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HP notebook PCs - Protecting and caring for your notebook

HP notebook computers are designed for portable use in locations such as offices, schools, homes, meeting rooms, and airports. Careful use and transport of your notebook computer ensures optimal performance and longevity.

Warning:

To reduce the possibility of heat-related injuries or of overheating the computer, do not place the computer directly on your lap or obstruct the computer air vents. Use the computer only on a hard, flat surface. Do not allow another hard surface, such as an adjacent printer, or a soft surface, such as pillows, rugs, or clothing to block airflow. Do not allow the AC adapter to contact the skin or a soft surface during operation. The computer and the AC adapter comply with the user-accessible surface temperature limits defined by the International Standard for Safety of Information Technology Equipment (IEC 60950).

Environmental tips

Take environmental precautions to reduce risks and make sure your notebook functions as designed. Use or store your notebook in environments that conform to temperature and humidity specifications.

Avoid excessive heat

Excessive heat can cause the notebook to shut down, damage components, or warp the notebook. Notebook computers have vents on the bottom and sides so air flows through the inside to cool internal components. If vents become clogged or heat generating parts get covered in dust, the notebook does not efficiently cool the internal parts.

Note:

To protect internal components, the notebook is designed to slow down or turn off if the internal temperature exceeds predefined limits.

  • Use and store the notebook in a clean environment. Using or storing the computer in humid, dusty, gritty, or smoky conditions can cause internal components to become covered in dust, which can cause the notebook to overheat when in use.

  • Always use your notebook on a hard, flat surface. Use a desk, table, or computer lap tray and avoid placing the notebook on soft surfaces, such as bed comforters, pillows, clothing, or carpet. These surfaces can block air flow through the vents, causing heat to build up inside the notebook.

    Note:

    Avoid placing the notebook directly on your lap or in direct contact with your skin. If you want to use the notebook on your lap, rest it on a hard, flat surface, such as a lap tray specifically designed for notebooks.

  • Do not leave the notebook in a hot location. Avoid leaving the notebook in a parked car or in direct sunlight. Keep the LCD display out of direct sunlight.

For more information go to:

Avoid excessive cold

At temperatures below 10° C (50° F), the typical lithium-ion battery used in HP notebook computers charges slowly and might not achieve a full charge before the charging cycle times out. To charge the battery, move the notebook to a warmer environment where the internal battery temperature can rise above 10° C (50° F).

Note:

If the battery is left in a low temperature environment for 12 hrs. or more, warm the notebook and battery, and then perform a hard reset. Go to How to Power Reset your Laptop for more information.

Additional Environmental tips

To keep your notebook functioning as designed, avoid dirt and liquids, carefully store the notebook, and use only designated input devices.

  • Use clean hands while using the notebook: Using the keyboard with sticky, dirty, or greasy fingers can leave debris that can contaminate the computer's internal components. Debris on the keyboard can also scratch or stain the LCD display when the notebook is closed.

  • Keep liquids away from the keyboard: Do not eat or drink while using a notebook. Keep all liquids, such as coffee, cola, water, or cleaning solvents away from the keyboard. Avoid using the computer in any wet environment, such as a swimming pool or shower, and protect the components from liquid sources, including rain and lawn sprinklers.

  • Store the notebook on a hard flat surface: Do not store a notebook under anything that can exert enough stress to crack the case or the display. For example, at the bottom of a locker or in a bag full of books. Do not stack items on top of the notebook.

  • Use only the appropriate input device: Do not use a pen, pencil, or other object to input data to the screen. For HP TouchSmart notebooks, use only a finger. For HP tablet PCs, only use a stylus or input device compatible with the tablet.

Electrical tips

Protect the notebook's electrical components by using the correct power adapter for your notebook model. Take care when using and storing the power adapter and power cord to keep both you and your notebook safe from potential harm. Do not do anything with the notebook or its components that you would not do with other kinds of electrical devices.

Use only the power adapter that came with your HP notebook

For best performance, use only the power adapter that came with your HP notebook.

Most HP notebooks use smart power adapter technology, and can use power adapters from other HP notebooks that might have different wattage requirements. However, using a power adapter with a lower wattage than your notebook requires might affect the performance of the adapter and your notebook.

Using a lower wattage power adapter can cause programs to run slow, the battery to charge more slowly or not at all, and the adapter itself might become warm to the touch.

Your power adapter's wattage information is printed on the bottom of the adapter itself. Go to Using and testing the AC Power Adapter for more information.

Power adapter label with wattage highlighted

Tips for using the AC power adapter

Correct use of the AC power adapter provides the best performance.

Connecting to a power source: Plug the power cord into an AC outlet that is easily accessible at all times.

CAUTION:

All power adapter certification tests for HP notebooks are performed using a grounded power adapter. Damage can occur if an ungrounded power adapter is subjected to power surges or electrostatic discharge.

  • Always plug in the power adapter to a grounded outlet.

    CAUTION:

    If you do not use a grounded outlet, you might notice an electrical tingling sensation when the palms of your hands touch the notebook during use.

  • If provided with a 3-pin attachment plug on the power cord, plug the cord into a grounded 3-pin outlet. Do not disable the power cord grounding pin, for example, by attaching a 2-pin adapter. The grounding pin is an important safety feature.

  • Connect the power adapter to a good quality surge protector if your local power supply is unstable.

Using the power adapter: When connected to external AC power, the battery charge icon and the battery meter icon in the system tray change appearance.

  • Use only the power adapter provided with the computer, a replacement HP power adapter, or a compatible power adapter purchased from HP.

  • Use the power adapter on a hard, flat surface.

