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Northwest Missouri State University

Student Uses Campus Notebook in Residence Hall

Student Notebook Computer Guide

Protecting Your Notebook Computer

Protecting your university-provided notebook computer from damage and theft is important. Here are some guidelines:

  • Carry your notebook computer in a backpack/tote that is made for a notebook computer. A purse or regular backpack does not have adequate padding and the notebook computer can be damaged if dropped.
  • Keep sticky or runny foods away from your notebook computer. Such foods may permanently damage your notebook computer keyboard or other delicate components and most warranties do not cover such damage.
  • Keep open drink containers away from your notebook computer. Soda and other beverages can cause keyboard keys to stick or become inoperable. Other damage to delicate components may also result from such spillage and most warranties do not cover such damage.
  • Use a surge protector if you are going to keep your notebook computer hooked up to an electrical outlet, particularly if your computer is turned on. An electrical surge may not hurt it one time, but continued surges could potentially damage it and lose all of your critical data.
  • If at all possible do not leave your notebook computer in a cold environment. Condensation, when you return it to a warm environment, could cause the circuitry to short out. If it has been exposed to a cold environment, always let it warm up before turning it on.
  • Do not leave your notebook computer unattended in a classroom or other area.
  • Do not leave the notebook computer in your car where it is visible.
  • Do not check it as baggage when flying, but take it on as a carry-on.
  • Do not try to repair your notebook computer or open it up to see inside or add components. You may inadvertently cause more damage by your lack of knowledge.
  • If a key or keys come off of your notebook computer do not try to repair yourself. Do not use glue on the keyboard! Key replacement is usually FREE of charge at the ECSC unless the whole keyboard is damaged or vandalism is involved.
  • Do not color (markers, crayons, etc.) the keys on your Notebook Computer keyboard.
  • Do not stick stickers on the exterior of your notebook computer that cannot be easily removed by you without damage to the notebook computer.
  • Do not have your notebook repaired other than at the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center (ECSC). All repairs to Northwest provided notebook computers must be done at the ECSC.
  • If you drop your notebook computer into water or spill liquid on the keyboard by accident take the notebook computer immediately to ECSC. If a spill is taken care of immediately, the notebook computer and keyboard can be cleaned and dried (preventing sticky and non-working keys and non-functioning components) without a problem. Repair is also usually FREE of charge unless major damage or vandalism is involved.

Cleaning Your Notebook Computer

To clean the LCD screen, use LCD screen solution, eyeglass cleaning solution, or 1 part isopropyl alcohol and 1 part water (50/50 solution). Do not apply solution directly to screen, but pour onto a soft clean, white cloth and then apply to your LCD Screen.

To clean the keyboard, use a soft, clean, white cloth, cotton swabs and a can of compressed air. Do not spray cleaning solutions onto keyboard. A 1 part isopropyl alcohol and 1 part water (50/50) solution is all that is needed. Do not spray or pour the solution directly onto keyboard. Pour a small amount on a cloth, squeeze out excess, and gently apply the cloth to the keyboard. Use cotton swabs and compressed air to clean between the keys. Turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake to dislodge any particles stuck between keys.

Back Up Personal Data on Your Notebook Computer

Information Technology, the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center (ECSC) and Northwest Missouri State University are not responsible for supporting or backing up personal files on university-provided notebook computers. The user is solely responsible for backing up (copying) personal files to an alternative storage device.

Alternative storage devices are not provided by Northwest or Information Technology. The user is entirely responsible for purchasing such a device with personal funds. Such devices include, but are not limited to, USB Flash drive and CD/DVD.

Since Northwest owns the university-provided notebook computer and its software, Information Technology reserves the right to format and reload the hard disk without the user's permission once it is returned to the ECSC. Consequently, all users are encouraged by Information Technology to back-up their important personal files on a weekly basis to prevent loss of data in case of hardware or software failure.

If you need instructions on how to back-up (copy) personal files to an alternate storage device, check out the back-up how-to guides on the Computer Care Online Support page.

If you need further assistance, contact the Information Technology-Client Computing Help Desk at 660.562.1634.