Almost everyone who uses computers must have experienced several panic moments involving missing of important files, computer crash, failure of keyboard or mouse, boot up-freeze, virus attack or a hard drive failure. Though some computer failures cannot be avoided, but most of them can be prevented with help of basic computer maintenance tips. Maintaining your computer will also keep your computer performance at peak level.
Here are the top 10 tips for computer maintenance that will not only keep your computer running at proper speed, it will also help you avoid minor as well as major computer issues.
Never Switch Off The Power Supply Till The Time Your Computer Has Shut Down.
Although there is one exception to this rule but in general you must never obstruct the power supply of your computer until Windows shuts down completely on its own. You can only switch off the power supply in case the computer hangs/locks up and the hard drive light stops blinking. When the hard drive light stops blinking, it is an indication that the hard drive has stopped running. It is only in this situation that you can turn off the power directly without shutting down the computer. Unnecessary cutting off the power supply can cause corruption of window files or data loss.
Unplugging peripherals from your computer till the time it is powered up is also not recommended. This can lead to short circuit on the motherboard or connector socket.
By following this rule you will be able to prevent hard drive problems. Furthermore, whenever your system makes it possible, try recovering from crashes by rebooting your computer. You can reboot your computer by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys together several times.
Defragment Your Computer Every Month
In order to keep your computer away from crashes and let hard drive stay error-free, defragment your computer every month. You may also buy Norton Utilities which are meant to keep your hard drive free from possible errors and bad sectors. Also Run Scan Disk on your computer weekly.
Keep a Minimum Of 300 MBs Free Space On Your C:
Keeping a minimum of 300 MBs free space on your main drive is always recommended. This is important for smooth functioning of the operating system. In case you’re using Windows Vista or Windows XP, make an attempt of keeping 400-600 MBs of space free on your C: drive.
Also avoid loading programs that you do not use when your computer starts up. These programs acquire valuable memory as well as windows resources. You can close these programs from the Windows system tray that is present on the lower left of your computer screen. You may also configure your computer to not load some of these programs the next time you boot your computer. Those programs that makes use of extra space & memory in computer and are not visible can be found by accessing the Task Manager.
Keeping some space free in the C: drive is also very important to prevent choking of Windows and dumping of data in your hard drive. Keeping some space free in the C: drive will also help in speedy working of the computer.
Some space can also be freed from the Windows Control Panel by deleting unnecessary softwares and programs. If you are using Norton Utilities, make use of Cleansweep hard drive cleaner.
Also clear your internet browser’s cache after every few days. Clearing history and deleting cookies will also free some space. Moreover, it will also ensure privacy. Browser maintenance features are generally present under “Safety” or “Tools” menu options.
Wash Your Hands
Washing of hands before using the computer decreases mouse tracking problems and sticking keys.
Clean Computer and Peripherals
In order to clean your computer and its peripherals, power off your computer first and then clean your keyboard, mouse, computer case, printer and other peripherals with a semi-dampened cloth. Also wipe the monitor screen with a soft, partially dampened cloth.
If it is a LCD monitor, make sure you do not apply too much pressure on the screen. Too much pressure on screen may lead to pixel damage. Also remove any dust from your workspace. Do not keep such objects near your computer that obstructs flow of air.
Clean DVD / CD Media Before Using
Before performing any read/write applications by using CD/DVD media, make sure they are not dirty. The can jam the media drive causing an repairable or irreparable damage. For cleaning DVD/CD media, wipe it with soft cloth, preferably water-dampened. While cleaning, move from center of the media disc to the edge and not in circular motion. It is better if you don’t use a cleaning solution.
Proper organization of folders
It is very important to create necessary folders and store your documents in them. This will provide the ease of locating them. If you’re using Windows operating system, create a folder by right clicking on the desktop and then following the given path “New>Folder.” Alternatively, try running a File Maintenance Utility.
Make Backup Copies
Making backup copies of the documents is always recommended in order to avoid frustration of losing them. You can create a backup either in some other drive or by using a portable hard drive, online service, flash drives, DVD or CD.
Use Latest Operating System
You must always use the latest operating system as well as security updates. This will prevent your computer from virus attacks. You may also set your computer in such a way that it downloads Security and Operating System Updates automatically. You can do it by making changes in Windows setting. To locate Windows Setting, click on the start menu, then go to control panel. You will find a System and Maintenance option here. Click on it for making the required changes by clicking on Windows update.
Assure Network Security
A number of Network Security Applications and anti viruses are available these days. You may go for McAfee or Symantec. Using these network security applications, you will be able to protect your PC from malicious threats.