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      Simple laptop mistakes can cost you a bundle

      Laptop computers have been out-selling their desktop counter-parts for years, but they don't typically last as long. Our Facebook viewers want to know, what can be done to extend the life of a laptop computer?

      Facebook fan laptop tips and tricks poured in Tuesday on our TV6 and Fox UP page, but experts say some of their comments simply aren't true.

      Fan Larry Letts says the best way to keep your laptop going is simply "purchase a new one every two years."

      One professional says that's a myth and he's got proof.

      "I have one on the shelf, that was one of the very first batch NMU gave out in 1998, and it still works," said Scott Krah, director of Micro Repair services at Northern Michigan University.

      So why aren't all machines running that long?

      Micro Repairs Services cares for the 10,000 laptops issued to students at the school and say people simply don't handle their computers as they should. Liquids cause the fastest demise.

      "We've had people typing with the computer on the edge of the bathtub while they were taking a bath and it fell in, it's fallen off the dock into the lake, different spills all the time," said Krah.

      Small mistakes with how a machine is handled can add up.

      Such as lifting the computer from it's LCD screen alone, if it pops off, that could cost $400. The torque system is located in the front right corner, lifting your machine there could cause hairline fractures, and bill of $300 to $700. If the power jack gets bumped repeatedly causing damage, that could be a $95 dollar fix.

      The way you treat the battery also has a lasting impact.

      "A couple times a month, let the battery go from a full charge down to nearly zero, and then recharge," said 906 Technologies Bench Technician Eric Sundell. "That maintains the battery set point, so you don't have your battery with only 20 minutes of it's full charge."

      While on the lookout for nasty viruses, choose just one antivirus program and stick to it.

      "Buy a good reputable antivirus software package, make sure you always keep it up to date, otherwise it won't do you any favors," said Sundell.

      The good news is, at NMU the number of damage repairs has decreased over the years. They say that means slowly but surely, people are learning what works and what doesn't when it comes to laptop maintenance.