Laptop repairs can be costly. Broken power jacks and LCD damage can be easily prevented by following our rules for laptop care.
We receive dozens of calls a week asking us to replace broken power jacks and cracked LCD screens. Most of these problems are caused by incorrect handling and improper use. By following our rules for laptop care, you can ensure your laptop lasts you as long as possible.
1. Power Plug Care
Your laptops power jack is one of the most delicate components for your laptop computer. Unplugging and plugging your laptop in day after day wears the plastic and conductor pin inside the laptop power jack assembly. Over time, this can lead to power jack failure and may require a power jack replacement.
To prevent power jack damage it’s important to unplug your power cord with a straight-out motion. Do not bend the power jack when removing it or tug on it from a distance. It’s also important to remove the power plug from the jack every time you store your laptop in your laptop bag or when it’s not in use. Also make sure you keep your laptop and power cord away from pets, children, and other “tripping” hazard. It only takes one fall to damage the power plug and power jack.
2. LCD Screen Care
Some of the most common causes of LCD damage are due to shutting earbuds and other items in the laptop when you close the lid. Make sure there is nothing sitting on your laptop when closing the lid. Overpacked laptop bags are also cause of concern. Pressure on the LCD can cause hairline cracks and damage to your laptop computer if the bag is filled to the brim with books and other items. Always store your laptop in the protective sleeve or padded compartment and never store your power plug or external mouse in the same compartment as the laptop.
It’s also important to keep your laptop away from pets and children. A fall from any height at the right angle can damage your LCD, especially if the laptop falls lid side down.
Cleaning your LCD should be done carefully with a non-abrasive screen cleaner or Windex with a soft lint-free cloth. Never use harsh chemicals on your laptop screen.
3. Hard Drive Problems
Hard drives are more robust than they used to be, but are still susceptible to shock and movement, especially if powered on. Falls and bumps can cause the head of the hard drive to crash against the platter, causing irreparable damage to the hard drive. Always power off your laptop or put your laptop to sleep when not in use, this minimizes the possibility that a fall or bump will cause hard drive damage when your unit is not in use.
If you notice your laptop fan running constantly, your laptop may be full of hairballs, dirt, or dust. On most laptops, there is a small cooling pipe that goes from your processor to the fan assembly on the side or back of your laptop. This pipe can become clogged especially if you have pets or live in dusty dry environments. Use a strong vacuum or compressed air to blow out dust and debris from your laptop cooling fan to keep your fan running properly. If your fan sounds abnormally loud, consider having it replaced. Replacing a fan is much less expensive than replacing a processor or motherboard damaged by overheating.
5. Broken and Missing Keys
Missing keys are common, especially if you have young children. Purchasing a laptop with “chiclet” keys (keys that are flat instead of raised) is a good idea if your children are under 3 years of age. Also remember never to clean your keyboard with a cloth that may become snagged on keys. You can easily rip keys off if you’re not careful.
Replacing your keys is very difficult for most people. There are videos online that will explain how to do this, but it’s very easy for the small plastic hinges to be damaged with repeated replacement attempts. If you’re missing keys, you can order replacements online, otherwise consider replacing your keyboard. Laptop keyboards usually sell for $35-$50 online.
6. USB Plugs
USB plugs are just as easy to damage as your laptop power jack. The same rules apply here. Keep your laptop away from children and tripping hazards, and never force a USB plug into the jack. If it doesn’t slide in easily, then check the USB plug and jack for debris and obstructions.
Taking care of your laptop is the best way to prevent accidental damage from occurring. Simply being careful and keeping an eye out for common problems should keep your system running properly and give you years of productivity and enjoyment.