Check out the laptop care article, Make Sure the Problem is Not in Your Chair, in the September 30, 2011 New York Times. I found half a dozen suggestions for laptop maintenance that I don’t do. The article is written by Kate Murphy. (The headline refers to the laptop problem being the person in the chair, not the laptop.)
Here are things that I do wrong, according to the article.
1. I use the laptop while it’s in my lap or on a squishy pillow — causing too much heat to accumulate.
2. I close my laptop and get up while it is still processing and barely finished saving data.
3. I never put my laptop to sleep when I am ready to move around.
4. I do not shut down and reboot my computer every few days. Instead I wait until a freeze or some other indication that a restart is needed.