, it is helpful that the user has even that little idea on how to deal with possible arising problems on computers. Why is there a need to fix these computer problems? Once a problem is identified, it is almost always recommended that this is immediately considered and solved mainly to avoid it from worsening which could then lead to negatively affecting the parts and system of the computer. Nowadays, solving computer-related issues are very much attainable due to the rise of varying software that cater to such use and as well the increase in computer experts that find it really easy to find and apply appropriate solutions to visible problems. These issues and problem no matter how simple each appears to be must be taken into consideration to avoid more problems and of course, allowing more users to maximize the usage and benefits that computers are known for.

Reformatting Your PC: Back it Up First!

reformatReformatting your PC is not really all that hard. However, forgetting some basic things you need to do BEFORE you reformat your PC can lead to disastrous results. Not that it will mean an irreparable PC, but it can mean data loss.

Before you reformat any PC, you need to always make sure that you back up all your important data, including your precious family photos, copies of important notices from service provides and financial institutions, and any work files. If you don’t, then all your data will be erased in the process with no way for you to get them back.

Backing up your data before reformatting your hard drive is also a good time to purge your files, much like virtual spring cleaning. It may be time consuming to do so, but in the end it just feels better knowing that your files are all in order.

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Data Encryption

People often make the mistake of thinking that simple passwords can keep their data secure. While passwords will indeed keep the regular nosy workmate from snooping around your computer, it will do little against determined hackers who are out to get your data with the aim of making a profit from them. So if you store more than just your kid’s homework on your computer, such as bank accounts, investment, and loan information, then you’d better learn more about data encryption. This is especially true if you have a laptop since your data is especially vulnerable to theft then. You should also encrypt sensitive data before having a PC technician troubleshoot your computer.

Data encryption ensures that certain files, or even the entire hard disk, can only be accessed by people who have the right encryption key even if the hard disk is removed and plugged into another computer. You can easily encrypt your data using popular data encryption software like BitLocker, FileVault, and TrueCrypt.

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Backing Up Your Data Securely

cloudWhen a computer fails, people often get more stressed about the lost data stored in their computers than the loss of the computer itself. It doesn’t matter what that data may be, the point is that you really would rather not have to deal with the data loss. It may be precious family photos that you haven’t printed nor even shared online yet. It may be critical work data that you haven’t uploaded to your office server just yet. Or it may be sensitive financial data for which you have no other copy.

Before this happens to you, why not live by the adage “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” and backup your data?

If the security of your data is a major concern for you, what you should realize is that there are secure ways to do this nowadays. One way is to host your data in a cloud. If you don’t know much about this, ask your local PC technician for recommendations. Cloud services have come a long way with small businesses and even large corporations making of such services. And if it’s secure enough for enterprise solutions, you can bet that it should be secure enough to store your data.

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Complexities of Business IT Infrastructure

decisionsBuying and a computer and deciding on troubleshooting issues is really easy if it is for personal purposes only. After all, the only things you need to consider are your personal preferences, budget and convenience. When it comes to purchasing and maintaining computers for businesses though, the issue is definitely more complex with everything from the smallest details needed to be taken into account during decision making.

Some of the things you need to really decide on regarding your business IT infrastructure include your system requirements such as the appropriate operating system to use, your web hosting package, all other business software needed, and even the IT personnel that will maintain all these for you. On top of these all, you also have to factor in your budget and stay withing limits. You have to know if this is worth getting a financial loan and get the approval from your finance department.

With so many things to consider, the stress of troubleshooting PCs all day pale in comparison!

Image via Scott McLeod