    Note:

    Make sure the power adapter is NOT placed in an area such as under cabinets, near exhaust fans or heaters or covered by objects such as a book, blanket, or clothing where the ambient temperature can reach greater than 35° C (95° F) and prevent natural convection cooling. The power adapter can become hot and go into thermal protection mode. Allow the power adapter to cool for five (5) minutes before using again.

  • Connect to external AC power when charging or calibrating the battery, installing or modifying system software (such as drivers and updates), and when writing information to a CD or DVD.

  • If you use an external power adapter at all times, calibrate your battery often, or when the battery has charged fully, remove it entirely before continuing to work on external AC power. Continuously charging the battery without allowing it to expend its charge can degrade battery performance and shorten battery life.

  • When a high number of applications are running or when the battery is recharging, the power adapter might be warm to the touch when it reaches its power limit.

  • Docking stations might have limitations when using different power adapters. Use the appropriate compatible docking station for your notebook computer. Use the power adapter that is included with the docking station.

  • When disconnected from external AC power, the computer uses power from the battery and the display brightness automatically dims to save battery life. To increase the display brightness, in Windows, search for and open Change brightness level, and then use the slider bar to adjust the brightness level.

Disconnecting and moving the adapter: Unplug the power adapter cord, mouse, and other peripheral devices when moving a notebook.

  • Always disconnect power from the computer by unplugging the power cord from the AC wall outlet first, then unplug the power cord from the computer.

  • Do not leave accessories or power adapters connected to a notebook while moving it. Pulling, twisting, or jamming these cords can break the connectors.

Store the AC power adapter

Store your AC power adapter with the cord loosely bundled to prolong the life of your AC power adapter, and reduce risks.

Loosely bundle the power adapter cord for storage or transport. Using a "figure 8" pattern when bundling the cord allows for easy storage, prevents the internal copper wires from breaking, and keeps the cord from getting tangled.

Power adapter and cord properly bundled for storage
Warning:

Never wrap the power cord around the power adapter or any other object as this could cause the internal wires to break. Broken wires can short circuit both the power adapter and your notebook's internal power supply. Broken wires can shock anyone who touches the cord, and might also present a fire hazard.

Power cord wrapped around adapter, and damaged adapter cord

Tips for transporting a notebook computer

Exercise care when carrying and transporting your notebook to reduce the risk of accidents.

  • Unplug all cords and peripheral devices before moving the notebook. Moving a notebook with the power adapter or accessories attached can damage these devices and break the notebook connectors. Pulling, twisting, or jamming cords can damage them.

    If using an extended or external battery, confirm it is locked into place to prevent it from coming loose during transport.

  • Completely close the notebook prior to carrying it. Carrying the notebook while it is open leaves it more vulnerable to damage if you drop it. Carrying an open notebook by the hinges, or the LCD screen can damage the notebook since the hinges are not designed to support the full weight of the notebook.

  • Carefully carry the notebook. Whenever possible, use a briefcase or a backpack to transport the notebook. If a carrying case is not used, hold the notebook using both hands or secure the notebook under one arm when transporting it. Do not throw, drop, or strike an object with the notebook or carrying case. Do not put objects, such as pens and paper, between the keyboard and screen and then attempt to carry a partially closed notebook. If the objects move or pressure is applied to the notebook case, the LCD screen might become scratched or damaged.

  • Turn off the notebook before transporting it. Make sure the notebook is turned off and all LED lights are dark before transporting it in a carrying case, such as a computer bag or backpack. Leaving a notebook in a carrying case when it is turned on, in Standby or Sleep mode, might cause heat build up in the notebook and damage the internal components.

    Note:

    Just closing the notebook might not completely turn it off. Either turn off the notebook using the Power button, or put it in Hibernate mode.

  • Do not overload the carrying case or backpack. Protect the LCD panel from potential damage from pressure against the notebook. Use an appropriate size carrying case or backpack, and do not overload it. Do not include heavy objects in the carrying case with the notebook.

    If the notebook might be subjected to high stress movements (dropping or banging into other objects), carry it in a zero-impact case.

  • Use a security device when using a notebook in a public location. When using a notebook in a public location, such as a café or a library, use a security device, such as a lock, to help deter theft. Go to Using a Kensington Lock

    Note:

    For HP notebooks sold with Windows 7, HP ProtectSmart might be installed. Go to Use ProtectSmart to Prevent Hard Drive Damage for more information.

Battery tips

The performance of a notebook battery depends on the notebook model, your usage profile, and battery maintenance. The capacity of notebook batteries naturally decreases over time. The way a battery is used can also affect capacity and longevity.

  • Plug in the power supply to charge the notebook overnight. Doing this provides you with a fully charged battery when you are ready to use the notebook.

    Note:

    Do not keep a notebook plugged in for extended periods. This could cause the battery to lose its calibration and ability to charge correctly.

  • Use the HP-recommended power management when running on battery power. HP-recommended power management options can reduce drain on the battery and minimize the power load to the CPU. This conserves the battery's overall life span and reduces heat buildup inside the notebook.

  • Periodically allow the notebook battery to drain completely. Once drained, fully charge the battery to help keep it calibrated.

Go to Improving Battery Performance for more information.

Cleaning tips

Dust, dirt, pet hair, and other particles can accumulate on or inside the notebook, causing scratches or overheating. Extend the life of your notebook by removing potentially damaging buildup on a regular basis.

HP recommends the following cleaning materials, which are available from most computer retailers:

  • Compressed air spray

  • Cleaning solution or monitor wipes intended for use on LCD screens

  • A non-abrasive cloth or towel

  • A microfiber screen dusting cloth for cleaning an HP webcam lens.

Go to Cleaning Your Notebook PC or How to Clean the HP Webcam Lens for more information.


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