Protecting Your Computer’s Hardware from Damage
Most home computer users replace their machines after a few years, either due to a desired technology upgrade or because their PC has stopped working. Hardware damage is one of the top reasons why computers crash and stop working. Luckily, you can prolong the life of your machine by protecting its hardware from damage.
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Using a software security device like Norton will actually help prolong the hardware of your computer by preventing damaging scripts from messing with computer components. Sometimes bad scripts will make the computer fan turn off, causing the CPU to overheat and the computer to break down. If you use a Norton coupon code, you can save up to 70% off their protection software.
Power surges can damage your computer’s hardware. For example, a power surge from the electric company, as well as a lightning strike on (or near) your home, can destroy your computer’s power supply, motherboard, and other electronic components. You should never plug your computer directly into a power outlet. Unfortunately, power strips and even the standard surge protector cannot protect your PC from a power surge either. Therefore, you must use a surge suppressor to protect your computer from electrical spikes. Also, a surge suppressor will protect your PC from dirty power (bad electricity from the power company). You can buy surge suppressors that include liability protection, which covers the cost of your electronics damaged in case the surge suppressor fails. You can find surge suppressors online and in most consumer electronics stores.
While power surges are harmful to your PC, a loss of power can cause damage too. For example, if your computer is running when the power goes off, your hard drive could get damaged. Therefore, you should consider connecting a backup power source to your computer. That way if you lose electricity when your PC is on, you will have time to shut down the computer, without damaging the hard drive.
During the wintertime, your body can build up a lot of static electricity (especially if you have carpet). Unfortunately, if you discharge that static electricity while touching your PC (like to turn it on or use it), you can damage electronic components and circuits. In fact, static electricity can do enough damage to ruin a motherboard. Therefore, you must remember to (attempt to) discharge any static electricity before touching your PC. For example, you could contact something metal in your house (like a doorknob) to discharge any static electricity.
Removing an external device from your computer while it’s running can damage the internal circuits. For example, if you are using a jump drive, make sure that you don’t just unplug the device when you finish using it. Instead, select the option to safely remove the jump drive from your computer (there is usually an icon near the bottom right corner of the screen). Also, never plug-in or unplug a device (like a mouse or keyboard) while your PC is running.
Often, you can notice changes in your computer’s performance before a hardware failure. For example, your computer might start crashing (blue screening), or you might see it running slower. Those are signs that the hard drive, CPU, or RAM could be going bad. If you encounter problems with your PC’s performance, then it’s time to have a technician look at it.
Computer hardware will sometimes sound different before it fails. For example, a fan about to go out will start humming louder – and a failing hard drive will spin louder. Therefore, if you notice different sounds coming from your PC, you might want to have a technician look it over.
Finally, keep the area around your PC clean. The power supply fan helps keep the inside of your computer cool. However, the fan also sucks a lot of dust particles into your computer. Dust buildup can damage the electronic components inside your PC. Also, don’t keep any liquids around your computer because an accidental spill will short out the circuits.
In short, hardware failures will cripple your PC’s performance. Protect your computer from disruptions in the steady flow of power by using a surge suppressor and a backup power supply. Try not to discharge any static electricity when touching your PC. Don’t plug in or remove devices while your computer is running. If you notice any differences in your computer’s performance (running slow, crashing or sounding different), take it to a technician for repairs (if you aren’t ready to replace the computer). Also, make sure the area around your PC is kept clean and free of any liquids.