How long does your computer or laptop last?

United States
January 26, 2012 3:26am CST
I heard that usually a new laptop or computer would start to give up after it has been used for 4 years. I cannot tell how true it is, but how long does it last for you? And what kind of technical problem did your previous computer or laptop have in the end? We lost 2 computers and one laptop. All of them in the end had motherboard problems.
5 people like this
21 responses
@RamRes (1725)
• Argentina
27 Jan 12
Computers theorically can last decades if properly you take care of them. But it really depends on how do you use it an what kind of hardware are you using. In fact, except for the hard disks and coolers, everything else is just electronics static components with little or no wear, only the heat may cause problems or power anomalies. I had two computers die due to hardware problems, both nearly 2 years old. The first had the CPU cooler stooped without realizing so it was overheated. And the second, the power supply just failed in a moment, it exploded and blown up the motherboard in the process. Currently I have my desktop, 3 years old, running smoothly with no problems, and my laptop of 1 year old which I almost leave working 24 hs a day and also without any real problem. Just as a note. The oldest computer I have is a Commodore 128, around 20 years old and still fully functional if I really want to. So for sure I know how long computers can last if properly cared.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 12
Glad to meet an owner of Commodore 128. You are really lucky to have it in your collection. Did the CPU cooler give up during hot summer? June, July and August are usually the most troublesome months for computers. They always make me nervous. Did the motherboard show smoke?
• United States
30 Jan 12
I have been told that keeping the laptop on lap is one of the reasons why it can end up getting damaged. The notion is the same and that is, overheating. In my house, I tried the ceiling fan. But now I prefer the table fan since it is more energetic. How long do you game on your laptop? My sister's one does the same. It just shuts off instantly due to the overheating.
@RamRes (1725)
• Argentina
31 Jan 12
The problem itself is not leaving it on, the problem is that it may overheat. It depends on what you leave it doing while alone, and in what environment it is, for the refrigeration. I tried laptop base with coolers, together with putting me and it just under the ceiling fan and it can support quite well these hot days. But the table fan seems nice too, just anything that throws fresh wind directly into it may help fine . I don't game so much as I would like (time consuming work :( ), but an hour daily or so possibly. It really depends on the game if it makes it overheat or not. Some can run for hours and hours without worrying, but others, more modern, I have either to stop them or regulate the temp by switching out of it every one in a while. Right now I have such a game running in background, minimized and there it doesn't heats the CPU, but when I go into it, it becomes hot, so I have it on a regime of 10 minutes play, 5 minutes rest with web browsing . Not a great way to play really, but it makes the laptop survive.
@taomoney (649)
• Hong Kong
27 Jan 12
laptop, around 3 years, it still usable but more slow if installed new software. Hence, will buy a new one and let parents use it to get online :) I never have any laptop end with hardware problems.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
Yep, by 3rd year the laptop or computer stars to kind of slow down. So your one is not at all abnormal.I have been just trying to avoid downloading software. Even I do end up getting one I make sure that it is on my flash drive. I even run my antivirus software from that.
1 person likes this
@taomoney (649)
• Hong Kong
28 Jan 12
I have around 6-7 laptop since I started to work. I worker around 14 years already. My first laptop is no brand laptop, soon, its harddisk have problem :( Then, I always buy ASUS
• United States
28 Jan 12
Asus is definitely one of the best. It has been beating all other brands for a couple of years now. People take it as equal to Apple. We have one Asus laptop. It hasn't failed despite the fact that my sister works on it more than 9 hours a day. I haven't heard of Fujitsu. Probably, it is still not available here in US.
@lovedude (4457)
• India
27 Jan 12
My desktop and laptop both running from last 3 years.. till now no major issues though laptop battery is getting drier faster but not any major issue I found.. yeah I have heard too.. even it works after 4-5 years but it won't support latest software and updates due to hardware limitations.. so its ok for those who works with office and other applications but for those who develop something they have to change system..
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 12
Does changing the OS have any impact on latest software? Our custom built computer crossed its 4th year somewhere around in 2009. Now it still works, but very slow.
@youless (90012)
• Guangzhou, China
27 Jan 12
I have used my laptop for several years. I am glad that it still works well. However, the battery will run out soon and this is the only one problem for my laptop so far. So whenever I use my laptop, I have to keep it charge all the time. I love China
1 person likes this
@aul0982 (58)
• Indonesia
27 Jan 12
my last computer was 5years old, and still work well. its just becoming slowly, its due to the age getting old, and the support of the OS that is no longer available. But as long as i use, i have never experienced problem with the hardware. And now, i already have a new laptop, and very satisfied with the existing technology instead. I guess if your old computer have a problem with the motherboard, it can be caused by electricity in your place. Maybe your electricity is not stable, or oftern cut off suddenly when you use a computer. Or because the motherboard itself is not so good.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 12
Those computers and laptops are gone. My dad did not want to deal with them anymore. I will say that the slowness of the computer has more to do with Microsoft updates. Sometimes one session includes more than hundreds of them. One of my friends lost her computer to that annoying thing. Well according to Microsoft, such updates are supposed to give the machine security and boost. Butin reality, the consequence is the opposite.
