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19 Ways How You Can Take Care of Your Computer Properly

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19 Ways How You Can Take Care of Your Computer Properly

Computers are electronic devices that contain hundreds of fragile components that have to operate in tandem to make everything work smoothly. If one component goes off, it can cause the whole system to malfunction or cease working entirely. 

To avoid this, taking care of computing devices is a good practice every user should adopt to maintain peak performance and prolong the longevity of the system.

Table of Contents

How to Take Care of Your Computer

Here we have discussed the various methods by which you can take care of your device. Note that some of the methods described require specialized tools to gain access to the internals of the device.

Clean Components

  • To clean the keyboard, flip the keyboard upside down or at an angle above 120° and tap the keyboard until loose dirt and debris fall off. For stubborn stuff, use compressed/canned air in short bursts and wipe the keyboard clean with an electronics-safe contact solution.

For additional cleaning, removing the keycaps and then cleaning your keyboard can give a better result.

  • To clean the display, spray the contact solution on a lint-free cloth and then gently wipe the panel until there is no dust or grime. Never rub the display as it can scratch the panel or cause damage to the fragile display components.
  • To clean the vents and heatsink, turn off your computer and then use a screwdriver to gain access to the internals of the device. Remove the fans and the radiators (for water-cooled computers) and gently clean the components with compressed/canned air.

For air-cooled heatsinks, remove the fan and then use the compressed air to remove the dust from them.

  • To remove dust from ports, use a soft-bristled brush and apply the contact solution to the brush. Gently rub the ports until clean and then use compressed air to dry off the ports. 

Handle Components Carefully 

laptop dropping

Computers have many fragile and moving parts that can get damaged when handled improperly. Components like the hard disk, display, water cooler reservoirs, and optical drives are more susceptible to damage. These components have fragile and/or carefully calibrated moving parts that can cause irreparable damage when handled haphazardly. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s suggestions while handling the device or while moving them from one place to another. Never put any heavy objects on a laptop or on top of a desktop case. 

While moving, it is a good idea to remove any wires and cables attached to the system to avoid tripping or damaging the wires or the ports of the device. Removing moving components and heavy objects from inside the device like the hard drive and the graphics card can help avoid any damage or additional strain in case the system experiences an impact while moving.

Provide Sufficient Airflow

laptop propped

Insufficient airflow can choke the components and increase temperature beyond the optimal operating range of the device. This phenomenon can severely harm the device and can reduce its lifespan or render it completely useless. 

Without proper cooling, the computer may start throttling the components to avoid further increasing the temperature. This can cause the system to become unresponsive and reduce performance for the user. 

To fix this issue, avoid putting your computer inside closed compartments or blocking the vents when the device is operational. For laptops, using them on a flat surface, propping them up, or using a cooling pad to facilitate airflow can help maintain temperatures inside the device.

Use a UPS

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a device that can provide power to computers for a short period of time. Installing a UPS on your computer can allow users to safely turn off their devices in case of a power outage.

This helps users to save their work and to reduce the chances of system corruption due to abrupt power loss. 

Avoid Overcharging

charge limiting software

Batteries have a finite life and will deteriorate over time. However, when used extensively or carelessly, batteries can lose the ability to hold charges very quickly or potentially pose a safety hazard. 

To solve this, avoid charging your laptop for long periods of time or when going to sleep. This can significantly help maintain the health of your device’s battery life. Using charge-limiting software that limits the charging capacity can also help users maintain the health of the battery and prolong its longevity.

Set Power Options

Power options is the feature that allows Windows (laptops and tablets) devices to turn off or go to sleep automatically after a certain period of inactivity. 

Setting power options allows users to save battery and avoid frequent charges by placing the device in a low-power state. This helps slow down the deterioration rate of the battery inside the device and also has enough power when the user needs to use the device. To set power options

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run
    power options run
  2. Type powercfg.cpl and hit the Enter key to open the Power optionsmenu
  3. Click on Change plan settings  
    power plan change
  4. Inside, select the appropriate configuration of your liking and then click on the Save changes button to apply the settings
    set popwer plan

Protective Cover

Protective covers or cases can protect the device from accidental impacts and bumps. This is especially important in the case of portable devices as they are frequently handled and moved from one place to another.

Installing screen protectors, padding, or shell cases can help protect your devices from damage and dents. However, this should be practiced when the device is not in use as covering your device while operational can hamper the airflow to and from the device.

