Because laptops and mobile devices are portable, they are used in different types of environments. As a result, they are more likely than desktop computers to be exposed to these harmful materials and situations:
- Dirt and contamination
- Excessive heat or cold
- Excessive moisture
In a laptop, many components are placed in a very small area directly beneath the keyboard. Spilling liquid onto the keyboard can result in severe internal damage. It is important to keep a laptop clean. Proper care and maintenance can help laptop components run more efficiently and extend the life of the equipment.
Laptop Preventive Maintenance Program
A preventive maintenance program is important in addressing such issues and must include a routine schedule for maintenance. Most organizations have a preventive maintenance schedule in place. If a schedule does not exist, work with the manager to create one. The most effective preventive maintenance programs require a set of routines to be conducted monthly, but still allow for maintenance to be performed when usage demands it.
The preventive maintenance schedule for a laptop may include practices that are unique to a particular organization, but should also include these standard procedures:
- Hard drive maintenance
- Software updates
To keep a laptop clean, be proactive, not reactive. Keep fluids and food away from the laptop. Close the laptop when it is not in use. When cleaning a laptop, never use harsh cleaners or solutions that contain ammonia. These are some nonabrasive materials for cleaning a laptop:
- Compressed air
- Mild cleaning solution
- Cotton swabs
- Soft, lint-free cleaning cloth
Caution: Before you clean a laptop, disconnect it from all power sources and remove the battery.
Routine maintenance includes the monthly cleaning of these laptop components:
- Exterior case – Wipe the case with a soft, lint-free cloth that is lightly moistened with water or mild cleaning solution.
- Cooling vents and I/O ports – Use compressed air or a non-electrostatic vacuum to clean out the dust from the vents and from the fan behind the vent. Use tweezers to remove any debris.
- Display – Wipe the display with a soft, lint-free cloth that is lightly moistened with a computer-screen cleaner.
- Keyboard – Wipe the keyboard with a soft, lint-free cloth that is lightly moistened with water or mild cleaning solution.
- Touchpad – Wipe the surface of the touchpad gently with a soft, lint-free cloth that is moistened with an approved cleaner. Never use a wet cloth.
Note: If it is obvious that the laptop needs to be cleaned, clean it. Do not wait for the next scheduled maintenance.
Mobile Device Preventive Maintenance Program
Mobile devices are often carried in pockets or purses. They can be damaged by drops, excess moisture, heat, or cold. Although mobile device screens are designed to prevent light scratching, the touchscreen should be protected using a screen protector if possible.
Preventative maintenance for mobile devices requires only three basic tasks: cleaning, backing up data and keeping the operating system and applications up to date.
- Cleaning – Use a soft, lint-free cloth and a cleaning solution designed for touchscreen to keep the touchscreen clean. Do not use ammonia or alcohol to the clean the touchscreen.
- Backing up the data – Keep a backup copy of the information on the mobile device to another source, such as a cloud drive. The information includes: contacts, music, photos, video, apps, and any customized settings.
- Updating the system and applications – When a new version of the operating system or applications is available, the device should be updated to ensure that the device is working at its best. An update can include new features, fixes, or improvements to performance and stability.