Caring for your laptop
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There are various ways you can uphold your responsibility to care for and maintain your laptop.
- Secure your laptop on campus, in transit and at your home.
- Ensure your laptop is in a clean, operational state. Cleaning guidelines (PDF, 49k) are available.
- Use your laptop in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, at all times.
- Report issues or problems affecting the use of your laptop to your institute's laptop service provider.
- Report a stolen or damaged laptop to your institute's nominated representative as soon as possible.
As your work increasingly relies on ICT, it is important that you regularly backup the files stored on your laptop.
If you don't and your laptop is stolen or crashes, you may lose all the work stored on your machine.
It's best to back up:
- on a regular basis
- on return or re-issue of a laptop
- before carrying out a laptop's restore, recovery or rescue process
- before a laptop is disposed of.
USB memory sticks
USB memory sticks are a common tool used to backup data on your laptop.
By inserting the USB memory stick into an available USB port, it becomes a 'removable disk', allowing you to save data.
USB hard drives
USB hard drives are becoming cheaper and hold several terabytes of data.
Their greatest advantage is the speed of data transfer and their small physical size.
DVD and CD writers
If you use the DVD writer built into your laptop, you can backup files to either CD or DVD.
As some backup devices such as CDs, USB memory sticks and hard drives have limited memory capacity, you must ensure the device is large enough to store your data.
You can check the size of a file or folder by:
- selecting the files or folders
- right-clicking on the selected items
- selecting Properties.
The size of the files or folders will be displayed on the General Tab.
Where to next?
After you have backed up your data:
- keep the backup devices in a safe place, separate from your laptop bag
- transfer all backed up files and folders to your laptop, if you have carried out a rescue, restore or recovery process
- transfer backed up files and folders to a new laptop, if your laptop has been disposed of or replaced.
Effective document management is essential to good computer practice. It allows you to keep track of where your data is stored, and make it easier for you to access your work.
To effectively manage documents saved on your PC laptop:
- store your files in My Documents - your laptop is set up to automatically save your files to "d:" drive, which retains data if you need to reinstall software on your machine (this can protect your data)
- remember where your files are saved
- place your files into a specific subfolder that you have named appropriately.
The department provides a power cord and power pack with your laptop.
While these accessories carry a three-year warranty, the warranty may be void if there is any indication that damage has occurred as a result of improper use or care.
To avoid this:
- run your battery down completely every month or so
- do not remove your battery from its power supply until it is completely charged
- do not roll or bend the power cord too tightly - this may cause the wires to be damaged.
Your battery's life may vary depending on how you use and configure it.
If you regularly access attached hardware such as the CDROM drive, a modem or a local area network, your battery's life may be considerably shortened. Also, continuous misuse of the battery may result in a shorter life.
Additional advice on managing your battery is located here: