PC Preventive Maintenance Checklist: Retaining Performance at All Costs

by Rod Dunne on February 21, 2011

in Performance

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One major element of any PC preventive maintenance checklist is maintaining computer performance. In this post I’ll show you some of the checks and scans to do which can help improve your computer speed for overall operations.

As with any type of computer maintenance, you should start out by doing a backup first. Copy critical files onto an external system which can be recovered at a later stage if need be.

1. Updates

Begin your performance improvements by getting the latest updates for all your key applications. Run the Windows update service to get the latest operating system programs as well as any device drivers that are available. Check for updates to specific programs you use on a frequent basis. The program updates generally include bug fixes as well as performance tweaks.

2. Disk Access

Improving disk performance will improve operating system and application speeds too. Therefore, run a disk defragmentation of the entire hard drive every three weeks or so. This improves the read/write access times for all programs.

3. Disk Space

Disk performance can also be improved by making sure you have at least 10% of the hard disk left empty/free. This helps file swapping operations and also provides extra virtual memory for Windows to use when processing applications. The simplest way of doing this is to run the Disk Cleanup utility to remove temporary files and then use ‘add/remove programs’ to uninstall unused applications.

4. OS & System

The next step is to check the OS performance options. These can be tweaked in Windows to reduce the amount of visual graphics being used, increase the maximum virtual memory size and prioritize the allocation of memory. Changing these settings involves a little trial and error to see which settings work best for you.

5. Kick Out the Bugs

Finally run an anti-virus scan to make sure there are no malicious books on the system damaging your operating system programs.

A PC preventive maintenance checklist will only help improve performance over the long term if you continually run these tasks. It is generally recommended to run these scans and checks once a month.

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