Over the last few decades, computers have increasingly become very important parts of our lives. Now, instead of a refrigerator or television being your most important appliance, the computer has usurped everything and has become basically the go-to device that we live our lives with day in and day out. We do everything on our computers, from shopping and connecting with friends and family, to handling our finances and working.
When it comes time to move, making sure that your computer is transported safely and securely to your new home is likely one of your main priorities, as computers are not only vital to our everyday lives, but they also are expensive and contain a lot of information that is important to us. That's why when you move, you're going to want to make sure that you pack and move your computer correctly and that you do everything that needs to be done to ensure that all of your files remain safe during the move and that your computer remains undamaged as well.
This guide will take you through the process of preparing your computer for your move, from backing up your files to disassembling the computer and packing it away, and it will also show you how to safely and securely transport your computer from one place to the other.
Protecting your files
Before you begin preparing your computer for the move, you have to take care of what's on the computer, which means backing up all of your files. Depending on what kind of information and how many files you keep on your computer, you can choose to back-up everything or just the most important things, but of course the choice is yours.
Backing up your files is not only just a precaution in case the computer sustains any kind of damage during the move, as it's good to have back-up copies of the important files on your computer at all times anyway, even if you're not moving. If something should happen to your computer, either in the back of a moving truck or on a random Wednesday afternoon while you're sitting at your desk, you'll want to have a safe place where all of your files can be protected.
There are several ways in which you can back up the files on your computer before moving:
- Using a DVD. If your computer has the ability to burn DVDs, they can typically hold up to 4.7 GB of information on them, which may be enough to fit all of the files from your computer. All you have to do is insert the DVD into the optical drive and simply click and drag your files over from their respective folders into the folder for the DVD.
- Using a flash drive. If your computer cannot burn DVDs, or you simply have too many music or video files (they take up more space than regular text files and pictures), then you can use flash drives to backup your information. Also known as jump drives, these can range in memory size and you can buy one to suit your needs. All you have to do is insert it into your computer's USB port and follow the same procedure as you would for copying files onto a DVD.
- Using Internet cloud storage. There are a lot of places available on the internet now where you can go to upload files and store them for safekeeping and for access from any device at any time. Things like iCloud, developed by Apple for Macs, iPhones and iPads and websites like DropBox are excellent examples of cloud-based storage where you can backup your important files and information securely and be able to access them at anytime in any place.
- Using an external hard drive. Mostly used by people who have larger files and an overall larger amount of information to back-up, external hard drives can come as big as 1 terabyte and up and can be used to back-up not only the files on your computer, but also the files for everyone else in your family, and it's a convenient way to backup everything into one place.
Preparing and packing the computer
Once your files are backed up and stored on a flash drive or by some other means listed above, it's time to prepare it for the move and to pack it away. First, you're going to need to disconnect all the components and unplug everything from its power source. If you're moving a desktop computer, unplug the monitor and tower from the power source and from each other. Also detach the keyboard and mouse as well. If you have a laptop, simply unplug the power cord and AC adapter, as well as any other peripheral devices that you may have plugged into it.
When you have all of the parts of the computer unplugged and separated, carefully organize them and bundle the cords up neatly, tying them together with zip-ties, bread ties or large paper clips. If you still have the original box that the computer or laptop came in, then it's best to use that to pack your computer. If you kept the box and the Styrofoam and cardboard inserts that it came with, even better. Packing the computer exactly the way it was packed when you first bought it is the best way to ensure that it stays safe during the move and is fully protected.
Also, make sure that you carefully label all of the boxes and all of the components that you've packed separately so nothing gets lost and you don't have to search for power cords or discs when you're unpacking at your new home.
Moving the computer
Whether you're going to be loading the computer onto a moving truck or taking it with you when you move, you'll have to be careful with how you move it and where you place it. If you're loading it onto the truck, make sure the boxes are clearly marked as fragile and that nothing heavy is stacked on top of it.
If you'll be traveling with it, make sure to keep it in a safe spot where there is no risk of it being crushed by other objects or thrown around while you're in transit. Also, try not to keep it in a place that gets too hot, as extremely high temperatures can damage some of the computer's components if they are exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat.