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Computer Maintenance tips to extend a PC life

Updated on January 19, 2016

Maintaining a computer for increase speed and longevity

Save hundreds of dollars, and hours of your time by learning how to properly maintain your computer, so you don't have to fix it as often.

Maintaining a desktop and laptop computer is very simple and fast, and it will make your computer last longer and perform better.

Maintaining a computer is a lot like maintaining other types of machines, but you also have to maintain the digital files, content, and programs which are stored and run on your computer.

By doing monthly and yearly maintenance on your home computer, your computer also be more optimized and make your computer last many years longer.

You'll also have more disk space, and be able to read and write files quicker to your hard drive by doing disk cleanups and disk defrags on a monthly basis. Your computer also won't be slowed down by viruses, and spyware by regularly doing virus scans.

Your computer will run cooler and not overheat because your computer fans and cooling system are running at its best.

Most importantly, your computer will last longer, and have less wear and tear on your computer parts caused by not maintaining your PC on a regular basis.

I personally maintain all my desktop computers on a regular basis, and all my PC are very reliable, and does not overheat.

These days with the amount of software, and tools available for maintaining a computer it makes it incredibly easy to maintain a computer.

Windows System Utility and Disk Defrag Software - Software for helping you maintain your Windows Operating System performance and stability.

System Utility Software makes it easy for you to check to see if your computer's operating system is healthy, and is error free. If your system utility software finds a problem with your computer's operating system, it will try to fix the problem for you.

Most System Utility software fix problems related to Windows, temporary files taking up too much space, registry errors, disk fragmentation, computer slow downs, disk errors, registry fragmentation, and broken shortcuts.

Some System Utility software also scans for and remove viruses, spyware, and malware programs on your computer when you run your system utility programs, and warns you if your computer is not secure like if you do not have an anti-virus, or firewall installed on your computer.

System Utility software is great for people who do not have the time to manually maintain their computer since many system utility software automatically maintains your computer, or schedule your computer to perform computer maintenance tasks on a certain date and time.

Disk Defrag software is used to optimize your hard drive performance by organizing your computer files for optimal read and write performance for your hard drive.

Acad Diskeeper 2010 Professional Single License Pack
Acad Diskeeper 2010 Professional Single License Pack

A great automatic disk defrag program for maintaining your hard drive performance by preventing it from getting fragmented.

 

Keeping your computer's operating system running well

Tips for making Windows and other operating systems running well.

Your operating system like Windows, Linux,etc needs regular maintenance for it to run well.

If you own a Windows computer, you should regularly do disk cleanups to remove temp files, defrag your hard drives, scan your hard drives for errors, scan your computer for viruses, spyware and malware with an antivirus, antispyware, and antivirus software once a week. You should also check to see if Windows Update release any updates for your version of Windows to keep Windows updated.

Installing a System Utility Suite like TuneUp Utilities, Norton Utilities, and iolo System Mechanic will make managing your computer's operating system, Windows' file system, drives, and programs a lot more easily since they are easy to use, automated, and a lot of time don't require much user interaction or technical knowledge to properly maintain Windows.

For Linux based operating systems, all you need to do is check for updates for Linux once in a while with the update manager. Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu automatically check your hard drives for error, so manual disk checks are not needed. The Linux file system also does not require disk defrags. The chances of getting infected in Linux are very slim to none, so security scans are not needed as well.

It is a good idea to uninstall programs which you do not use anymore to free up free space on your computer.

Protecting your computer from harmful power surges and spikes.

How to protect your PC from surges, spikes, and brown outs.

Computers, and other electronics like TVs, DVD players, home stereos, etc are very sensitive equipment with a lot of circuits, wires, microchips, and other electrical parts which can easily become damage if a power surge, or spike makes it inside your computer via the wall outlet which can have dirty power which contains power surges and spikes.

You need to use a surge protected power bar with a power protection of 400-1000 Joules or more to maintain the power level to prevent sudden power surges from damaging your electronics. If you want to protect your computer from brownouts, power outages, and dips in power as well as surges, you need to buy an Uninterrupted Power Supply also called a UPS which is a Surge protected powerbar with a built-in battery to power your computer when the power goes out.

It is best to buy a surge protector which offers surge protection insurance if your surge protector fails, and a surge damages your electronics. The insurance plan will reimburse the cost of your electronics in the unlikely event your surge protector fails.

A surge protector is very easy to use. You just need to plug it into your power outlet, and plug your computers, printers, monitors, cable modem, routers, TVs, DVD players, and other sensitive devices into them to protect them from surges. A lot of surge protectors also warn you if your power outlet is not properly grounded/wired, and your computer is protected from power surges by showing indicator lights on your surge protector.

It is important to protect your computers and electronics plug into your wall's power outlets, telephone jack, modems, networking devices, and cable outlets from power surges and spikes with a surge protected power bar or UPS.

