Computer maintenance for everyone

Written by Adam


If you’ve got a car it will need servicing by a professional mechanic from time to time, but you can keep it running by checking the oil, the water and the tyres.  You can do the same for your computer to keep it in good running order.

These are some tips to help you do that.

  1. If you tend to leave your computer on all the time, turn it off and reboot it from time to time.  This helps to clear any bits of stray code that some programs ‘leak’ that slow your computer down.  You don’t need to leave it off, just reboot it.
  2. If you download a program and then decide you don’t like it or need it, uninstall it, rather than leaving it cluttering up the program files folder.
  3. Get into the habit of a regular review of the program files and remove any programs you don’t use any more.  To do this go to Start, select Control Panel and open Add or Remove programs.  The problem isn’t usually the programs clogging up the memory, but more with the other bits and pieces that are attached to the program, such as the quick start facilities (where an icon appears in the bar in the bottom right your screen).  This uses up system memory being always ready to launch.
  4. If you need to keep your computer on overnight – so remote backup takes place, for instance, turn your screen off.  The screen will have a longer life and screens can use far more power than the computer itself, so you can tick the ‘environmentally friendly’ box too!
  5. Check you only have ONE virus checker.  If you have more than one they’ll be checking each other and using up your memory when one system checks the other every time the first one does something – potentially creating a loop where they are endlessly checking each other out.

There are one or two myths as well:

  • Myth #1 – you should defrag your computer regularly.  Most modern computers do this automatically so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel!
  • Myth #2 – clearing your temporary files will give you lots more memory.  Temporary files usually clear themselves out and generally have a time/space limit setting.  Temporary files are usually only created when you’re using a file so it can be retrieved if your computer crashes (someone kicks the plug out by mistake), generally, they are automatically deleted when you save the document and close it.

Of course, if you don’t have someone who can carry out the ‘mechanic’ level of maintenance – you can always call us at Via Wire!


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