PC Maintenance Best Practices That Can Help Avoid Costly Repairs.

by Rod Dunne on April 1, 2010

in Articles, Performance

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The worst sight any Windows PC or laptop owners could possibly see is the dreaded blue screen of death. This is a screen of exception text stating a terminal error has happened leaving you no option but to reboot.

Thankfully this is a rare occurrence. However, there are best practices that Windows owners can do to decrease the chances of this and other problems happening.

Reduce The Number Of Peripherals Used At Any One Time

You should avoid running a large amount of peripherals connected to your machine. The main problem is USB hubs/splitters. Using peripherals that consume small amounts of energy is fine (e.g. keyboards and mice). Plugging in several hard-drives running in parallel for extended periods will overheat the hub resulting in a potential blow-out or the operating system failing to recognize the devices. USB data recovery should still be possible if this occurs, but you are better off not having this inconvenience in the first place by limiting the amount of USB peripherals.

Update Your Software Regularly

Update the O/S and application drivers regularly, as over time software vendors release application improvements that fix errors and security issues.

The Windows Update service will be the first port of call for Windows O/S updates. These updates generally fix Windows minor bugs but you’ll also find critical security updates which are essential to keep up to date to safeguard your PC/laptop. These also help clean registry files of faulty configuration data by overwriting them with healthy settings.

Security & Virus Protection

There is the ongoing danger of receiving spyware/adware/hacker attacks while connected to the net so it is essential to have a firewall installed along with spyware protection and virus scanners. Our post on USB protection goes through some of the software/hardware options worth considering for securing USB key documents.

Surge protection

Always use a power extension which has surge protection as a built in feature. If there is a power cut in your area or the some household appliance (hoover/etc.) blows out a fuse then there is the potential for surge being sent to your machine burning out its electronic components.

Drop The Screen Savers and Discover Hibernation Mode

Screen savers are really poorly named as they don’t save your screen. This was true with older monitors where pixel were more easily damaged, however, modern ones use less power so there is a lower chance of such damage.

One myth about screen savers is that they conserve energy – this is not the case. If you wish to conserve battery usage on laptops then use the Hibernation mode. Hibernation Mode saves a snapshot of running applications and then shuts down the PC completely, which saves on power and saves the electronics from continual usage. You should still do a full reboot to free laptop memory that has become cached.

Remember that your Windows machine has a great many components that have a specific workload capacity and shelf life. The above actions can go a long way to keeping your machine running within these constraints and therefore working better for longer without the need for calling in expensive PC repair services.

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