Turn-off Display

Turning off displays when not in use can increase their longevity and help maintain the usability of the component. This is especially true for devices that have an OLED display as they are susceptible to malfunction and artifacts when used for an extended period of time.

Using a screen saver or dimming the display when not in use can also be an alternative method that can prolong the usability of the screen.

Use Trusted Peripherals Only

USB device

Peripherals like USB drives and power cables should only be used from a reputed and compatible brand. Using off-branded components that do not meet the system specifications or regulations can irreparably damage the extension port or the device.

Hardware built from unknown sources such as USB killer can render your device useless by causing a power surge and allowing more voltage when connected. Therefore, only using genuine products can help you take better care of your computer.

Overclock Cautiously 

Overclocking also generates more heat as the overclocked modules are working under constant stress. If not cooled properly, this can prove to be a risk to the health of the system. 

To prevent damage, overclock the components in small increments and check for system temperatures and stability after every increase in value. Also, provide sufficient cooling to the device and always consult the manufacturer or the product page before attempting.

Delete Unnecessary Data

delete data from device

There are many methods by which users can delete unnecessary data from their device. Some storage management processes can also be done through third-party solutions.

Defrag Hard Drives

Defragmentation is the process of combining or reducing fragmented files that are cluttered throughout the drive. This process reduces the degree of fragmentation in files by physically reorganizing them.

Defragmentation improves the read-write processes in hard drives by neatly storing related files and folders in nearby spaces, which in turn makes the device last longer. This also reduces new files’ chance of getting fragmented after it is written on the drive. To defragment the disk

  1. Press the Windows key + E to open the File explorer
  2. Right-click on the affected drive and click on Properties
    disk properties
  3. Click on the Tools tab and then click on Optimize button
    defrag disk
  4. In the new window, select the drive you wish to defragment and then click on Optimize again to begin the process
    defrag disk optimize
  5. Let the process finish and then restart your device

Enable Network Protection

network protection

Enabling network protection and monitoring features like firewalls, VPNs, sandboxing and website blockers can allow users to avoid untrusted and potentially malicious websites that can pose a security risk. This action also thwarts any attempts of unauthorized access to the device.

Using ad-blockers and pop-up blocking tools can also prove useful as many of these ads and popups redirect users to other dubious sites that attempt to steal private information.

Other features like using password protection on Wi-Fi home networks and enabling spam filters on online services can also protect your device from online attacks which can help you take care of your device.

Enable Antivirus and Anti Malware

An infected device can face loss of file and system integrity and can behave erratically. Some devices even cease functioning completely when affected by malware or viruses.

Antivirus and anti-malware software lessen the risk of the device getting infected and when infected, attempts are made to remove the malicious software from the system. This helps maintain the overall software and health of the device.

Perform Timely Updates

System updates provide security patches and can solve many bugs and performance issues related to the device. Performing timely updates can maintain the health of the system and in most cases, improve its performance of the system.

Updating the system software can also provide additional benefits like added functionalities and support for newer or legacy hardware. By maintaining a healthy software update schedule, users minimize the risk of exposing their devices to malware attacks which in turn, can help maintain the health of the device.

To check for updates, 

  1. Open Settings by pressing the Windows key + I
  2. From the left, click on the Windows update tab and then click on the Check for updates button
    windows update
  3. If an update is available, click on the Download & Install button and let the process complete
  4. The system will prompt you when updates are ready to install

Download From Trusted Sites Only

windows store

Downloading files from the internet without proper knowledge or source and then damaging the system is the woe of many users. When downloading files, always download files from a trusted website or if possible, scan the file or piece of information for any malware before downloading them.

Scanning after downloading the file but before opening them can also minimize the risk of the potential file infecting the system and damaging its integrity.

Install Trusted Applications Only

trusted application

Software downloaded from unreliable sources carries the risk of containing malware and other PUPs. Downloading applications from legitimate and trusted sites is one way of minimizing the risk of getting your device infected by viruses and malware.

Sites like the Microsoft Store and official product websites are some of the legitimate sources from where users should download apps and software on their devices.

Disable Unnecessary Applications

Sometimes unnecessary applications that run in the background or without the knowledge of the user can cause the system to run more strenuously. This impacts the performance of the system and reduces the overall lifespan of the device as components are running or, resources are being utilized much more than they should.

Disabling such applications can help the system lighten the workload and process other more important tasks. Disabling startup applications from the Task manager can also help solve the issue and prevent applications from putting strain on the components by hogging system resources.

