Easy Fixes for Netbooks/Notebooks

Netbooks and notebooks are convenient, but delicate machines prone to misuse and overheating. Keep your machine running smoothly with the following use tips and maintenance tips.

Easy Fixes for Netbooks/Notebooks

 My netbook (or notebook) is getting really hot

Improve your ventilation

Netbooks and notebooks are low-cost laptops designed for portable Internet use. Many lack a cooling fan, which makes them especially vulnerable to overheating. A few simple steps will help prevent this problem.

  • Use the machine on a solid, flat surface, not on a carpet or on bedclothes — fabrics can block its cooling vents. Consider buying a laptop stand to lift the machine up and improve air circulation.
  • Use the netbook in the shade or in a cool place.
  • Try not to "multitask"; close programs and windows you're not using. Avoid games and high-definition video playback — these make intensive use of the processor and generate lots of heat.
  • Clear dust and debris from around the air vents using tweezers and a swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol. Don't use an air blower as this will push dust back inside the netbook's case.

Words to know

Ni-Cd and Ni-MH

Nickel–cadmium and nickel–metal hydride batteries were popular and cheap battery types used in early laptops. They suffer from memory effect — if repeatedly only partially discharged before recharging, the battery starts to "forget" that it has the capacity to hold a full charge.

Li-ion

Lithium-ion batteries are a modern, advanced and light type of battery that does not suffer from memory effect.

Make it last

  • Carry your netbook or notebook in a padded bag and never leave it in hot place, such as in a car on a warm day.
  • Hold it by its base, never by the screen, and always work well away from liquids.
  • Before closing the screen, check that there are no objects (such as pens and paper clips) on the keyboard; closing the netbook or notebook with an object on the keyboard is almost guaranteed to crack the screen.
  • Never force connectors into USB or other ports on the netbook or notebook and always remove plugs and memory sticks when not in use.
  • Don't stick labels onto CDs and DVDs — they can peel off in the warm environment of a netbook or notebook and jam the mechanisms.
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