How to destroy your old computer

Sometimes, there is no other alternative but to eliminate your old computer. Let's find out what are the best ways to do it.

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Sometimes, there is no other alternative but to eliminate your old computer. Let’s find out what are the best ways to do it.

This list of 10 top laptop deaths is compiled by Complete Computer Cover, which modestly describes itself as the UK’s leading laptop insurer. The company analyzed its claims data over the last five years after staff ran up an unofficial league table of the weirdest or most interesting causes of laptop destruction. Here are the results:

1. Dropped off a bridge into a river

The most disastrous demise was deemed to be the claim of a Yorkshire university student who provided a highly-detailed diagram showing how he had dropped his laptop off a bridge 20ft down into a river after being pushed from behind by a friend.

2. Dropped iron on screen
The second spot in the computer catastrophe chart went to the schoolchild whose mom managed to smash the laptop’s screen by dropping an iron on it.

3. Dog chewed through cable
Third place went to a person whose dog chewed through the cable causing the machine to short out (the dog escaped without injury).

4. Reversed over by car
The fourth was awarded to the woman who forgot she had put her laptop down on her drive and then accidentally backed her car over it, and fifth to a hospital worker who managed to spill a fast-food milkshake over the keyboard Filmed reconstruction – 2.5MB MPG).

5. Spilled milkshake on keyboard
6 Left on car roof and dropped off
7. Fell down stairs
8. Water damage in hotel in Zambia
9. Book dropped on keyboard
10. Fell out of van

According to CCC’s data, up to 60 percent of laptop claims received are for accidental damage. The rest are for theft. From this it extrapolates – on the assumption that there are five million laptops in circulation in the UK (a bit high, maybe?) that 100,000 are damaged and c.67,000 are stolen every year. Most thefts apparently occur in offices and schools (12 percent each).

Thefts from schools can only go up, considering that a: Vodafone and O2 are at last introducing technology to block calls from stolen mobile phones b: most mobile phones are probably stolen by teenagers and c: the UK government is promoting discounted laptops to teachers through a £100m scheme (It’s called the National Grid for Learning Laptops for Teachers initiative if you must know).

Don’t knock it
Knocking or dropping the laptop is by far the most common cause of accidental damage. Should youComputers are very similar to people in that they have a finite lifespan and like us, there are a number of afflictions that can cause a computer’s digital existence to cease? Most of these problems stem from careless handling, neglect, unhealthy environments and old age, leaving the average computer system’s longevity no more than ten years.
However, careless handling, maintenance, and badly trained users can shorten a computer’s lifespan just as a careless lifestyle can cut shorten ours. Here is a list of the ten most common causes of catastrophic computer failure.

10. User errors – From not powering down properly to skipping scan disks, a user can seriously damage a computer’s hardware, particularly drives and processors by not following the correct guidance in using their machine.

9. Faulty manufacture – years ago there were only a handful of companies producing PCs now it seems there are an almost infinite number of manufacturers and assemblers, some have vast experience and resources, others are no more than two guys in a garage so it is not surprising that an increasing number of computer systems are faulty when bought new.

8. Bad upgrades. It is not just computers themselves that are victims of bad workmanship, upgrades by inexperienced computer filters can cause horrendous problems and faulty add-ons such as RAM can kill a processor instantly. Also attempting to ‘overclock’ a processor can often lead to a fatal meltdown.

7. USB Device Mishaps. It seems everything can be plugged into a USB these days. However, it maybe that your USB device is not suited to the operating system you use or it may be faulty leading to a fatal short circuit.

6. Power surge/cut. Power surges or unexpected power cuts can not only cause instant loss of data but can also fry a processor rendering it useless. It is not just power from the grid that causes problems either, lightning can surge through cables (even phone wires) frazzling your system and a build up of static can cause similar results.

5. Dust. A dusty environment will clog a computer and block cooling vents causing a computer to overheat. Dust can also contain conductive, material and particles can stick to circuit boards and cause a short circuit. Even home computers if not properly cleaned can succumb to problems caused by too much dust.

4. Water/fluids. Of course, computers are electrical and with all electrical equipment, computers and water do not mix, just one spilt cup of coffee could see the end of your PC.

3. Heat. Processors can run exceptionally hot and if a computer’s cooling system is inadequate (because the machine has been upgraded, overclocked or just clogged up with dust and grime) it will only be a matter of time before it packs up for good.

2. Cold. Just as with heat, computers don’t enjoy the cold too much either. Processors will not operate at all if the operating temperature is too cold and Processors can permanently freeze up if the temperature drops too much.

1. Knocks/bangs. Computers are sensitive machines, simply moving a PC to another room can cause havoc, disrupting the delicate circuitry and hard drives. Dropping a computer or severe knocks and bangs will permanently damage the circuits and processors or dislodge wiring.

There are of course measures that can be taken to protect a PC such as always ensuring any computer has been assembled correctly and any upgrades are done carefully by a fully trained professional. Making sure a decent power supply with surge suppressor is fitted is also important (many computer experts will tell you that a power supply is the most important component in a PC, and I can’t argue with that) and that any peripherals are checked to be working correctly before you plug them in (ask to see them work in the shop) and will run correctly on your operating system.

Finally, there is a low-cost ways of adding extra protection to a PC, in the shape of a computer enclosure, particularly worthwhile if your PC has to operate in a dusty or moist environment, under varying temperatures and prone to knocks and bangs.

These industrial computer enclosures are relatively low cost and can house virtually any PC, monitor or printer. They often contain air conditioners and heaters to control temperature and can protect from extremely severe knocks and bangs (some even claim to be bomb proof). These enclosures also prevent dust and fluids from entering (some can even be hosed down in industrial environments without fear of damage) and allow a conventional PC to be used in the most hostile environments from ovens, freezers, dusty shop-floors and even explosive environments. be insured? Of course you should – and specifically for your laptop, CCC advises. It points out that business laptops are not insured outside the office building under general cover, while personal laptops are not covered under household contents insurance if they are used for business – in any shape or form.

The bit in the italics is our comment. Our managing director Linus Birtles found this out to his cost when his personal laptop was stolen recently at Miami airport. ®be right there if you need to speak to her. ®

 

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