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Computer Maintenance Tips

Ten Tips to Keep your Computer Running Smoothly

1. Update Windows immediately. Ensure your system is configured to receive and install updates automatically. Updates contain the most recent updates and fixes to help protect your computer and to keep it running smoothly.

2. Backup, backup, backup, any data you cannot afford to lose to at least two separate physical drives. So backup data to external hard drives, Zip disks, CDs, etc., the time to backup is when you create something you can't afford to lose. Don't wait until tomorrow.

3. Run Scandisk and Defragment at least once a month. This will keep your hard drive healthy and prevent crashes.

4. Do use a virus checker regularly. Everyone should use a virus checker. The best type of protection is continuous monitoring from a dedicated anti-virus program like Norton, McAfee, AVG or your own favorite application. The second best thing to use is a free online virus checker such as Housecall provided by Trend-Micro.

5. Use a Firewall. If you have a high speed Internet connection you need a firewall program. A firewall program keeps those who want to hijack your computer from gaining access to your system. Your firewall should boot up with your computer to protect it from invasion.

6. Do not let a lot of programs load up when you start your computer. They use valuable memory and Windows Resources (Windows internal workspace). All programs in your Windows System Tray (in the lower right of your screen) are running on your computer. Close them if you don't need them or you can might want to configure them not to load when the system boots up.

7. Do keep at least 20% of free space on your C: drive. If you do not have enough free space you will choke Windows and it will start dumping data to your hard drive, or it will just get really, really, slow. Swapfiles can eat up disk space quickly - 2GB or more of swap files is not unrealistic.

8. Keep track of the software disks you receive with your computer and new peripherals. These disks contain valuable software drivers and programs for Windows and are needed when Windows must be reloaded. Keep these disks and your Windows software disks in a safe, dry, place -- you never know when you will need them.

9. Never, never, turn your computer off with the power switch until Windows has shut down. The one exception to this rule is when your computer locks up and your hard drive is not running (hard drive light is not blinking). Cutting the power can also result in lost data or Windows files; you should only do this as a last resort. Whenever possible, recover from crashes by pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time.

10. It is highly recommend that you purchase a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for your computer. This will keep your computer from crashing during power outages, and will protect your computer from low and high voltage occurrences. A UPS is far superior to a surge protector and will save your computer from almost any type of power disaster.

Hopefully these computer maintenance tips will keep you out of trouble.
However, if you have problems with your computer, please give us a call.



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