Suggestions on How to Maintain your Computer
If you want your computer to perform as best it can it is important to maintain it. Over time, it is likely that your PC, Laptop or Mac will not run as well as when you first got it. This decline in performance can be the result of not maintaining your computer – as well as the increased system resources required for newer programs and applications – but that is a separate topic.
Back to maintaining your computer, there are several things that you should do to assist your machine to perform and these are provided for you below.
We have many, many customers coming to us with a computer that won’t boot – and they have not backed up their data for a significant period of time. Usually, we are able to retrieve their data but there are instances where years of family photographs and the like are lost. We cannot stress enough the importance of backing up your data and keeping the back up stored away from your machine in another location or using cloud storage.
Storing your files
All your documents should be kept in a single folder with subdirectories. The Windows default folder called Documents is a good way to go. This is particularly important when you want to back up your files as it is a much easier job than if they were stored all over the place.
Remove dust from your computer
A build-up of dust can cause your machine to overheat and this can cause quite serious problems with your machine – our post on dust and cigarette smoke and your computer may be of some interest to you. The first step is to keep your computer away from dust prone areas such as a dusty floor. Good maintenance includes cleaning the dust from your computer. We recommend that you use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust – you will need to take the sides off the computer.
A really thorough clean would include disassembling parts from your machines such as the fan, the CPU and video card heatsinks. Please, unless you are computer savvy, don’t attempt this as it may cause more problems than what it resolves.
Update and run anti-virus and spyware scans regularly
If you use the net it is essential that you have a good performing anti-virus program running. We also recommend that you have two other anti-virus programs loaded on your machine and that you manually run these about once a fortnight. Please remember to always update your anti-virus program before running the scan. Remember too, there is no point in running the program if you don’t delete the viruses/malware found – not all anti-virus programs do this automatically.
Check for errors
Use ChkDsk to check for errors on your hard drive and repair any problems that it identifies. We suggest that you run a back up before you use this application.
Clean up your cabling
Just about everybody has a mass of cabling running from the monitor, keyboard, printer and the house power points. The danger here is that this can cause stress on the computer ports and connections which could lead to some expensive repairs. It is a good idea to bundle up your cables using twisty ties for example which will also prevent snagging of wires and loosening of cords.
Some programs automatically configure to run when the computer is booted. This can significantly slow down the speed of your computer and in most cases, is totally unnecessary. Not only do they slow the boot time but they also slow the performance of your machine as they run in the background – you may not even be aware of this fact.
If you close down your computer you should find when rebooting that the machine performs better. This is because a computer left running uses up system resources which are then returned when you reboot.
Delete unused software
Most people continually add programs and updates and never remove old unused ones. This takes up more and more space on the hard drive. It is good to regularly (say once a month or two) go through and delete and programs and files that you no longer need. Also, don’t forget those temporary files which after time can consume a significant amount of space on your machine.
Do not ignore messages telling you to update your software. You can also find updates and patches freely available on the internet. Updating is becoming more and more of an issue and is essential if you want to avoid hardware incompatibilities and software conflicts – also again we restate the absolute necessity of updating your anti-virus programs.
We also recommend a regular defrag of your computer hard drive, this will help optimise the performance of your machine. When files are added and removed the hard disk becomes fragmented with pieces of files in various locations which slows the computers ability to access data swiftly. Always back up your data before running a defrag.
How to Maintain your Computer by Affordable Computer Repairs and Service, 48 Octantis Street on the corner of Mars Street in Coorparoo, Brisbane.