Service Regularly

The last solution would be to service the device on a regular basis. Cleaning the device and changing depleting components like the batteries, thermal pastes and coolant fluid can help maintain the health of the device and ensure that it is working in peak condition.

Other practices such as performing driver updates, and backing up important files can also go a long way in helping users take care of their computers. Make sure to always follow instructions properly and do the above-mentioned solutions on a periodic basis to prolong the health of the device.

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4 Ways to Reset BIOS Password

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4 Ways to Reset BIOS Password

Getting into the BIOS settings is crucial if you want to modify the boot priority, overclock the  CPU or troubleshoot system-related issues. However, if a password is set and you are unaware of it, this can be quite a hassle when you want to boot into the BIOS or even the operating system. 

If you do know the administrator password, you can reset it by entering the BIOS settings. You can also clear out the BIOS password by clearing the CMOS battery. 

Before going into the password reset process, it is worth knowing the two different password types you can set on the BIOS.  

  • Administrator Password: If this password is set, users have to enter it every time they try to enter the BIOS. It restricts unauthorized access or modification of the BIOS settings. 
  • User Password: You will be asked for the user password before the operating system loads up. This password is also referred to as the System password on some devices. The operating system will not boot up unless you provide the correct user password. 

Table of Contents

Reset the Password From BIOS

If you remember the Administrator password for the BIOS, you can clear or reset it from the BIOS settings.

  1. Restart the computer and press the specific BIOS key for your device when you see the manufacturer logo. The key to enter the BIOS could vary with the manufacturer but it is usually F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL.
  2. It will ask you for the administrative or user password to access the BIOS. Enter the password.
    Admin password in BIOS
  3. Now, find the section for configuring the BIOS password.
    BIOS settings for password
  4. Navigate to the section and hit enter, then enter the current password. 
    Enter current bios password
  5. When asked for a new password, leave the field empty and select Ok. Do the same for both the Admin and the User Password.
     clear BIOS password
  6. Save and Exit from the BIOS. 
  7. This will clear out the BIOS password. You will now have access to the BIOS without having to enter a password.  

Using Clear CMOS Button

Some new higher-end motherboards come with a CMOS reset button that can revert the BIOS configurations to their factory default. This button is usually located in the back I/O panel of the motherboard. The name of this button can vary with the manufacturer.  You may find it labeled as “ClearCMOS”, “Flash” or “Reset CMOS.” 

  1. Shut down the computer and disconnect all the cables attached to the computer’s case.
  2. Find the CMOS reset button on the back of the case. 
    clear cmos button
  3. Press and hold the button for 15-20 seconds. 
  4. Put the computer back in place and then turn it on.
  5. Using your device-specific BIOS key try to boot into BIOS. See if it asks you for the password. 

If you did not find a CMOS reset button on your computer, you can also use the BIOS jumper to reset the password. The jumper is a series of metal pins located in the motherboard. These jumpers are responsible for opening, restricting, or bypassing an electrical circuit. 

CMOS jumper is a three-pin conductor located in the motherboard near the CMOS battery.  To reset the BIOS password you need to shift the CMOS jumper from its default position. 

  1. Turn off the computer and disconnect all the cables and peripherals connected to it. Now press and hold the power button for about 20 seconds. This will drain the excess power stored in the motherboard. 
  2. Open the side panel of the CPU to gain access to the motherboard. 
  3. Locate the CMOS Jumper. It must be labeled CLRPWDRESETCLRTCCLEARCLEAR CMOS, or similar phrases. 
  4. You will see three pins in the Jumper with the default configuration 1-2.
    BIOS jumper original position 
  5. To reset the BIOS, shift the jumper to position 2-3.}
     shifting jumper to clear the bios password
  6. Wait for a while and move the jumper back to its default position. 
  7. Finally, reassemble the computer, turn on the computer and try to boot into the BIOS. You will not be asked for any passwords 

On the laptops, you will not find the jumpers or Clear CMOS button. Reseating the CMOS battery becomes the only option in that case. The CMOS battery is responsible for retaining the BIOS configurations including its password. When you remove the CMOS battery, there will be nothing to power up the BIOS firmware, and the configurations including the password revert to their factory default.  

For the Laptops, you need to open the back panel to get access to the motherboard and then the CMOS battery. 