@LLWolf (119)
• United States
27 Jan 12
I have a desktop and a laptop both are around 5 or 6 years old and both are still going strong. My desktop gets a lot of use. I use it everyday for several hours a day. My laptop I only use every once in awhile.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jan 12
Does your desktop go through the slowness problem? 5 to 6 years sounds a lot. It is wonderful that it is still in great shape.
@topffer (33147)
• France
27 Jan 12
It depends of the quality of the material you buy. There is a big difference between a professional laptop like an HP Compaq or a Lenovo Thinkpad and an ordinary laptop. Personally I had two second hand Compaq. The older is a 1993 model, and it was still working last time I connected it, and the other is a 2005 nc6120 model and I never had anything else to do on it than a battery change. All my other laptops -- 1 Samsung and 1 Dell -- have not lasted 3 years without a serious failure -- the screen for the Dell, and the motherboard on the Samsung --, though the exterior design was better. It is the same for desktop computers : a large heat sink keeps a CPU alive longer than a small one.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
Definitely the quality is very important and also how one handles the system. I have never used Lenovo. But I believe that Compaq laptops and computers are great. The one we had was a little troublesome in the end though. But it was from 2000. I totally agree with you that Samsung laptops look cool. So does Sony We were told by the technician that majority of the time laptops crash earlier because owners use them on bed or lap. This prevents the heat from escaping. Large heat sink is definitely important.
1 person likes this
• Italy
26 Jan 12
My computer is about 4 years old and my laptot 2 years old. The computer it's a little slow and I think it's time to buy a new one, infact with windows xp I can't do many things and I wont upgrade it. The laptot is better ...even if it's 2 years old it's fast and I haven't any problem with it.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
I totally understand your pain. Our custom built one is a bit slow now despite the fact that it was fed double hard drives. Of course, slowness has nothing to do with motherboard. Blame it on Microsoft who has an addiction to inject updates after updates in a computer in such a way as if it is jealous of its good health and wants to see it slow and crashed.
1 person likes this
@longbangod (1791)
• Philippines
26 Jan 12
It would be good if laptops last for four years before owners would encounter problems. In my case, it's only one year since I bought it when I encountered technical problem, most specifically on the life span of the battery. This time I can no longer use my laptop without plugging the charger. Even if its say battery is full when you charge it, it will only last about 5-10 minutes only and it will shutdown. Too bad. This is one lesson learned. My friend told me that it's not good to use the laptop while its charging. Because it will damage the battery, and that's what happened to my laptop. I think desktop computers last longer than laptops.
1 person likes this
@hoodedboi (185)
• Philippines
26 Jan 12
Hi Divine, I'm with Dell Computers, and for any brand of computers the EOL (end of life) is always 5 years. But it would still depend on how the user takes care of it. So you should be very much careful in choosing a brand that you want to go for, and always ask for their APOS (after point of sale) services like the warranty. Check if it covers the hardware and software and also accidental damages, because not all computer companies have that kind of coverage though. When it comes to software related issues, you should be more careful in installing software and accessing websites. Access those that are trusted and tested so you wont have any issues in the future. Lastly, let your computers rest for at least 5 hours.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
My sister is using Dell. But our main computer is custom built and it has given less trouble than branded ones. I totally agree with you that the life of the computer depends on how the user cares for it. But I think most often people bulk it up with tons of files and programs. In Californian houses, many kids keep their computers open 24 hours. As far as I know, this is truly harmful. One of my ex's said that he kept his one open for 3 months in a row. I feel sorry for it.
1 person likes this
@jordq7 (576)
• Philippines
26 Jan 12
Hi there divineathena!! Well I think this is true.My first computer lasted for almost three years and I change it after that becoz of a problem in the mother board.I bought another pc and it is what I am using now.I guess I have to save for another one coz I don't want to be very unprepared when my pc needs replacement.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
Hi jordq7, I was writing to you a reply when suddenly my browser lost mylot. Anyways, it seems that the motherboard acting up is the most common problem for computers. I heard that four year thing from my boyfriend. He said that is what the makers predict. He was quite disappointed by it. Computers are expensive machines. They should have the ability to last longer than years. Look at televisions, they can live more 10 years without any problem.
1 person likes this
• India
26 Jan 12
My computer is atleast 4 years old. And its is working fine though as you said there is some motherboard problem so i changed it and it is working like a new . It is also necessary to have a good brand computer so that it can run for this long .I am also planning to buy a new laptop with good brand name.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
Have you considered going for iPad instead? Not sure if it is going to happen, but according to one yahoo article, by 2014 laptops will be replaced by that gadget. I don't own an iPad and so I cannot tell if it is more powerful than computer and laptop. But yes, I definitely agree with you that a good brand of computer is necessary. The cheap ones are cheap for a reason.
