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You might not want to think about what yucky things the previous owner of a laptop left behind but it’s most definitely worth the brain power. You don’t want to run into anything yucky, after all. It’s not always going to be gross, of course. Sometimes it’s stuff that could mess with your computers performance. You should consider the five following things when looking into a used laptop.

  1. If the previous owner of the laptop was a smoker then chances are good the keys are going to have a musty, nasty, smoke smell on them permanently. That’s really hard to get rid of and sometimes you won’t be able to make it go away. It might be weird, but before you buy you should put your head over the keys and take a deep breath to see what odors emerge.
  2. If the cooling fan on your laptop doesn’t work properly you’re going to run into overheating problems. Few things can kill a computer quicker than overheating so you need to be careful. Lots of stuff can break a fan or slow it down, but nothing does that better than hair. It can be dog hair, cat hair, human hair, or any other kind and if it gets into the fan and clogs things up it’s going to slow down the spin rate and it could possibly melt down your computer. Cleaning that hair out can be a little gross. You never know where it came from!
  3. Have you considered what you might find on the hard drive of a used computer? Yeah, that can get a little weird. The seller should have wiped the hard drive but you never know. You could come across all sorts of weird stuff from videos to private diaries to pictures of the previous owner that you really don’t want to see. That’s why it’s best to curb your desire to snoop and just wipe the hard drive.
  4. One of the danger areas of a computer is the CD/DVD ROM drive. You’d be shocked at the weird stuff people put in there! Some people use it at drink holders, sometimes kids ram weird stuff in there, and sometimes folks will just get plain nasty. Don’t even think about that kind of thing because it will gross you out. Just make sure that you open the drive to inspect it before you make a purchase.
  5. One of the biggest issues with laptops is dust, dirty, and little bits of stuff getting under the keys. That’s really hard to clean but it can mess with the keys and make it impossible to type at some point. Check it out and make sure you don’t spot any weird stuff or excessive dust down there. You could even encounter dust mites, which are never exciting. Stay away! The point is to make sure you thoroughly inspect any laptop (or ensure that someone else has done it) before you make a used purchase.

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