Your computer is a great investment and when they fail, it’s a major hassle and quite an expensive one. Fortunately, with a little care, you can ensure your hardware goes a long way, while also keeping up performance.
We reached out to tech experts to gather the best advice on how you can avoid computer hardware problems.
“Hardware replacement might be incredibly pricey for a small business. That is why it is critical to maintaining a clean, temperature environment for PCs and servers. Assure that there is not an excessive amount of dust inside or outside the case of your computer. Dust can degrade performance and eventually cause overheating of the hardware. Also, make sure that no unnecessary programs are operating on the hardware and do regular virus scans.”
Eric Rohrback, CMO Hill & Ponton
“Just as your car will stop functioning properly if it becomes too hot, the same is true for computers. Therefore, ensure that your PC or tablet has the best possible chance of avoiding hardware problems by keeping it cold and out of direct sunlight, with the critical cooling fans unobstructed and lint-free. Always work in a dust-free environment to prevent accumulation around fan inlets and internal components.”
Amit Raj, Founder The Links Guy
“Be aware of environmental factors that can negatively impact your computer's components such as moisture, direct sunlight, poor ventilation and excess heat. To do this, place your computer in a location where it is not directly exposed to sunlight—including through a window—away from vents that may overheat your machine, and away from other sources of moisture and vibration.
“Look at placing your computer in an environmentally controlled area that is designed to maintain low temperature, proper airflow and relative humidity like a room with an air conditioner. These quick fixes will help you to avoid the need for costly repairs over time, and will extend the life of your computer.”
Graeme John, IT Professional and Writer
“The best way to avoid any computer hardware issue right out the gate is to always buy your parts from a reputable place. Whether that's online or at a store, the majority of computer hardware issues are due to faulty manufacturing and other preventable issues. So always be aware of computer hardware that is on sale, bundled, or available for cheap.
“There could be some steals when you shop for electronics on a budget, but always make sure to research exactly what you are buying and from where. Oftentimes older parts and outdated versions can cost a lot less, but it’s important to always check if it's still supported by the manufacturer, regardless of whether it has a warranty.”
Nebojsa Calic, Founder CyberCrew
“Hardware failures are both hugely costly and time-consuming. It's bad for business, but by being proactive in your maintenance, you can avoid and minimize any damage that may arise from hardware issues.
“Firstly, make sure you're keeping on top of your upkeep. Ensure PCs and Servers are stored and housed in clean, temperature-controlled environments. If there is too much dust present inside or outside your computer case, it can seriously affect performance and will, in time, cause the internals to overheat. Also, if your computer is housed in a small, confined space, be careful that it does not overheat in the warmer months of the year. Be sure to give the fan plenty of room to operate and do its job, do not block it off.
“Be sure to regularly back up your data because hardware failures can happen suddenly despite how good your maintenance routine is. Back up data in multiple locations and even utilize the cloud. It's usually best to schedule back-ups outside of working hours so as to not interrupt workflow.”
Eoin Pigott, ITAD Expert Business Development Associate.
“To avoid computer hardware issues, it's important that you learn to clean your machine and wipe away the dust particles daily. You can also follow some simple equipment care policies like turning off the computer if it's not in use or unplug the device during storms.”
“Moreover, one of the most common causes behind hardware problems is a lack of sufficient ventilation. After all, your computer is made of delicate components, so excessive heat can affect the performance of the hardware. That can ultimately cause irreversible damage if you aren’t careful. In this respect, performing periodical cleaning of your computer's fan will ensure that it is in good working condition and it will help keep the computer hardware at the ideal temperature so that it can last for a long time.”
“Another major cause of hardware issues is running too many programs at once, which can often end up causing your hard drive to work harder to keep them running and as a result can lead to overheating as well. As such, you should always ensure that you close any unused applications and also delete any large files that may be clogging up your hard drive’s memory space. In addition to that, you should also ensure that corrupted drives are not plugged into your device. If it happens, you should immediately perform a system scan/diagnostic of your computer’s hardware or memory for sudden errors.”
“All in all, the best solution to help reduce the risk of serious hardware problems is to perform regularly scheduled maintenance. In this respect, you can also keep a close eye on your laptop’s performance by using a variety of built-in tools like Apple’s Activity Monitor, for example.”
Eden Cheng, marketing director and founder of WeInvoice, a software company.
“A sudden interruption in power supply along with a power surge can have catastrophic effects on the hardware of the computer. Not only will it cause data loss but in some cases might corrupt the software or short circuit sensitive hardware components.” (Saurabh Tripathi)
“Most of the hardware nowadays is so advanced that they are able to notify a user even before there’s going to be Hardware Failure. SSD/HDD storage devices have S.M.A.R.T, which is a monitoring tool used to monitor the state of the device. A memory test tool like *memtest *can diagnose a faulty memory. Even the motherboard comes with the diagnostics tools to scan for hardware failure.” (Saurabh Tripathi)
“Not many people realize that most of the time, if a product is far cheaper than its competitors, then there are corners that are cut to decrease the production cost. A popular example is ‘Capacitor plaque’. In between 1999 and 2007, manufacturers to cut down costs bought cheap capacitors from Taiwan and China, which lead to high PC component failure. Only Japanese capacitors at that time had no such issue; hence the popular term manufacturers use ‘built with Japanese Capacitors’.” (Saurabh Tripathi)
“Good Air Conditioning is a must for a Hot or Humid Environment, especially if you are running a data center. Nowadays, hardware is able to work in a much harsher environment, but if forced to run at full capacity for a very long duration of time and if ideal cooling conditions are not provided, it will fail sooner or later.”
Saurabh Tripathi, Co-Founder of urbantution
“If you are working on something like simple documents and fill-form PDFs, you don’t need to worry about straining your computer. However, if you are working on something much more extensive and resource-draining like high-resolution video editing or 3D modeling, you will need to be wary about your CPU and whether your computer can properly maintain lower temperatures. This is the biggest issue I have seen when it comes to hardware issues.
“People buy something overly pricey, such as dedicated high-end workstations, only to find out it doesn’t have the right graphics card or buy low-end hardware in the hopes of holding out for a better part and burn it out by overworking it. Do your research and understand what the basic requirements your computer needs for certain software or platforms might be. This will drastically reduce the number of crashes or blue screens you will face in the long run.”
Carla Diaz, Cofounder of Broadband Search
“Since all hardware is doomed to fail eventually, the best way to avoid computer hardware problems or at least mitigating the risk of a failure is to back up data on a secure cloud storage service like AWS S3. With automated backups, users dramatically decrease the likelihood of losing important data, whether work-related or personal files like precious photos, as versions, can be restored when needed.
“Adapting to cloud services is especially important for organizations to prevent data loss and facilitate collaboration and access to files while working from home or on the road. By transitioning to cloud-based services, organizations can also save money as they cut down hardware costs. By reimagining the organizations' digital infrastructure, adapting to cloud-based services will benefit companies for years to come as it minimizes the risks and costs of self-managed on-premises hardware.”
Nelson Ford, Founder and Principal Solutions Architect at Pilotcore