How To Keep Your Computer Alive

Don't let the dust take over your computer.

While computers and their component parts do have a finite life span, they have a list of afflictions that are most likely to claim their digital existences earlier than necessary. Most of these problems stem from careless handling, neglect, unhealthy environments and old age. Although most computer systems are only relevant and capable of running the software of the day for around five years at the most, careless handling can cut a computer down while it is still in its prime.

Faulty power supplies are by far the most common source of computer mortality. When a power supply fails, it often sends random jolts through the rest of the system, killing (and sometimes burning) the computer components. Unfortunately, some power supplies are manufactured by no name companies with a lack of quality control.  While not only causing harm to your computer, this problem is a huge fire hazard.

The best way to prevent this is to buy a power supply from a reliable company that specializes in manufacturing them.  Another tip is to keep your computer in a place with good AC power conditions and to keep it off the floor and away from dusty environments. An accumulation of dust and hair is often the cause of an eventual failure.

Other problems lie in introducing incompatible new components to your older computer.  It’s hard to protect your system against defective new components, but if you are adding something old or second hand, test it to make sure that it works and is compatible with your computer’s technology before plugging it in.

Generally, use your common sense with your computer! Treat it well and it will (hopefully) last as long as you need it!


Helen McBride Graduate Student at UW - History/Gender Women's Studies From: Armagh, Ireland


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