Computer Software and Hardware Maintenance Checklist
As with most things in life, it’s better to be proactive than reactive. Everything from relationships, to cars, to computers run more smoothly with regular maintenance.
Think about the number of times you use your computer on a daily basis. Every time you log in, for something as simple as using the internet, your computer runs the risk of becoming unresponsive due to data build up or undetected corruption.
Most people don’t realize that every time they boot up their computer and begin working on anything from emails, to downloads, to files and documents they are unwittingly creating clutter.
Similar to the effects of junk food on a body, cookies can wreak havoc on the health of the computer. Worse still, downloads. That torrent of Game of Thrones is tempting, but if you knew about the increased risk for computer viruses, you’d be wise to avoid downloads like the plague.
One telltale sign that your computer is on a downhill spiral, is a decrease in the processing speed. If your computer is sluggish try the tips below, or invest in an IT company that understands the need for proactive, regular maintenance.
- Get anti virus software and run a full scan at least once a week. Programs like Avira, Avast and Malwarebytes work well for both Windows and Mac.
- Delete desktop icons and computer programs that are rarely used. If you find yourself saying, I might use that someday… get rid of them. To remove icons you simply right click and choose delete from the drop down list. Programs can be removed via the control panel.
- Delete temporary Internet files. Click on Tools, in the internet explorer area, and the click Delete (marked) Files. It might take a little while, but it is the best way to get rid of all those temporary files.
- Clear Internet cache. When you use the internet, your PC stores every web page and image you view. This information is then stored on the hard drive. Download CCleaner to clean it up.
- Empty your recycle bin often. Most people think deleting everything from emails and programs means they’re gone, but that’s not the case. Deleted information is stored for a period of time. Think of deleting as putting bottles, plastic and paper into recycling bins. It’s a great effort, but means nothing until you take them outside.
- Clean internal disks.To get rid of compressed files, temporary files and other junk, go to the Start Menu →All Programs →Accessories →System Tools →Disk Cleanup.
- Backup your database internally and externally. Thumbdrives and other external memory tools are great… but platforms like dropbox, icloud and OneDrive can be accessed on several types of devices from anywhere in the world.
- Clear unnecessary data on your hard drive. To do this, click the Start button →Programs →Accessories →System Tools, and then select Disk Defragmenter option.
- Get a surge protector for your computer, LCD, printer, CPU, etc. The protector should be plugged directly into the wall and you can connect a power strip for all of the devices. Without a protector, a single surge– caused by weather or electric sources– could wipe out your entire computer.
- If you have a cooling fan, be sure it is working properly and is free of dust, hair and cobwebs.
- Check the physical connections between all devices, see that clear air flow is maintained and check that no wires are obstructed anywhere.
- Be sure that the pads or “feet” of each device are intact and providing enough space for proper ventilation.
- Clean your LCD, mouse, keyboard and other parts with alcohol-free cleansers or wipes designed specifically for computers.
- Use forced air to dust in and around your computer. Electrical current can attract dust and debris, including vents, connections, and areas surrounding outlets.
- Restart your computer properly to clear it of unwanted clutter.
- Consider using a UPS Battery Backup for your system
Don’t forget, your computer needs routine maintenance, much like relationships and automobiles. It’s always a good idea to be proactive with anything that has moving parts.