If you are going to be taking a long trip, extended leave of absence, or have just decided to put away the electronic trappings of civilization for a while, there are special considerations for storing computer equipment so that it will still be in working order when you return.
- First and foremost, back up all your data. Twice, maybe three times, in different locations. Just visualize the worst case scenario: you return, and your hard drive is toast, and everything on it is lost. If you have backed it up to an external hard drive and also the cloud, you are in a good position to recover that data.
- Consider clearing cookies, passwords, and browser history for an extra level of security.
- Never wrap your computer or other electronic device in plastic, as this can trap moisture, leading to mold and mildew.
- If you still have the original packaging, use it. If not cover your device with a cotton sheet to protect it from dust, but still allow air circulation.
- Protect screens and monitors with anti-static bubble wrap. Label the outside of the box or protective cover so you know where the glass is.
- Be sure to remove all CDs and DVDs from drives.
- Do not store the equipment on the floor. Store it on a table, desk, or other piece of furniture, or possibly a pallet or boards.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, store the equipment in a climate-controlled unit. Extremes of temperature can be very damaging. Dollar Self Storage offers air conditioned units at all of its locations in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
When you unpack the computer or device after it has been in storage, allow it to come to room temperature before turning it on. You should be good to go!
Note: If you are planning to store a computer for more than a year, you might want to consider simply backing up the data, removing the hard drive, and selling the computer. A year or two down the road, you will probably be able to buy a better computer for the same amount you had invested in the old one. On the other hand, if it is a really old computer, you might want to take extra special care of it (see this story about a woman who tossed out an Apple 1 computer worth $200,000.)