When a computer dies it usually winds up in a landfill somewhere and you will be shocked to hear how many computers are just thrown away every year. I'm here with David Gray of Computer Technologies and More to explain why computers die and how to make yours last longer.

"Most of the time people are affected by malware, spyware; virus type stuff," says David Gray computer expert and owner of Computer Technologies and More.

So a first step in keeping your computer is to avoid malware by using an anti-malware program and avoiding any clicks on suspicious links. If a computer gets infected with ransomware and you refuse to pay the $400 or so that the hackers demand in order to get it back, the computer will have to be thrown away.

"Right now the biggest thing I see, other than malware, in slowing down or bogging it down is physical hard drives going bad", said Gray. He explains that older hard drives spin over 5-thousand times a minute. Eventually, that'll cause a problem. Gray says replacing spinning hard drives with new Solid State or SSD drives will extend the life of any computer.

"By replacing a machine today that's slow because the hard drive is starting to wear, you can get a brand new machine and sometimes increase the speed 10 times of what it was when it was brand new", he said.

"So instead of throwing those things in the garbage or the dump where they shouldn't be, you can extend the life on this."

Why is it so important? According to the EPA, Americans trash around 255 thousand tons of computers every year that winds up in landfills.

"There's a lot of lead in this, a lot of chromium that's in here. Even the hard drive itself, you've got magnets, you have a lot of stuff that really should not pop up in the landfill," said Gray.

Other things you should do to extend the life of your computer:

  • Pay attention to airflow. Do not crowd a computer with papers or books on top or on the sides that may block the air vents.
  • Clean the air filters. It doesn't take long for dust to build up on all sides and dust can quickly turn to grime.
  • Use a can of compressed air to blow dust out of the inside of the computer.
  • Turn off the computer first and don't put the nozzle of the sprayer close to any computer components.
  • If using a laptop keep the vents open so air can flow unrestricted. If using a laptop do not let it lie on a couch or bed which will block the side and bottom vents.
  • Get a computer tuneup every 6 months.