Computer Repair And Maintenance: Planning

by Rod Dunne on March 23, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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The following checklist should be of value to most PC owners as it provides a schedule for actions they can perform in order to improve the system’s stability and reduce PC repairs. Quite often the best practice in computer repair and maintenance is to take the preventative approach to maintenance by catching faults before they become an issue.

Daily Checklist

Run an anti-virus check daily. Setup a scheduled scan, if your application supports this, to scan for viruses at a suitable time. You could run the scan less frequently but you should balance this up against the risk of your computer becoming infected. Trojan virus removal is essential to protect your passwords and personal information from being sent out onto the web.

Weekly Checklist

Make a backup copy of all critical data – this should be done more regularly if you are doing a lot of data entry at home. Using synchronization software is the optimum way of doing this (as they only copy across a delta of file and folder changes; rather than copying every single file and folder). Again, this task can be automated to run at a time of your choosing. The simplest way of doing this is using Microsoft Scheduled Tasks. Password protect folder contents on the backup copies so that others will be unable to access them if the backup copies fall into the wrong hands.

Check for updates to anti-virus/anti-spyware software for the latest definitions, and run a scan. Most applications can now be configured to schedule the updates to happen automatically.

Ensure that you have at least 10% free disk space on each of your drives. Anything less and Windows performance can start to deteriorate. This is one of the most common ways to fix a slow computer.

Monthly Checklist

Use the Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel to uninstall applications you no longer require.

Execute the Windows Update service and always include the recommended security updates the Microsoft have identified.

Use a file and registry clean up tool (e.g. Microsoft Disk Cleanup application) to free laptop disk space of the variety of cached and temporary files and data on your computer that is no longer needed. These applications are not full computer repair and maintenance tools but do help speed up your PC.

Defragment all drives using Regtool or Microsoft’s own defragmentation tool. This helps fix slow computer problems by reducing the number of disk access calls (less fragments means less calls) that are required and can greatly improve the OS and application performance.

Quarterly Checklist

Change your passwords to safeguard against identity theft.

Check computer cables are plugged in correctly without any hindrances that could damage the pins on the sockets. A single twisted pin can render peripherals inoperable.

Run a full back up of your data and then perform a Check Disk scan. It is wise to run the full back-up first as the disk scan will reboot the system after it has completed.

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