The average computer user usually likes to ignore computer maintenance all together. They simply forget to perform even the slightest bit of computer maintenance and only think about it when something goes terribly wrong their computer.
If only they knew how much time and money computer maintenance can save you. I guess you learn this by experience but I always recommend a minimum of 5 computer maintenance tips to get any lazy computer user out of trouble.
Don’t Ignore Errors
When I am in a hurry I break this rule myself sometimes—although I often regret it later. I see a computer error, maybe a blue screen of death or even a computer black screen but I don’t have time to deal with the problem, so I ignore it.
Especially if the computer magically heals itself on the next restart, I forget about the error and continue to use the computer. meanwhile the same error has been left unattended and is still brewing in the background. Does this sound familiar to you?
But ignoring computer errors is kind of like ignoring traffic signs on the roads. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, if you ignore a Yield sign or Reduced Speed Limit sign, nothing bad will happen. But that hundredth time you could get into an accident. This is the same for computer errors so don’t ignore them.
Don’t Avoid Anti-Virus Software
Some people think they do not need antivirus software on their computer. Somehow they think they are safe and will not get a virus. But unfortunately this is not true as there are hundreds of ways to get a virus on your computer and when it happens, it is not a nice feeling.
We have all heard the old saying “prevention is better than cure” so why not do this with our computers? If you have an internet connection on your computer then you better get yourself some anti virus software. Even if you are not connected to the internet, you might borrow an external hard drive from a friend or even use a cd with a virus attached. Do not think it will not happen to you.
Anti-virus software saves you from the much more onerous computer maintenance task of removing a virus, so don’t ever run a computer without anti-virus software.
Don’t Ignore Backups
I am sick of preaching about computer file backup but it seems I have to continue as people still ignore this important part of computer maintenance. Every single one of the toughest computer maintenance jobs I’ve ever had to do were some form of file recovery for people—usually family—who didn’t have backups. It is a pet hate of mine…They come to me and ask me to save their files.
Making a one-off backup will probably take you less five minutes. Setting up a good backup system will probably take you about 30 minutes. But recovering files from a half-dead hard drive without a backup can easily take you hours and hours of work. Which would you rather?
Any non technical person can make easy secure backups and save themselves a load of stress.
Open Your Eyes to Dust
People often clean dust from their shelves and furniture in their house but mostly never notice the dust building up inside their computers. Just image all the hot running hardware cooking the dust resting on them. Dust can build up on any part inside your computer and on the vents on your computer case itself.
I have even had power supplies blow up due to dust build-up. You usually hear a large pop and then smell burning. That’s the dust cooking. Your power supply works hard to convert the ragged alternating current (AC) power in your house into the steady direct current(DC) needed by sensitive electronics, but this conversion creates a lot of waste heat, especially in powerful gaming computers.
I know some local computer guys can clean out your computer quite cheaply as it will take them only minutes to do. If you decide to clean dust from your computer yourself, always take the proper precautions and please wear a mask to shield your lungs from the harmful dust.
Don’t Ignore Junk Files
People are always complaining of a slow computer and want to know how to make their computer run as fast as it did when they purchased it. “It was so fast when I bought it, but now it takes 10 minutes just to start up.”
Ahh.. You could ask yourself this question: what has changed since you first bought the computer? For most people the answer is simple: “I installed a bunch of programs.” The problem is almost never hardware because it either works or it doesn’t. The problem is with you. You have let your computer get filled with junk files and programs you are not using any longer.
Each program on your computer takes up resources even when it isn’t running. If you think about it, they are checking for updates on the internet, competing with other programs, and even starting up when you start your computer. All of this is slowing your computer down.
Just removing unused programs can bring back much of that lost computer speed you had when you first bought your computer. It’s simple but great computer maintenance.