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One of the most important keys to a happy computer (and user) is maintenance. Consistent maintenance. Below we list some if the routine maintenance items that should be performed on your computer. Call the PC Tech to schedule some or all of these recommended maintenance tips.
  • Dusting/Cleaning: We're not just talking about wiping off the top of the box with a feather duster, but a throughough dusting of the PC innards. It's best to use compressed air to blow out the insides of the computer. Be sure to do this outside so the dust can blow free. Dust can cause a variety of problems with the tiny components in your PC, one of them is heat, a killer of silicon based chips. Recommended service intervals depends on how dusty it is where you live, but at least two times per year. Remember to clean your floppy, CD and DVD drives too.
  • Component Reseat: Typically when you are dusting your PC out, it's good practice to reseat the components inside the computer. These components are the various PC cards, memory chips, CPUs, other PC boards or cables that are inserted onto a connector on the mother boards or other parts of the computer. Over time, the metallic connections on these cards can become oxidized and performance degradation or problems may arise. Never use rough abrasive material to clean these surfaces as the coated materials are very thin.
  • Operating System Updates: We'll only refer to the various Microsoft Windows operating systems here. If you don't know what a "Critical Update" is, then you really need to give us a call! When operating systems are released, they are not perfect. So after a period of time, users will report problems back to the manufacturer. These problems are commonly referred to as "bugs". The manufacturer will then release a service pack or hot fix to resolve these problems. Microsoft has two levels of updates; Critical Updates and Recommended Updates. It is very important for the security and the function of your PC to download and install these important updates whenever and as soon as they are released.
  • Drivers, Peripheral, PC & Software Updates: Although not always necessary, but to keep your PC in tip-top shape and up to date, it's a good idea to update various drivers, peripheral, PC and software components. This allows you to have the current, most up to date software or firmware from the manufacturers of the various devices and programs on your PC. Note: sometimes when updating these components, operating behaviors or procedures may change.
  • Anti-Virus / Ad-Spyware Updates: This should be at the top of my list, only because of the tremendous effort of others to spy or infect your computer with some nasty, frustrating bug. The time it takes for a unprotected computer running windows XP when connected to the internet to become infected is 20 minutes!!! That was an article published in 2004 by CNET. Read it here. I'm sure today it's much faster. BE SURE TO UPDATE YOUR ANTI-VIRUS/AD-SPYWARE PROGRAMS ON A WEEKLY BASIS!!!! ESPECIALLY IF YOUR AN EMAIL JUNKIE OR WEB SURFER!!!! More on this topic under the Virus/Spy-Adware topic in the left menu.
  • Hard Drive Defragmentation: Picture your PC has a huge filing cabinet. Typically everything is in an order of sorts. But if your like me, after time, the "T's" get mixed up with the "B's", the "D's" with the "K's" and so on. Soon it's a filing nightmare, and takes countless time to find anything. Your PC's hard drive is just like that messy filing cabinet. It is always reading (pulling) and writing (filing) data. After a period of time, the files are located all over the hard drive. This is called fragmentation, fragments (pieces) of data files all over the hard drive. All MS Windows operating systems come with a defragmentation utility, albeit slow, it helps keep your PC files in a nice order, thus making the PC a little faster and smoother. Depending on usage, you should "defrag" at least twice per month. Note: the PC Tech recommends a defragmentation software called DiskKeeper from Executive Software.
  • File Cleaning: After time and usage, your PC will collect alot of various, unneeded files. To help keep hard drive space to a maximum or to just get rid of these files, you should clean these files off your computer every so often. MS Windows provides a tool called Disk Cleaner that gets rid of most of these files. Other files such as "Cookies" need to be deleted manually.
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