Computer Maintenance Tips To Keep Your PC In Top Shape

Let's break down the computer maintenance tips into 2 different categories. Software and Hardware.  Keeping a computer running its best relies on several things.  First is keeping the hardware running it's best, then we'll look at a couple of software items you can do to keep Windows running at peak performance, just finish the computer maintenance checklist to keep your system maintained.

TIP! If you just finished building your own computer, you should also learn about the best computer virus protection to keep your new computer running its best, and keeping your data safe.  The best part is, you can get free antivirus spyware protection from your computer.

Tips for Hardware

The first thing for computer maintenance tips is to make sure the hardware is working properly.  Then I deal with the software.  The reason is simple, many times the reminder that it's time for computer maintenance is usually that something didn't exactly do what it was supposed to.  A large part of the time this is just a dust bunny problem in your case.

Is your computer still keeping time when the power goes out or flickers?  Do you get error messages saying you need to enter setup information within seconds of turning your computer on?  If so, after you're done cleaning the computer, replace the computer's motherboard battery to fix this problem.

TIP! The first thing I always like to start with when it comes to computer maintenance is cleaning the computer.  It's a really simple step, but you'll be amazed at how much this can effect a system,

After you have your case clean from the inside, I usually wipe down the outside of the case as well.  Not only does your computer look nice and clean, you'll get any last remaining dust from the exterior vents.  I typically do this about every 3 months.  If I have have my tower out for any other reason I'll do it then.

Computer Maintenance Tips for Software

Connect all the connections on the back of your computer case and boot up Windows.  Once your Windows has booted, follow the steps below to complete the software maintenance.
  • Step 1 - Defragment your hard drives, this will help programs run faster as the ones you use commonly will be at the sectors on your hard drive that are accessed faster.
  • Step 2 - Uninstall programs you no longer use, this will free up space on your hard drive for other programs and files.
  • Step 3 - Make sure your Windows has the latest updates.
  • Step 4 - Update your antivirus programs definitions.  For more information on this, see the website of the antivirus program that you use.  Most of the ones available today do this automatically.  I also like to check subscription status at the time of maintenance just to make sure it won't expire on me.
  • Step 5 - Disable startup items with msconfig.  Most of the time the only items you need to start with Windows is a virus scanner.  Anything else is just going to make your computer feel sluggish.  This simple step can make a real difference.
  • Step 6 - Make sure you have a current backup.  In case there are some problems in the future, you want to make sure you don't lose any of the valuable data you store on your computer.
  • Step 7 - If you have a computer battery backup, make sure you check your computer backup batteries to see if they are still okay.  Often they have a built in self test, or they'll let you know with a warning light or a beep when they need to be replaced.
At first, these computer maintenance tips can take a while, but after you stay on top of your regular maintenance, you'll begin to know which items you can skip, and which items you will do more frequently.  For example, I do most items monthly, except for Step 6, I do this one daily.

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Updated October 14 2013

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