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Computer Preventive Maintenance, What You Should Know and Do...

Computer Preventive Maintenance isn't hard, actually it is 90% common sense 10% know how...

Using Computer Preventive Maintenance to prolong the life of your computer.

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I have some computers that are over a decade old, they are still serviceable and are useful for mundane tasks that need to be done on a daily basis.

How do I keep them running?

I do PM (Computer Preventive Maintenance) on them twice a year.

Like a car or a home, a computer needs to be maintained, you have your anti virus programs and when the program fails to kill a virus you could use one of my special computer preventive maintenance checklists to eradicate the virus. But there are a few other PM measures you need to do on a scheduled basis.

Computer Preventive Maintenance tips are:

  1. Cleaning the dust and dirt out of the interior of the computer, clean off the memory, motherboard, and hard drives. Clean out the power supply - the Power Supply collects more dust and dirt than most other components combined with the exception of fans.

  2. Cleaning the exterior of the computer, for the most part this is aesthetic but you should clean the keyboard (see this page!), the mouse, and mouse pad.

  3. Cleaning the out the temp folders (see this page)

  4. Defragmenting mechanical drives (Note: DO NOT Defrag a SSD!)

  5. Do your Operating System security updates (if you have them set for auto update check the last time it ran, on occasion the update may be interrupted and not completed, or even disabled, check it!)

  6. If you don't have a data backup set to run on a scheduled basis; backup your data.

  7. Do a backup image of your Operating System (OS) partition (drive) especially if you have made changes to the programs or done some optimization for performance.

Short story:

After my youngest Son was married money was tight for them, they could not afford a place of their own so they lived with us for a couple of years.

His wife is an avid Face Book user, she is on it anytime she doesn't have something else to do. But she did not have a computer of her own so my Wife took pity on her. She let our new Daughter-in-Law use her computer.

Bad idea, the DIL would download Face Book apps to the web browser, some of these 'apps' had viruses attached. And that caused problems with the Wife's computer.

I tried to clean the viruses but some were extremely persistent, I had to wipe the hard drive, re-install the OS and all the applications my Wife uses.

The first mistake came by not insuring that the Anti Virus was set to auto update, in about a month I had to go back and do it all over again.

The second mistake was not making an account for the DIL on my Wife's computer and set that account as a 'User' with out any privileges to install any programs!

I reloaded the OS on that computer again!

Now I do use Ghost images on all the computers we own but it is a pain to keep a computer updated this way if you are putting the image on the OS partition once a month.

Finally I wised up and gave her a computer not in the Domain in our house, I told her that it was hers; if she downloaded a virus or did something to the computer that needed repaired she would have to pay to have it done I would not fix anymore problems she created by doing stupid things. It lasted two weeks...

How does this story relate to Computer Preventive Maintenance?

I failed to insure the anti virus (AV) would auto update when I reinstalled the OS and all the apps after the first time the DIL downloaded a virus (actually over 190 when I ran the AV, some could not be eradicated).

After the second time I made an updated image of the OS partition, after the third time I gave her an old laptop...

I mentioned that you should NOT defrag a SSD (Solid State Drive) the reason is a SSD is memory and does not become fragmented. Running a defragment program on a SSD will corrupt the data to a point where the drive is useless. To recover the drive and make it useful again you have to delete the partitions on the drive. Learned this the hard way with my 64 GB OCZ SSD.

If you follow the above computer preventive maintenance tips you can keep a computer running efficiently for a long time, the only draw back with an older computer is that newer Operating Systems may not run correctly on the older hardware. And having an older OS such as Windows 2000 or even XP means there will not be any security updates (Microsoft has now stopped all security and program updates for XP...) and newer programs may not work well with the older OS.

If the computer and OS are static in that they are loaded and are doing a specific job for you then keeping them clean will insure they will out last your specific job.

I have four old laptops that I use for servers. They have been running in that capacity for over ten years. I have only had minor problems with them in that time, a fan failure on one, a keyboard failure on another. Not bad for a computer that runs 24/7, "Computer Preventive Maintenance" does work.

02/17/14 - On April 8, 2014 Microsoft will turn off support for the Windows XP Operating System. If you have NOT ran your Automatic Update program you need to get it done, I rebuilt two of my partitions (I use a dual boot setup) and there were over 180 security service packs alone...

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You keyboard isn't thirsty, and it doesn't need calcium. Milk and other liquids will ruin a keyaboard!

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