Written By:  Amit Mehta, Fast On Site Computer Repairs, Glen Ellyn, IL

Whether you are moving your computer as part of an office move, or just for personal reasons, there are some computer moving tips to follow to keep your computer safe.  Always follow manufacturers’ directions if you still have the manual, but if you don’t these computer moving tips are a good general guide. 

Use the original boxes and packaging for your devices if at all possible! – The manufacturer may have designed the package to jump off the shelf at you, but they also considered that they don’t want you to get it home only to find that it doesn’t work.  Their containers are generally made to withstand truck delivery as well as small jolts during handling.

Pack the equipment tightly, so it doesn’t get jarred or experience excessive shock by rattling.  Unprinted paper can be crumpled as a simple but effective buffer between your devices and the box in most cases.  Using printed paper can leave marks.

Make a backup of your data! – Your data is generally stored on a hard drive, which is a mechanical item and susceptible to damage from handling.  It’s delicate and you can expect that during the move, there will be vibration and temperature changes.  While attention will be paid to proper handling and the chances of your data being affected are low, you shouldn’t unnecessarily risk your documents, pictures, and music.  Just backup your files onto an external hard drive, USB flash drive, DVD’s, or an online backup service to make sure that your files will arrive safely; even if your computer’s hard drive gives out!

Disconnect all the cords! – Take a picture if you want to, but don’t leave anything plugged in just so you don’t forget where it went.  Any torque against a plugged in cord can result in the connection coming loose, and resulting in costly repair down the road – trust us, we see it all the time!

Label your boxes – When it comes time to put it all back together, it’ll save you time and frustration to know where the needed part or cord is located.

Heat damages electronics – It’s a good idea to leave some room for ventilation in your boxes and also unpack them immediately once you arrive.  Don’t ever leave electronic equipment baking in the sun – boxed or not.

Write “FRAGILE” on all the boxes so you can be extra careful with them.

Recycling – if you’re not going to move some of your equipment, be sure to dispose of it properly since some items like monitors can contain toxic mercury or other elements.

Specific Suggestions for your equipment:

Laptops –

 Store them in their closed position, and if possible place a soft, thin piece of foam between the LCD and keyboard before closing them shut.

Desktop Computers –

 Protect the corners of the computer since they are sharp and usually metal.  You could end up damaging the computer or surrounding objects if left exposed.

LCD Monitors –

Be sure to protect the LCD screen from any sharp objects or pressure.  Even blunt objects can break the delicate Liquid Crystal material.

CRT Monitors –

 These are quite heavy in the front.  Don’t expect the weight to be evenly distributed.  They will tilt toward the front screen, so pack them in a way that they cannot lean forward or roll over.

Scanners –

 Most scanners have a lock on the underside specifically meant to be engaged during transport, so that the scanner bulb assembly doesn’t get knocked around or loosened through vibration.  Engage the lock for transport, and remember to disengage it before using the scanner again.

Printers –

 Ink can leak during transport and create a mess!  Be sure to remove and store ink cartridges in their appropriate holder or at least wrap them and place them in a zip lock bag.

As with any other type of move, use common sense, but if you need some direction these computer moving tips should help guide you.

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