Some Laptops come with a soldered CMOS battery which makes it difficult to reset or replace them. In that case, visit the service center for resolving the issue. 

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Does Your Desktop Have Wi-Fi? Here’s How to Find Out

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Does Your Desktop Have Wi-Fi? Here’s How to Find Out

The easiest way to tell if your desktop has Wi-Fi is by checking the back side of your chassis for Wi-Fi support. Your desktop might have a built-in Wi-Fi module, a PCIe Wi-Fi adapter, or a USB Wi-Fi receiver installed. Alternatively, you may find a port labeled “Wi-Fi” on the back of the computer.

But there are cases where the Wi-Fi adapter or its driver is disabled in your system. This will restrict the OS from accessing Wi-Fi, leading you to think that the desktop does not have Wi-Fi. So you need to perform several steps to determine if your desktop has Wi-Fi.

Table of Contents

Check Motherboard Manual

Your motherboard user manual contains every detail about the motherboard, its supported component, and how to connect each component. Using the manual, you can check if your motherboard supports Wi-Fi. 

Check System Tray Icon

Check Windows Settings

Network and internet settings in Windows allow you to access and change any network-related settings. This includes Wi-Fi as well. If you do not see Wi-Fi listed on the Network and Internet settings, your desktop does not support Wi-Fi.

  1. Press the Windows + I key to open Settings.
  2. On the left panel click Network & internet.
    netword and internet check wi-fi

Now, on the left panel, you will see a list of network settings. If the list contains Wi-Fi, your desktop has Wi-Fi. Enable it to connect to a network wirelessly.

You will not see Wi-Fi in Windows settings if it is disabled from the Control Panel. In that case, you need to check Network Connections as well.

Check Network Connections

Network connections contain the list of all your system’s built-in or connected network devices. Besides this, you can also disable/enable each device driver, manage its properties and diagnose the device. Using Network connections, you can determine whether your system has Wi-Fi.

  1. Press the Windows + R key to open Run.
  2. Type ncpa.cpl and press Enter to open the Network Connections window.
    open network connections does my pc have wifi
  3. Here, check if Wi-Fi is listed.
    check network connections

To ensure this is not the case, we recommend you check if the device is removed from the Device Manager or disabled from the BIOS.

Check Device Manager

When uninstalling a driver using Device Manager, the OS will not acknowledge the device. Even if the device is connected, you cannot access its functionalities. The same goes for the Wi-Fi driver. 

You cannot access Wi-Fi settings if the Wi-Fi driver is uninstalled or not installed at all.

  1. Press the Windows + X key and select Device Manager.
    open device manager desktop wifi
  2. Right-click on the top of the list where you see the Desktop name.
  3. Click on Scan for hardware changes. By doing this, the Device Manager will automatically check the system for drivers and install them. 
    scan for hardware changes does my pc have wi-fihttps://a791a130cd8485503c605a3739e4cc15.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html
  4. Now, Check Network connections to see if you see Wi-Fi.

Check BIOS

BIOS, or the Basic Input Output System, allows users to access and change the settings related to hardware connected to the motherboard. You can also enable and disable Wireless LAN or WLAN using the BIOS. If disabled, your OS will not detect the Wi-Fi adapter.

You need to enable WLAN in the BIOS to ensure that the OS uses Wi-Fi.

  1. Repeatedly press the BIOS key during startup to enter the system BIOS. The BIOS key could be any of the function keys or the delete key.
  2. Navigate and find settings such as, WLANOnBoard WLan Controller or WLAN enable and Enable it.
    disable onboard wi-fi
  3. Save and exit the BIOS.
  4. Boot into the OS and check if the Network Connections displays Wi-Fi.
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How To Reset Ethernet Adapter

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How To Reset Ethernet Adapter

Resetting the Ethernet adapter usually involves disabling and re-enabling it. Disabling the adapter unloads the device driver and sets the interface state as Disconnected. It also leads to other device-specific procedures like clearing the ARP table entries.

This is why a basic adapter reset fixes so many networking errors in Windows. If simply restarting the adapter doesn’t help, you can also try a complete reset by resetting and reinstalling the networking components.

Performing a basic reset on your Ethernet adapter will solve various errors (e.g., network protocols missing). Let’s look at some other cases though.

Instead of resetting the Ethernet adapter, disabling the wireless adapter helps with the Err_Network_Change problem. Disabling the Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter can fix DNS errors. Disabling all adapters except the Ethernet adapter can solve the Unidentified Network error.

