Computer Preventive Maintenance Checklist: Software Checks Everyone Should Do

by Rod Dunne on January 17, 2011

in Articles, Performance

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By following a standard computer preventive maintenance checklist you can make sure your PC stays reliable and performs well. Here I’ll show you some of the key software checks to do a monthly basis to help prevent your PC slowing down or becoming fault.

Before starting..

Begin by doing a full backup of all your critical data. This should include any files that are critical to you for work or personal reasons. Use an external storage device for doing this which can be connected to a secondary computer at a later stage if required.

Key Checks

Your first check of the PC is to run a disk defragmentation. Microsoft provide their own disk defragmenter utility [under accessories/system tools] which can do a decent job of this. Running the scan will help speed up read/write access times where hard drive. Perform this once a month.

Next, clean out some extra space in your hard drive. You can use the Disk cleanup utility that comes with Windows for doing this. Freeing up extra space will allow more virtual memory/the paging file to be allocated making your PC run faster. You could also remove any unused programs to help free up extra space.

The final scan to do is an anti-virus check. Update your anti-virus application with the latest definitions before running a full scan of the hard drive.

Now that you have checked the hard drive and done some of the more time-consuming scans you can focus on updates. Start by running Windows update to get the latest operating system and device driver patches. You can also check for updates to specific applications you use a regular basis.

If you have a separate registry cleaner application (e.g. XP Repair Pro) installed then try scanning the registry for any signs of faults too.

As with any computer preventive maintenance checklist, these tasks should not be run simply once. To gain the real benefits you need to be running these tasks on a regular scheduled basis (at least monthly).

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