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Laptop makeover: 5 ways to extend its useful life

Marco Chiappetta | April 3, 2014
No matter how hard you try or how meticulously you care for it, your notebook is going to show signs of age over time. Keycaps wear down and get that off-putting, shiny-plastic look. Dirt, crumbs, and gunk get stuck in the keyboard and other crevices, while lint and dust build up in virtually every crack, seam and open port. Don't forget those inevitable scratches and nicks, either.

Reassemble the notebook and you're good to go!

Effective upgrades

You may want to upgrade some components to give your freshened-up laptop a performance boost to match, especially since you'll already have the machine open. Replacing major components like a CPU or GPU isn't really possible, but adding more RAM and moving from a traditional hard drive to an SSD can also be very effective upgrades.

Adding more RAM to your laptop is normally as simple as replacing the existing SO-DIMM (or DIMM) memory modules with ones of larger capacity, or by installing a second memory module of similar speed and capacity to the first if there's an open slot. PCWorld's guide to adding RAM to a laptop can help if you run into trouble.

Upgrading the notebook's hard drive to an SSD can be a bit more difficult, especially if you want to clone your OS and data over from a hard drive, but PCWorld's guide to swapping out your laptop's hard drive for an SSD has you covered.

Notebook computers can be cleaned and upgraded — with the proper planning and care. It's certainly worth your time to tinker before sending it to the e-waste bin. The laptop you save could be your own. 


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