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Preventing Hardware Failure

July 26, 2010 By: lilybird Category: Hardware

High technology is wonderful, but for some strange reason everything seems more fragile than ever. Gone are those days when something was built to last; it is telling that warranties on consumer electronics typically cover only a year at most – many do only thirty days! Especially when it comes to a video gaming system, which if broken not only means that you’ve lost the console but also the software, which are now all useless. Sony’s original Playstation was incredibly durable, able to withstand multiple falls off tables and bookshelves without hindering performance. Just six years later came the PS2, which has gone through at least twelve versions, each one designed to fix a previous flaw. Here then is a reminder of some common sense precautions can go a long way towards protecting your investment.

The main culprit in hardware failure remains heat. Heat buildup is dangerous, and will drastically shorten the lifespan of your device, so do everything you can to keep them cool and well ventilated. Keep away from direct sunlight and do not put it on the carpet or your bed. Keep the vents or fan intake unobstructed, and it’s also a good idea to periodically clean those areas of dust. For a PC, another solution is simply to purchase more cooling fans, which you can buy for as little as ten or fifteen dollars. They are pretty generally very easy to install, depending on the brand of your PC, or more specifically, it’s case; and they do an excellent job of keeping the internal components of your PC nice and cool. For far more advanced PC, usually gaming rigs and the like, there are water cooling systems as well, but these are much more expensive and complicated.
After heat, dust and other airborne particles are the biggest villains. Over time they will jam up your system, including blocking ventilation – helping to create the number one nemesis of dangerous heat buildup. This especially can cause your machine to overheat and crash. Keep it clean by cleaning it regularly as per manufacturer instructions and you will have eliminated another main cause of electronics failure.

Those two are the most common reasons people’s devices stop working suddenly, or start behaving erratically or otherwise no longer perform as new. Less common but even more instantly fatal are electric spikes, surges in electric current caused by storms or, typically, not using adequately grounded connections. Surge protectors are the answer, and many high quality models can be had for just thirty dollars.

Finally, do not leave your device powered on for an extended period of time if you’re not using it. Simply turn them off or at least ensure they go into some kind of standby or sleep mode after a period of time. You’re simply allowing unnecessary heat buildup, not to mention wasting money and electricity. Treat your electronics nicely and they’ll work longer for you.

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