The number one item that comes into our shop for repair: laptops!
Many would say this is because more people use laptops versus desktops but, No! I would venture a guess that people abuse their laptops and treat them like they are military grade ToughBooks. Plus, we've noticed that the latest name brand laptops are made with some pretty flimsy materials.
1. Don't cook your laptop.
So many people come into our shop with laptops that have no video or are flickering or freezing. These laptops usually have been continuously overheated by running on a lap, a bed, or other soft cushy surface that inhibited air flow. If you use your laptop on your lap or in bed, please purchase a fan table. There are many fan tables found on the market today (there is a link to one below) and they will keep your laptop cool, extending the life of your graphics chip. (That is a really important part of your laptop.) Yes, they call it a laptop but shouldn't really run it on your lap.
2. Don't carry your laptop around in sleep or hibernation mode.
Again, I have lots of customers who carry their laptops into our shop in sleep mode. How do I know this? Because when we open the case, the image pops right up on the screen. Why is this bad? Well, for those of you who have hard drives (not the Chromebooks or Netbooks that only have a SSD) there are moving parts in those hard drives. Think of a record player... When the needle is extended across the record and the player gets bumped, the needle scratches the record. Something similar happens to a hard drive that hasn't been parked. I know that in sleep mode, a hard drive is supposed to be parked and the platters should not be spinning but I also have seen numerous laptops that aren't entering sleep mode correctly. The best thing to do is turn your laptop completely off before transporting it in a laptop bag (on its side) or tossing it in the front seat of your car, etc...
3. Don't leave open beverages or food anywhere near your laptop.
If you have to eat while working (these days I have to eat most of my meals in front of a computer), please take measures to insure that nothing will drop onto the laptop. Even dry crumbs can cause havoc with a keyboard. If you have to drink while on the computer at least get a cool-looking sippy cup. Yeti makes some nice adult sippy cups if you don't want to share your kids' cups.
Please, take care of those laptops. They may be building them to be disposable but they aren't charging disposable prices!