Essential Annual Computer Maintenance Steps
If you don’t do computer maintenance any other time, then it’s essential that you do annual computer maintenance. Computers, especially desktops, are not designed to run indefinitely without any maintenance.
Do This Computer Maintenance Right Now
Although it won’t make your computer last any longer, you should absolutely not delay making good backups. This isn’t something you should do only once a year either. Having good up-to-date backups will save you hours or days worth of time when your computer does start to die.
Remember also to backup files, settings, and other data from online services you depend upon. These services can disappear or lose your data just as easily as your computer hard drive can die.
Physical Computer Maintenance
The only ongoing maintenance you need to do for the typical computer is to keep its vents clear so that it can keep itself cool.
For some reason I don’t quite understand, laptops tend to stay relatively dust free, so you don’t need to do anything besides use a flashlight to look in each vent to see if there are any unusual obstructions.
Desktops, with their bigger vents, can acquire quite a bit of dust over the course of a year. I recommend that you open the desktop case every year and use a can of compressed air to blow out all the dust. Remember to close or cover your eyes and mouth before starting so you don’t get any dust where it doesn’t belong.
When dusting out your computer, pay special attention to heat sinks (the pointy metal pieces) and fans—including the fan on your power supply (what the power cord plugs into).
Cleaning out the dust will not only make your computer last longer, but it will make your computer quieter because it won’t need to run the fans as often or as fast.
Remove Old Programs
Old programs are a common cause of various computer problems. It’s not the age of the program which makes it old but that you aren’t using it any more.
The more programs you have on your computer, the slower your computer will run (in general) and the more bug-causing software conflicts you will encounter.
You can eliminate these problems by spending a few minutes in the Add and Remove Programs control panel removing any programs you no longer use. It’s probably the simplest computer maintenance you can do and it’s enormously effective at keeping your computer running smoothly.
Put Some Money Aside
A great tip for computer maintenance is to save a little bit of money just for your computer repairs and software. For example, using a laptop over a certain time will degrade the battery and it will eventually need replacing. Also upgrading computer memory, replacing a broken keyboard or mouse can all cost money?
If you have some money put aside you will have no worries when it comes time to buy something your computer needs. After all, looking after and maintaining what you already have is far cheaper than buying a complete new one.
By Mitz Pantic
Article contributed by Mitz Pantic from Tips4pc.com. Computer maintenance is a big job if you want to perform all the necessary tasks yourself. For more information, see this video tutorial showing a full computer maintenance being done on a Windows PC.