Computer users don’t usually think about problems that might erupt while using a computer till they actually face them. People presume that maintenance is just for vehicles but if your computer reboots often due to ‘freezing’ or programs don’t work as they should or worse still, if you have lost or have had valuable data compromised, then your PC is in desperate need of maintenance!
PC users trying to type, send emails or work on a spreadsheet, only to be delayed by irksome hourglass icons often end up wasting a lot of productive time. For individual users, a slow PC accounts to a lot of frustration and often results in a decision to buy a new PC instead of repairing the old one. A slow PC accounts for loss in productivity hours and is a serious concern. In a large organization, if each employee saves a few minutes on each machine, the hours saved will be worth a fee.
With the onslaught of social networks, as well as video and music sites, the PC is used for diverse purposes. While users want maximum usage for their PC, they often forget preventive measures that can be employed to decrease the likelihood of running into problems with the computer’s smooth and efficient operation. In a very interesting Harris poll conducted for Intel, the average computer user spends about 13 minutes per day waiting for their technology to catch up to them, which actually equates to three days a year just waiting!
There are a variety of reasons that could either independently or cumulatively result in a PC’s reduced performance, such as:
- If there is a power outage or if a program crashes. These errors can reduce the speed of your PC over time.
- Temporary files stored while you are browsing the net or while using programs like MS Word can clutter your disk space and affect the PC speed.
- When you add programs and files to your computer, it often fragments these to increase the speed of access and retrieval. But when files are updated, the PC stores these in a different location resulting in a fragmented file. Such files slow down your PC as the computer has to search for all the file's parts.
- Excessive build-up of dust, heat or magnetism.
- Viruses, malware, etc. transferred from Internet or shared devices like pen drives, etc.
- Bumping or dropping the hard disk casing.
There are some basic measures that one can take to maintain the working condition of a PC. Some of these measures are operational and environmental conditions wherein one has to take care of dust build-up, avoid water or other liquids from spilling on the PC hardware, etc. Others and more important ones include operating system and data maintenance, hardware and drive maintenance, software maintenance and anti-virus protection.
A few ways in which you can maintain your operating system and data are:
- Install the latest patches and service updates for your PC. These updates will fix most bugs and security breaches.
- Keep a backup of rescue disks for the OS. This also applies to backup of important data.
- Adding and removing software, devices and drives, often leaves extra system registry entries which can reduce performance. Use system utilities that will help you keep your Windows system registry clean.
Hardware maintenance requires some basic measures such as:
- Defragging your hard drive which organizes your drives so that access to files and programs is more efficient.
- Shut down your PC when not in use.
- Update drivers and software for your expansion cards, such as video or sound cards. Updated drivers ensure better performance of your hardware.
Additional software maintenance can be done by:
- Keeping a backup copy of the original software, either on CD or DVD.
- Being careful while installing file sharing and other peer-to-peer software as they represent a security risk to your PC.
- Purging your software. Getting rid of unused software frees up additional system resources.
- Avoiding the use of shareware or freeware like screensavers and audio-visual apps as they require extra system resources to run.
Get AntiVirus protection for your PC that automatically scans and cleans viruses. This would require you to update the virus definitions to ensure that your PC is protected against the latest threats. All downloaded files should be scanned by your anti-virus application before you run or install it.
There are softwares specifically designed to up your PC’s performance. Some top Antivirus software solutions like Quick Heal Total Security come with in-built PCTuner as well. The Quick Heal PCTuner neatly packs all system utility features into one computer-scanning engine for your convenience. With the click of just one button, it erases junk data, defragments your hard drive, removes spyware and privacy traces and repairs and optimizes your registry. While you could perform each task using a handful of tools, Quick Heal PCTuner compactly brings the functions in one place, making it very convenient and helpful.