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Friday, March 13, 2009

Physically Protect Your Computer

Computer Case Being Opened

Try to keep your computer off the floor and by your monitor if space allows. Do not more or jar your computer when it's turned on.

Before you move the computer case even a foot or so, power it down. Don't put the computer under your desk where it can get kicked and bumped. Although modern hard drives are sealed and much less resistant to vibration than earlier models, it's still possible to crash a dirive by banging into it while it's reading or writing data.
Don't smoke near your computer or this could be you! Don't smoke around your computer.

Tar from cigarettes can accumulate on fans, causing them to jam and the system to overheat. For older hard drives that are not adequately sealed, smoke particles can get inside and crash a drive.

Don't leave the PC turned off for weeks or months at a time. The boot record at the beginning of the hard drive can become corrupted. This will cause your computer to fail during booting. It is just like leaving old cars sit for a long period. Inactivity on your computer can do the same thing.

Don't block air vents on the front and rear of the computer case or on the monitor.

Proper air circulation is essential to keeping a system cool. Also, for optimum air flow, put covers on expansion slot openings on the rear of the case and put faceplates over empty bays on the front of the case.

The keyboard is your main input device. Guard and protect it with your life. Use keyboard covers for dirty environments.

You can purchase plastic keyboard covers to protect the keyboard in a dirty or extremely dusty environment.

Avoid extremely humid areas for computer operation.

High humidity can be extremely harmful to hard drives. Moisture gets into the hard drive even if it is adequately sealed.

Protect your private data.

If your data is really private, keep it under lock and key. You can use all kinds of security methods to encrypt, password protect, and hide data, but, if it is really that important, one obvious thing you can do is store the data on a removable storage device such as a flash drive and, when you're not using the data, put the flash drive in a fire-proof safe. And, of course, keep two copies. Sounds simple, but it works.

Protect your CDs, DVDs, and other storage media.

To protect discs, keep them away from direct sunlight, heat, and extreme cold. Don't allow the bottom of a CD or DVD to be scratched. Don't open the shuttle window on a floppyt disk or touch the disk's surface. Keep floppy disks and hard drives away from magnetic fields.

Keep magnets away from your computer.

Don't work inside the computer case with magnetized screwdrivers and or sit magnets on top of the computer case.

Don't unpack and turn on a computer that has just come in from the cold. If your new laptop has just arrived and sat on your doorstep in freezing weather, don't bring it in and immediately unpack it and turn it on. Wait until a computer has had time to reach room temerature to prevent damage from condensation and static electricity. In addition, when unpacking hardware or software, to help protect against static electricity, remove the pack tape and cellophane from the work area as soon as possible.

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