If there is a lightning storm, or heavy electrical work going on in your neighborhood, you should unplug all your home electronics and phone from the wall's power, coax cable/antennae, and telephone outlet. No surge protector can protect your computer from a direct lightning strike, or very high power surge.

computer vacuum
computer vacuum

Keeping the inside of your computer clean to prevent overheating and short circuits.

If the inside of your computer is clean, you are less likely to experience overheating and short circuits.

One of the major problems with a computer is they overheat because of a failing fan, a fan clogged with dust which can't spin fast enough or fails to spin, and dust making it harder for your computer to use cool air from outside the case to cool down your PC because the dust creates a dust blanket which acts like an insulator which prevents heat from escaping your computer case by being blown out by your fans.

You should never use a regular household vacuum to suck up the dust since regular vacuums can generate a lot of static electricity which will damage sensitive computer parts inside your computer case.

I recommend using a computer grade vacuum which does not generate static electricity to suck up dust inside your computer. You can also use a can of compress air to blow out the dust from inside your computer.

If you can, it is best to unplug your keyboard, mouse, and external devices, and take your computer outside to clean to avoid breething in the fumes from your compress air canister, or dust from your PC.

To open your computer case, you will either need a flat head or cross head/Philips screwdriver to unscrew the side of your computer case's door. The screws to open your PC case are usually located at the back of your computer case.

If your computer fan is very dirty, it is best to unscrew your computer fans from the case, and use a vacuum or brush to brush out the fan. However, in many cases using a computer grade vacuum or compress air is good enough.

When cleaning inside of the case, it is best not to touch any of the parts with your fingers, and wear an anti-static wrist strap before cleaning your PC. Also, when using compress air, it is best to use short burst of air to blow out dust from the fan since compress air can cause fans to over spin causing damage to your fan. It is best to hold down the fan, so it does not spin when you blow it.

For cleaning a laptop, netbook, tablet pc, or nettop it is best to bring it to a qualified computer technician to clean since opening a laptops case can be very difficult.

If you want to make your computer not be as dusty as fast, put your PC on on your desk instead of the floor. Also, make sure your computer is located in an area where it has a lot of free space to breathe fresh air. Avoid using your laptop on your lap, floor, bed, or soft surface since soft surfaces will block your cooling vents which will make your PC overheat and suck up more dust from the soft surfaces.

Regularly, vacuuming your floor will prevent your computer from sucking up as much dust during regular use, and using an air filtration/purification system will also reduce the amount of dust in your computer since your computer room's air will be cleaner with fewer dust particles in the air to be sucked up by your computer fans.

Computer Vacuums and Cans of Compress air to clean inside your computer. - You can use a computer vacuum or cans of compress air to suck and blow the inside of

Canned air or a computer grade vacuum/blower can also be used to blow or suck out dust from your computer keyboard without worrying about the damaging effects of static electricity in house hold vacuums and appliances.

How to clean a dusty computer videos? - A list of videos for learning how to clean your computer.

See how YouTube video makers dust out the interior of their home computers to keep them running cool and reliably for years to come.

Overheating CPU even after cleaning your fans, and CPU cooler. - Tips for making your CPU even cooler and stop overheating by using better fans, CPU thermal pas

If you notice your CPU is still overheating even after cleaning your entire computer with compress air or computer vacuum, you may need to replace your CPU fan, or reapply the thermal paste to your computers heatsink and CPU surface to make the surface of the CPU and CPU heatsink have a tight seal for optimal heat removal.

Installing extra fans to the inside of your computer case will also make your computer cooler.

Removing your heatsink, applying thermal paste, reinstalling your CPU fan and heatsink, and installing extra fans to your computer case are not simple to do for the average computer user, so make sure to learn how to do these tasks from a book, video, or website related to these tasks, or just hire someone.

how to remove CPU heatsink? - Watch video on how to remove a CPU heatsink to reseat it, and reapply the thermal paste for the CPU heatsink.

Sometimes, your CPU heatsink can be unseated which causes your computer CPU to overheat, or you need to replace your CPU thermal paste for better cooling.

Typically, you need a flat head screwdriver to pry off the CPU heatsink, or to push down on a lever to release the CPU heatsink from the motherboard CPU socket.

Applying thermal paste to a CPU cooler and install heatsink - Learn how to apply thermal paste to your CPU and heatsink for improve cooling.

It is best to use a small pea size drop on your CPU heatsink and use a credit card, or small plastic scraper to "gently" make sure the CPU has a very thin layer of thermal paste on the CPU's die.

How to install CPU heatsink and fan? - Watch videos on how to install a CPU heatsink and fan.

For some CPU's you need to use a flathead screwdriver to hook a clip over a few hooks on the CPU die while other CPU heatsinks require you to use screws, and clips to attach the Heatsink to your fan.

Be sure to read your instructions for installing the heatsink on your CPU. Also, remember to plug in the fan to your motherboard's 3 pin power plug, and the fan is blowing air toward the CPU and not away from the CPU toward the case. There are arrows on the fan's side to show the airflow direction of the fan.

Share your computer maintenance tips!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      very nice,helpful lens! Blessed by a squidoo angel! Have a great day!