Got time for a COVID horror story?
I am speaking from personal experience. It was in the last week of June when my company advised all employees to pack their belongings in the office and work from home. A week after, my A/C broke down, probably from working too much because of the summer heat. Looking for a local A/C mechanic was a challenge it took me the entire evening, so I left it plugged in. The next day, I tried to switch the laptop on, but upon closer inspection, I realized that I am looking at a huge opening under my trackpad. Apparently, my laptop’s battery bloated, creating an un-ignorable gaping hole. So, I didn’t have A/C, I had to work from home, and my office laptop broke down as well. And these all happened during the first weeks of summer.
It has been months after that horrendous episode and the sight of my laptop’s bloated battery still makes me shudder up to now. So, here are some suggestions so that my horror story won’t happen to you.
Shut It Down
You might already be used to working with a desktop computer in your office before March 2020 (Do you still remember that time, when everybody can go about their lives willy nilly without wearing face masks? It was just last year but so much has happened. Anyway, I digress.), where you can just turn off your monitor when you’re “done with the day” and turn it on again when you get to the office the next day. Well, that is not really recommended for laptops. Laptops need to be shut down when you don’t use them. I’m sure a lot of us have learned our lesson the hard way this pandemic, when we would just press the button of our laptops, thinking they’re already “off” and not even unplugging the device only to be greeted by a laptop that has overheated the next day. So for the love of your mental health, shut down your laptop properly when you’re not using it to give your device some rest and time to cool down, preventing that traumatic event of overheating.
There’s still debate about the impact of shutting down and starting up modern components. To many, the very concept that shutdowns and startups create extra stress is dated. Putting that argument aside, there are some solid reasons for leaving it on or turning it off that aren’t up for debate.
Know how to tinker with your device’s power settings
In the past, when I encountered things such as “sleep mode” or “hibernate” on my laptop, I would often dismiss them as the same and not really understanding them. Until that event I narrated above happened, I didn’t realize that as a responsible laptop owner, understanding what these power setting are, knowing their differences, and how to adjust and use these options will benefit me as they will keep my laptop from heating up even if I’m only not using it for a short time. The good news is we can also set our system’s components such as display and hard drives to turn off after a time period, so they won’t make your device work too hard, increasing the risk of it heating up. You may also know how to activate standby and hibernate modes of your device.
But then, there is also a debate whether it is better to put your laptop on sleep mode or hibernate mode. Here is an article that tells us which should be best for your Windows system:
When you come back and move or click the mouse or press a key like the Spacebar, the previous state is how you left it. A startup is usually very fast, and it doesn’t take more than a second or two to bring everything back. It’s nothing more than just a Standby mode.
Feel the Fan
When your laptop overheats, whether it is because your battery bloats or your hard drive crashes because of the heat, it can only be traced to one thing: your laptop’s fan has ceased to function the way it should. That is why you would need to check it regularly, whether it sounds like it is struggling or making weird noises like a dying patient in a hospital or making healthily whirring noises that benefits your device. There is a software to ensure your laptop’s fan’s health, so make sure to check the online support and warranty information of your laptop’s manufacturer.
A properly functioning laptop fan sounds like a soft propeller fan; however, the fan may not be audible when you first turn the computer on, because it is running at its slowest possible speed. To provide more airflow and cool the system, the fan speeds up as you continue to use your laptop — it will likely switch to a faster, louder mode after about five minutes, when your laptop reaches its operating temperature. The best-cooled laptops may have incredibly quiet fans that are only audible in silent rooms by careful listeners. Note that your fan may be broken or obstructed if it makes irregular pulsating or loud screeching noises.
What about you, what’s your most challenging laptop experience? If you lost important files on your device, take advantage of our expertise. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait, or your experience might turn into a full-fledged horror story!