Fix Your Laptop: 34 Tips, Apps, and Gear

While notebook makers continue to churn out new models every month, consumers are holding on to their aging notebooks for longer than ever. People keep their laptops for an average of four years and four months; a month longer than they did a year ago, according to a recent report in The New York Times. The problem is that laptops don’t age gracefully. At all. After a while, your machine can slow to a crawl, run out of power faster than you can say “where’s my charger?” and collect crumbs like a sofa. To help reverse the aging process, we rounded up PC owners’ most common complaints, along with advice for making your notebook perform like it’s fresh from the box—or better.

How to Fix Your Laptop

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  1. james Says:

    Hi Dana,

    Regarding your laptop key article, I am a tech and we replace laptop keys for customers all the time, I use a company called http://www.replacementlaptopkeys.com they are a great company, we used them so often we have become friends, how about adding them to your list of laptop keys companies you have listed there for the laptop key vendors. I would personally be grateful as they have helped me many times.

    Oscar D

  2. Bill R TechSpec Says:

    Good advice — But I would give more emphasis to the importance of defragmenting your hard drive.

    Unfortunately, most users don’t do these vital actions because they take too long, especially defragmenting. If using the built-in, defrag can take a very long time (and you can’t use the PC while it’s defragmenting)

    I recommend using a good automatic third party program that can defrag transparently while using the PC.

    Here is a Top 10 Reviews side-by-side comparison of the best defrag programs around:

    http://disk-defragmenter-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

    The gold medalist also prevents fragmentation.

    Get a free trial of the gold medalist at http://www.diskeeper.com

  3. John Tucker Says:

    A couple other great options to send your files to the cloud are SpiderOak and SugarSync. Both offer sharing and file sync as well as backup so you don’t need to fuss with two different programs like Dropbox and Mozy etc. SugarSync is a little ahead in the mobile access and backup applications so if you want mobile access to your files SugarSync is a great choice.

  4. John Says:

    I used reginout and it helped a lot in improving performance of my Inspiron 1525 happy with it

  5. Tech hobby Says:

    Another option is change the OS to Ubuntu of Linux Mint. Ya I’m that guy. (just as bad as a Jehovah’s Witness) ;)

  6. Margaretta Tooman Says:

    LAN Sync does not transfer directly without sending to the cloud. If the file hasnt been synced to the cloud yet, it will NOT be transferred directly.

  7. mark Says:

    Let me remind all you folks out there that have upgraded there slow, evergrinding, persistantly needing defragmentmenting harddrives. That, if you have upgraded to the newer, NO moving part flash drives. DO NOT defragment them, there is no need. Actually, defragmenting flash drives can damage them over time, and since they are almost instant access compared to the standard, it is not necessary.

  8. DWKSIMI Says:

    I have a Dell Dimension 8300 PC with Windows XP Pro (SP-3) and I upgraded to 4 GB of ram a couple years ago and to this day it never recognized more than 2.5 GB.

  9. GM Says:

    Speaking of flash – I recommend to use SSD to accelerate the HDD with something like the Corsair Accelerator or Crucial Adrenaline. It’s best PC upgrade for $100 ever. It used to take my PC 2minutes to boot, but now just 36seconds.

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