With inflation rising and the threat of a global recession dangling like a sword over our heads, it seems like a good time to review some techniques to keep your expensive computer hardware working a bit longer this year. With the cost of a server somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 or more, and laptops going for anywhere between $500 to $3,000 depending upon the speed, storage capacity, and quality, it is no wonder business managers are looking for ways to extend the lifespan of their technology given the current state of the economy. On average, businesses will probably find that they need to replace aging desktop equipment about every 3-5 years. Proper maintenance and upgrades can stretch that statistic to 5-8 years according to Business Tech Weekly. Given these limited lifespans, it’s important to understand what can cause a computer(either desktop or laptop) to break down as well as techniques to extend that limited lifespan. Here are the top reasons why computers begin to fail as well as some simple steps your organization can take to stretch the lifespan of your hardware to make every dollar count.
Top Reasons Computer Tech Breaks Down
We all know that computers glitch, slow down, or (worse yet) fail at the worst possible times. A big project is due, a client is on their way to the office, or you may just need to be able to have everyday operations running smoothly at your office. Some of the top reasons why your computers may be acting faulty are often (not always) caused by human error. Some of the reasons include physical damage, overheating, or forgetting to consider power surges. Other reasons include the age of the technology and catastrophic hardware failure, often out of the control of the user.
We are all guilty of not treating our technology as well as we should. We drink and snack around them with open coffee cups and crumbs toppling into the keyboard and laptop. What we sometimes forget as we forge ahead through lunch and afternoon coffee at work is that these pieces of technology are electrical. Liquids and electricity are not a great pairing, especially when trying to make technology last longer. When the two meet, it could cause electric circuitry to short out or worse.
Our American power grid might be first-world, but it is certainly not flawless. There are known to be power surges and outages across the nation due to unforeseen events. Most commonly power surges occur due to an electrical overload, faulty wiring, lightning strikes, or the restoration of power after a power outage or blackout.While humans are unable to control the variations in electricity, they can take steps to protect their tech with surge protectors and ensure that too many devices are not overloading certain circuits.
Have you ever noticed that after a long day of work our desktop or laptop fan is running? This is a sign that it is beginning to overheat. It may be caused by clogged or blocked air vents that are supposed to cool a computer. Sometimes all it takes is making sure that the vents are open to the air. This is important for people who work on their laptops in bed or somewhere a pillow or blanket could accidentally block the airflow. According to PC Mechanic, overheating computers “will automatically switch off to try and cool down, however, the more often this happens and the higher the temps, the more likely your computer is to die.”
Computers do have an expected lifespan. They, unfortunately, do not live forever. As they age, they often require more maintenance When age is the issue, there are usually early warning signs like extra noise or slowing down that can give your organization to take steps to remediate any fixable problems or moving parts.
Hard Drive Failure
Along with age, this reason for the breakdown of a piece of technology is often the luck of the draw. Some computers last 10 years, while others barely make it to their warranty date. Sadly, sometimes hard disk drives break. If you hear a clicking noise, this is likely the scenario you are facing.
Simple Steps to Extend The Life Of Your Computer
Now that we have a better idea of what the main causes of a computer breakdown could be, let’s forge ahead and determine some steps your business could institute as common practice to stretch the lifespan just a little longer. Yes, we know computers don’t last forever, but following these tips may be able to help your tech go a little further during these troubling economic times.
Avoid eating and especially drinking over or even near your technology. Some spills can be catastrophic so try to minimize the risk by taking a coffee break or eating elsewhere at lunch.
Apply physical safeguards such as surge protectors for desktops and a padded case for carrying a laptop. One will protect against variations in the electric supply and the other against falls or bumps against your technology as you travel.
Keep your computer cool by allowing for proper ventilation. This particularly applies to laptop users, who tend to place their devices on cushioned surfaces that can block ventilation.
Keep your computer current with updates as they are offered.
Limit the stress on your computer by not jostling it or turning it off and on too often. While you may want to switch it on and off occasionally a few times a week, continual power-ups can be detrimental to the device.
Upgrade memory when possible to keep your hard drive working well.
Keep your computer clean. This includes regular cleaning of the vents and keyboard.
Replace computer battery when needed.
As we plan ahead for the new year and make lists of technology needs deemed necessary for your organization, we can help you determine if tech can be replaced as needed or bought as a package deal. Talk to our team about setting a schedule for replacements and maintenance that will help get the most out of your technology while maintaining the efficiency and integrity of your business.