Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Windows Computers

by Rod Dunne on December 9, 2010

in Hardware, Performance, Registry Cleaners Articles, Tips and Tools

Preventive Maintenance Checklist For Windows Computers
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By using a preventive maintenance checklist, you can help fix PC errors before they become an issue. This checklist provides a list of the most common maintenance techniques for software and hardware components on Windows PCs which you should incorporated into regular schedule of PC repairs.

  • Begin your preventive maintenance schedule by improving disk/hard drive performance. Use the Disk Cleanup utility to free up some extra space on the drive (by deleting temporary/cache files) and then run a Disk Defragmentation scan to reassemble data clusters on the disk in such a way to improve file access times. Every few months you should also run the Disk Checking utility from Windows to identify bad sectors on hard drive partitions and attempt repairs.
  • Check the Windows registry for faults. Preventive maintenance software tools like XP Repair Pro can be used to automate the repairs to the registry, remove viruses, do a DLL fix and download application/device driver files which may be missing or faulty on your PC.
  • Run Windows update service to download and install operating system patches, device drivers for your hardware and some malware removal tools.
  • Get the latest virus definitions and run a full anti-virus scan of all internal hard drives, external HDD and USB Flash devices (are prone to contracting Trojan viruses). Anti-virus applications are rarely considered as being a type of preventive maintenance software, but in fact are one of the more important applications on your computer for stopping PCs being infected and removing bugs. See also our post on System Security virus removal.
  • Open performance options (under Control Panel, system, advanced) and use trial and error to reduce the visual effects, increase the page file size and alter memory prioritization to speed up your PC. In particular, make sure the maximum page file size exceeds the recommended setting that is displayed.
  • Check for product updates to any applications which you use a regular basis, as these updates will usually include security/performance fixes.
  • Backup your personal data. You could use an online data backup server, such as iDrive/My Live Drive, or backup your data locally using products like Final Sync.
  • Uninstall any programs that you no longer need. In particular, you could check the task manager utility see which programs are running in the background and how much RAM memory they’re taking up.
  • Check all external air vents are kept clear of dust or blockages which could cause overheating inside your PC.
  • You can also check internal hardware components by opening the casing and using compressed air to clean out any dust from heat sinks, air inlets, filters and fan blades. Don’t forget to check the fan included with your personal life.
  • Clear out/delete your e-mail archives or back them up. This is especially relevant if you use a client based e-mail application (e.g. Outlook).
  • Empty the recycle bin of all documents.

Preventive maintenance program checklist

  • Final Sync: Backup solution that allows you to copy/sync files between multiple pieces of hardware (laptop <-> external drives <-> USB memory sticks)
  • iDrive/My Live Drive: Provides 2GB of space for a full laptop backup. Data is stored online so doesn’t require external hard drives to store the backup data.

The key to a preventive maintenance checklist is that it needs to be run on a scheduled, regular basis, and not just once off. Most of these tasks should be run monthly at the very least, and doing a virus scan is something which should be run daily if you spend a lot of time on the web (as this exposes your PC to a great deal of viruses).

Related posts:
How to increase computer speed – Top five solutions.

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