Tomasz Sacherski's Blog

Founder of Cocotec

Laptop battery usage tips

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Customers often ask about their laptop batteries and how to get the best performance out of them.  A lot of people don’t realise that the laptop battery, much like the battery in any other device, is a consumable item.  After a couple of years it will not hold charge for as long as it used to, or maybe it just won’t charge at all.

There are some myths saying that its best to remove your battery or let it drain to the end then fully charge back again to keep its long life. But it’s only a myth.

First of all battery should be used so forget about removing it. You end up with loosing best laptop function – mobility.

Don’t let it drain completely, as it will only shorten its life.

Don’t keep it plugged with power cord all the time you use it.

Let the battery work, this way you can be sure getting the best out of it.

And one more thing you should keep in mind. Most manufacturers give 1 year warranty on their laptop, but only 6 month on a battery!

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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Written by Cocotec - Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

November 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Posted in laptop, tips

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Create a System Restore point in Windows 7

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System Restore is turned on by default, creating restore points regularly for you. In case you want to create your own System Restore point, here’s how to do it.

Click on the Start button and right click on Computer.  Select Properties from the context menu and the System window will open.

Click on System Protection and the System Properties window will open, with the System Protection tab automatically selected.

Click Create and you will be asked to provide a name to this System Restore point.  Use a meaningful name so if ever you need to restore your system, you will recognise the name you used.

Finally, click Create and the System Restore point will be created.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

Written by Cocotec - Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

November 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in software, windows

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How to buy Laptop Memory (RAM)

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No matter what you use your laptop or desktop computer for, it can usually benefit from additional memory.  The more RAM memory you have in your computer, the easier it is to have multiple applications running at once, meaning your computer does not have to use the pagefile on your hard disk as much, so your computer runs faster and better.

So once you have decided to upgrade your RAM, your next decisions are,

– How much RAM do I need?

– What type of RAM do I need?

How much RAM you can upgrade depends on how many spare memory slots you have and how much RAM can go in each memory slot.  I usually open up a computer and see how many slots it has and how many are free.  But the amount and type of RAM that can go in each slot depends on the exact make and model of the computer or motherboard. Its best to have a look on manufacturer website for your computer or laptop specifications.

For example you will have DDR2 PC2-5300 that is inside of your laptop. In this case, DDR2 is the type of memory.  It refers to the memory technology, but importantly, it also indicates the size and shape of memory stick that will fit in your laptop.

PC2-5300 is a measure of the speed of memory that can be used in the laptop.  Some computers can make use of a couple of different memory speeds, and faster is generally better, but it is a good tip to make sure all of your memory sticks are running at the same speed, to make sure they are fully compatible with each other and to get the best performance out of them.

So if I only had 2 x 512MB RAM sticks in my laptop and I wanted to max out the memory, I would buy two sticks of 2GB RAM, remove the smaller memory sticks that the laptop came with, and install the new ones.  Job done.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

Written by Cocotec - Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

November 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Posted in computer, laptop, upgrade

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Should shut down your computer properly

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Sometimes we are asked by customers what is right: shutting down their computer by just pressing the power button for a few seconds, rather than going through the Windows shutdown procedure. Holding the power button for a few seconds appears to shut down the computer immediately, whereas a proper Windows shutdown takes maybe 20 to 30 seconds.

Basically it is a very, very bad idea to shut down a computer by holding the power button.

What effect does this have?
Any files that Windows was writing to may now have incomplete or corrupt data, because you didn’t allow it to finish writing properly.
If Windows was writing to the registry, the system registry may now have incomplete or corrupt data because you didn’t allow it to finish writing.
The hard disk arm, not being allowed to park by the side of the disk, may scratch or damage the spinning disk, causing data to become corrupt.

So if you care about your data and want to avoid a costly repair, take a few seconds at the end of the day to shutdown Windows properly.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

Written by Cocotec - Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

November 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Posted in computer, laptop, software, windows

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When operating system fails

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There are always those times when you’re in a really bad spot – you can’t boot up properly, and what you really want is something you can quickly use to get at a command prompt so you can properly troubleshoot. Windows 7 now includes the ability to create a system repair disc, which is essentially a CD-bootable version of Windows that just includes the command prompt and a suite of system tools. Just type “system repair disc” in the Start Menu search box, and you’ll be led to the utility.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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November 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Display and ClearType Text Tuning

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If you want to tune up your display for image or text display, there is the tools included out of the box. It’s amazing what a difference this makes: by slightly darkening the color of the text and adjusting the gamma back a little, my laptop display looks much crisper than it did before. You’d adjust the brightness and contrast settings on that fancy 42” HDTV you’ve just bought: why wouldn’t you do the same for the computer displays that you stare at every day?

Check out cttune.exe and dccw.exe respectively, or run the applets from Control Panel.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

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November 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Windows Vista-Style Taskbar in Windows 7

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Windows 7 taskbar brings new look and functionality to the way how you use operating system. Personally I find new look better then old version, particularly when I’ve got lots of windows open simultaneously. But there are still people around that would prefer a look more reminiscent of Windows Vista. Here is the good news: the look of the taskbar can be customized to the old version:

Simply, right-click on the taskbar and choose the properties dialog. Select the “small icons” checkbox and under the “taskbar buttons” setting, choose “combine when taskbar is full”.

Cocotec – Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

Written by Cocotec - Laptop Repair & Computer Support Services

November 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm