PC Maintenance - do it yourself
I think that today is pretty clear that every computer need maintenance! Like your car, your air conditioner, your bike, that need to clean their filters, change the oil and lots of other stuff.
I bet that you have already experience your computer being slow... when some friend asks you: "So, is this a good computer?", you'll probably reply "it was fast in the first few months but now it's getting really slow, it takes too long to boot, I think I need to format it...".
If you focus on pc maintenance and in simple things you can do at home, you'll avoid this problems or at least post poned them.
So, in the next paragraphs I'll try to teach you a few simple things that will help you a lot in keeping your pc in good health.
Registry Cleanup and temporary files
In computers with Microsoft Windows, the registry is the place when every configuration is written! Every program your install, every shortcut you make, the last searches you've done, ... , all of this is written in the registry.
After owning your computer for a while it's normal to have installed and uninstalled a few programms, and all this information stays on your registry... Who makes the programms also should make a good uninstall option that would clean up your registry the best way possible mas this doesn't happens very often..
So, you have to use a registry cleaner program! This are simple, and most of the times free, programs that help you maintain your pc in good shape.
One of the most easier to use and efficient is CCleaner from Piriform, that you can check on this hub.
Another great and really useful function of CCleaner is the removal of temporary files. Everytime you use your computer there are temporary files that are created and if you don't delete them, they could consume a lot of space in your hard disk. This files include pictures from webpages you've seen, documents you've opened, cookies, and lots of other stuff. So you CCleaner to remove this files.
You should run CCleaner temporary files and registry cleaner options, at least once a month.
Antivirus and Antispyware Software
Another must have software in your computer is a good Antivirus!
There are lots of free antivirus on the web, and here's a list of the best ones:
- Microsoft Security Essentials
If you have some extra money I really advise you to invest a little in a paid version. Prices start at 29,99$/year which is a really fair ammount to keep your data safe from virus and trojans.
Here's a list of the best paid versions in my opinion:
- Norton Symantec
Get a good antivirus and program the scans to run at least once per week to make sure everything is ok.
You should also get a small software, Ninja Pendisk, that prevents your pendrives/usb drives to infect your computer. Nowaday people use pendrives or usb external disk drives everywhere, and they can be infected. When you plug it in your computer it automatically tries to search for the autorun function and here's where you can get infected. So use Ninja Pendisk to prevent this situation.
Backup your data
I'll bet you have tons of photos, movies, mp3's and really important personal or work files in your computer. And I bet that if you lost your contacts, your documents, or your photos, you would think it was the end of the world...
But at the end of the day I'll bet you think that loosing data it's a thing that can't happen to you...
As a computer technician, I see broken hard drives everyday! For every kind of reason, from a computer that falls to too much heat, to simple end of drives life...
So you really should think about backing up. Set up a program to automatically do this for you everyday, every week or any other time you think you should do it. Try the free Cobian Backup Software.
You should also think of buying a good external drive to do this, or a DAS/NAS drive. You should definitely check out Drobo from Data Robotics.
Backup regularly and set your mind at ease.
Books that can help you
Your computer has fans which suck in a lot of dust into your computer... Fans are used to refresh the cpu, the graphic card and to maintaining a fresh environment inside your computers case, because electronic devices generate a lot of heat while working and they really need to stay as cool as possible to keep working well and for a long time.
If dust stucks in your computer fans they cannot rotate as fast as they should or not at all, and this could be very harmful for your computer.
So at least each 6 months, you shoul open your computer case and clean the fans. Be careful using vacuum cleaners because they can damage your computer for life! Soon I'll present the best ways to clean your computer or laptop.
Boot up programs and Desktop files
Last two tips for this small tutorial:
- Don't put everything in the startup of your computer... Avoid things like skype, messenger, and other programs, instead use desktop shortcuts to start them when you need it. Because this will eventually slow down your computer boot time, and it could be really annoying... Once again you can use CCleaner to check out the boot up programs and disable the one's you don't need;
- Don't create folders or files in your dektop, instead use links to folders or files... I know people that store everything in their desktops, like 2gb of docs and music, and then the computer gets to slow... This is because each tasks you make that involves showing the desktop, has to load all this files and it's a really memory and cpu consuming process... So avoid this
I think that with these few tips you can maintain your computer healthy for much more time!
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