1 person likes this
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
26 Jan 12
My computer is at least 8 years old, works great I only should not upgrade all windows etc newest inventions. This will make my computer slow. So it's not the computer that is getting old (althoug I think some battery is getting empty because the clock never says the right time anymore) but the fact you can't run the newest inventions (this includes sides and browsers) anymore. My laptop is a bit younger. Already as I bought it (for way too much money) it was a big disaster (so I will never buy this brand anymore). It also has a hard time to run some sites, programms etc. The internet connection is mostly a disaster. I can't use it without contact anymore. The battery is empty before it started (this takes a long time too) and if I want to recharge the battery this is done in 5-10 min. time. I won't buy a new battery because this is just a waste of money.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jan 12
Was the clock fine before? My older sister's laptop has never given the right reading on its clock no matter how much we fixed it. I really despise that whole windows update thing. It is one of the main reasons why so many computers crash badly. At the end of the day, the updates do not seem helpful. They just take up too much space. What is the brand of your new laptop?
1 person likes this
@marguicha (90200)
• Chile
28 Jan 12
I think my new computer is about 3 years old. Before that I had an old one that can still be used. But the fan had some problems and it might prove dangerous as it was so old that there was no replacement for that. So I decided to but this one and made a backup of everything I had in the old one to have it here too. Now I want to buy a laptop as I spend longer time in bed. I need a big one and they are not cheap so I will have to do some hunting.
• United States
30 Jan 12
The fan problem is familiar to me. Our computer had to deal with this. But we replaced the fan and things went back to normal. But yes, I guess, only a technician is more capable of doing this.
@marguicha (90200)
• Chile
31 Jan 12
My old computer was so old at that time than that fan couldn´t be found. It has happened to me with other machines and gadhets: if they are too old you can´t find replacements
• Mexico
28 Jan 12
it's been already 4 years since I purchased this computer, and it is still working well. Though, I had to replace the mother card and the power source, and boot it twice, but now it seems to be running so well.
• United States
30 Jan 12
It is much easier to take care of such internal parts. But it seems that the computer gets helpless in front of new technology. A new software is invented and its maker suddenly feels it should be injected into the computer's system. That is so annoying. That is why, I turned off my Microsoft updates.I don't see my laptop acting up because of this.
• United States
27 Jan 12
I really don't think the actual desktop computer or laptop computers have an expiration date that can be measured. Wear and tear depends upon the user. The machine is not the issue. It is the software. With so many updates and changes the software is made more automated as time goes by. Depending upon what you need and use the computer for will depend on how long you can keep the one purchased in use. Some can last 20 years if all you do is search the web for reference information and use email. If you are into gaming the operating systems would need to be changed or a new computer purchased because the memory and internal hard drive as well as video cards can't keep up with the new graphics added to newer games. You can always go to a computer store and talk to one of the sales people there and get information on what changes you might need and if the computer can be enhanced or if it needs replacement. Just listen carefully because their job is to sell new computers and you may not need to replace.
• United States
30 Jan 12
I too believe that laptops and computers can last a long time. We have one user here who still has Commodor from the 80s. That definitely is the biggest hint that if we take care of the gadgets they will have no big problems. But like you said, the updates are what makes them junky. But does Microsoft care? I don't think so. I wonder whether people complained to them about how their updates end up harming the computers. What is even the use of them if the machine itself is not capable of carrying their burden?
@BoboMama (321)
• India
27 Jan 12
I had this computer which Dad brought it from abroad. He said it was manufactured in the early 90's and i disposed it like 3 years back I currently use a laptop and it has been in okay condition for 4 years now And its been 3 years working with a 0-charged battery Can't find the batteries here :(
• United States
30 Jan 12
My laptop's battery is gone too. Weren't the 90s versions a little heavier than what we have today? You have already crossed 4 years with your new laptop. I suppose this means that it will last even longer.
@derek_a (10902)
27 Jan 12
I have found that my last laptop lasted about 6 years or perhaps a little longer. But the laptop I have now seems to be working for longer. I don't use it so much as I have a desktop that I feel is stronger because it runs a lot cooler. In my opinion, it all depends on how a computer is used. If there are lot of programs that make the processor work harder, then it isn't going to lost so long if lighter programs are used like browsers and word processors. I may be wrong, but that is my opinion. _Derek
@mpsingh08 (102)
• India
3 Feb 12
my pc is 9 yrs old now i have to buy a new computer coz i faced lots of technical problem. I have changed mother, hdd and ram.... i have too tired with it now i decided to buy new one
@aprilsong (1886)
• China
31 Jan 12
Hi, i think it depends on so many factors. For those who don't know how to maintance their computers, it will bread down much quiker. While for those who take good care of their computers, both keep them clean and use them properly and often kill the virus, it can last for many years. Since the such goods as computers develop very fast, which means the computer you bought last year will out of date on many aspects. Of course, for a computer or laptop you have used for 4 years, many parts of it are out-of-date. But it is not meaning that it break down.