Bi-Annual Maintenance

Reinstall Your Operating System!

Most people are surprised to learn (usually under emergency circumstances) that their computer’s Operating system will break down over time. There are thousands of system files that act essentially just like moving parts of a machine. These necessary files get deleted or altered through wear and tear, accidental deletion, or undetected virus activity. They may not even be noticed until, say you uninstall a program or make a minor change and then, suddenly, you cannot get on the Internet or you cannot boot the machine to Windows. Under those emergency circumstances people usually scramble for a professional to “save the day”.

Every 3-6 months it is a good idea to reinstall the Operating System from scratch. It gives the machine that “just out of the box” level of performance and repairs any unknown errors. This is especially important for earlier operating systems like Windows 7  and Windows 8. Of course, before you do this you want an up to date backup of personal data and copies of your installed programs.

Once your re-installation is complete, ask a computer professional to assist you in creating a DISK IMAGE or a personal RESTORE CD. This allows you to reload the system and all your own installed programs in one shot.

Between an automated backup solution (referred to above) and a Disk Image you have a complete software recovery program for all emergencies. We call it The Ultimate Disaster Recovery Program.

Clean the Computer!

In dusty climates especially, dust is a big enemy of computer circuitry. A can of compressed air will blow out dust buildup. It’s amazing how much dust can collect in a computer over time.

Most people prefer a professional for anything that involves the inside of a computer and if your machine has not been cleaned inside please do get a professional to do so, but for those do-it-yourselfers here is what to do:

Air blowing out the inside of the computer has a couple of pitfalls that must be addressed. First, since the pressure is much higher with canned air, don’t direct the air at an unsecured fan. It can damage it. Try using a pencil erasure to hold the fan down and keep the fan from turning while you clean out the power supply and CPU. Blow out the power supply from the inside out first, or you’ll get tons of dust blown into the computer. Take the computer to a place that doesn’t mind the dust, outdoors preferably.

Clean the CD/DVD drives. Use a CD/DVD drive cleaning kit. It consists of a cleaning disk and a bottle of solution that you apply to the disk. First, apply the solution to the cleaning disk. Second, insert the cleaning disk into the drive. In some locations PCs are located in areas where the drive collects quite a lot of dust and grime, so canned air alone does not remedy this problem.

Also remember to clean the keyboard. With the power off, tip or turn the keyboard upside down and carefully use the palm of your hand to strike the keyboard several times. You’ll be surprised how much junk will fall out.