The point here is that resetting the Ethernet adapter will fix some problems, but resetting or disabling the rest will be more effective for others. Please keep this in mind when troubleshooting your current problem.

Table of Contents

Restart Ethernet Adapter

Do note that your account must be a member of the Network Configuration Operators or Administrators group to reset the Ethernet adapter. 

  1. Press Win + R, type ncpa.cpl, and press Enter.
  2. Right-click your Ethernet adapter and select Disable.
    turn off-ethernet-adapter
  3. Then, right-click it and select Enable.
    enable-ethernet-adapter

Windows Settings

  1. Press Win + I and select Network & internet > Advanced network settings.
  2. Disable the Ethernet adapter here, then re-enable it.
    disable-ethernet-windows-settings
  1. Press Win + R, type devmgmt.msc, and press Enter.
  2. Expand the Network adapters section.
  3. Right-click your network adapter and select Disable device.
    disable-ethernet-controller
  4. Press Yes to accept the confirmation prompt.
  5. Then, right-click it and select Enable device.
    enable-ethernet-controller
  1. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  2. Enter netsh interface show interface and note the interface name of the Ethernet adapter.
  3. Enter netsh interface set interface <interfacename> disable. If the interface name contains spaces, use double quotes as shown in the picture.
    netsh-interface-set-interface-Ethernet-disable
  4. Re-enable the adapter with netsh interface set interface <interfacename> enable.
    netsh-interface-set-interface-Ethernet-enable
  1. Press Win + R, type powershell, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  2. Enter Get-NetAdapter and note the interface’s Name.
  3. Enter Disable-NetAdapter -Name <interfacename>. If the interface name has spaces, use double quotes.
    disable-netadapter-ethernet-powershell
  4. Enter Y to confirm the action.
  5. Execute the Enable-NetAdapter -Name <interfacename> command to re-enable the adapter.
    enable-net-adapter-ethernet

When a basic reset isn’t enough, you’ll need to resort to a thorough reset to fix any problems with your Ethernet adapter.

Step 1: Reset Network Components

To start, we’ll reset the Winsock catalog to a clean state. Then, we’ll reset the TCP/IP parameters, which does the same thing as removing and reinstalling TCP/IP would.

  1. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  2. Execute the following commands:
    Netsh winsock reset
    Netsh int ip reset
    netsh-winsock-reset-int-ip-reset
  3. Restart your PC and check if your problem is resolved. If not, check the next step.

Step 2: Fix Ethernet Driver

A corrupted Ethernet driver falls among the most common reasons for networking problems. Sometimes, simply updating to the latest driver will fix the problem. In other cases, the latest driver might be the problem and you’ll need to revert to an older stable version.

  1. Press Win + X and select Device Manager.https://836cef854dc2b940ae0605013c696649.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html
  2. Expand the Network Adapters section.
  3. Right-click your Ethernet adapter and select Update Driver.
    update-ethernet-controller-driver
  4. Select Search automatically for drivers and follow the on-screen instructions.
    ethernet-controller-update-driver
  5. If auto-update doesn’t help, download the driver from your device manufacturer’s site. 
  6. If they provide a driver installer, use that. But if they provide .inf files, open Device Manager again.
  7. Follow Steps 2-3 and select Browse my computer for drivers.
  8. Select Browse and locate the folder containing the driver files.
    browse-ethernet-driverhttps://836cef854dc2b940ae0605013c696649.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html
  9. Press Next > Ok and follow the on-screen instructions to update the network driver.

As stated, updating to the latest driver will generally fix networking problems. But sometimes, you may need to try out different driver versions until you find a compatible one.

What If Resetting Doesn’t Work?

In rare cases, the adapter keeps getting disabled automatically, or users are unable to turn it back on. If this is happening to you, here’s what we recommend:

  1. Press Win + X and select Device Manager.
  2. In the Network Adapters section, right-click your Ethernet adapter and select Properties.
    ethernet-controller-properties
  3. In the Power Management tab, ensure the Allow the computer to turn off the device to save power option is not enabled.
    ethernet-controller-power-management-properties
  4. If you made the change just now, press Ok to apply it.

Aside from this, we’ve mostly seen this problem occur after updating or upgrading Windows. As such, updating to a newer patched version, or reverting to an older stable one is the best course of action here. Installing a compatible driver directly from your device manufacturer, as detailed in the previous section, can also help.

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